I must start this week’s narration by congratulating the Canadian people on their tolerance to a particular Christmas album which never seems to evade your ears for more than a few seconds. A lack of liberty I can manage to muster! I also had the opportunity this week to explore Canada’s National Gallery and the beautiful works of Alex Janvier, a truly breathtaking exhibition. The Christmas carollers are embracing the -24c temperatures which is a remarkable feat. Even as I write I can hear a chorus of voices singing “Hark! The Herald Angel Sing” from my bedroom window. The festive spirit is ripe here in the Canadian capital as Christmas looms around the corner and what a busy weeks it has been at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation!
This week I have been researching a topic explored frequently Australia, alcohol.
Australia’s alcohol taxing system is complex and excessive. In saying this, it is now apparent that our friends across the pond here in Canada certainly don’t have any solutions and in many respects have an alcohol taxing system more convoluted and unreasonable than we do! This week I have been working on creating an alcohol tax calculator to show my fellow Canadians the small fortune the Government takes in alcohol taxes. Both the Federal and Provincial Governments here in Canada dip their hands into consumers’ wallets for their ‘share’ of alcohol taxes. But of course this will depend on the alcohol type, the size of the brewer, the alcohol percentage, potential alcohol control boards, the volume purchased, environmental taxes, the province the alcohol was purchased, provincial GST, Federal GST and so on. It surely makes you wonder about the costs involved in regulating such a headache!
This week I have also been able to work on my very first Access to Information Request under the Access to Information Act. This Act is very similar to our Freedom of Information Act and it certainly is liberating to know that we taxpayers do have the ability to make our own checks on the individuals we elect. It certainly is a statute that we need to be utilising to our advantage. I hope to be involved with many more official information requests both here at the CTF and when I return to Australia. I may even frame my very first information request I have submitted here at the CTF!
Overall it has been a very busy week here at the CTF and we are all looking forward to our Christmas endeavours. I don’t doubt for a second that the world political stage will be a completely new experience this coming year but it fills me with confidence meeting like minded libertarians across the our planet.
Until next week.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Ottawa, Canada!