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More Evidence of Wrong Doing December 7, 2005

Posted by Binford in Politics.
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CTV reports on some possible evidence that there was a leak prior to Finance Minister Ralph Goodale’s announcement of a tax cut to dividend-paying stocks.

But, some of those stocks jumped inexplicably late in the afternoon, hours before Goodale told the Canadian public anything about his plan. CTV found more evidence of a possible leak than just that jump in trading.

First, several credible sources in financial circles confirmed to CTV they heard definitively — before the markets closed — that an announcement would be coming after the close of trading that day.

Many people were exchanging emails, about an anticipated 5 p.m. news conference. That seemingly advance notice contradicts the Finance Department’s position that they told no one — not even privately — about the timing of the hotly anticipated announcement, not the day or the hour it would come.

“There was no specific advance notice whatsoever,” Goodale told CTV.

More important, perhaps, CTV discovered evidence, in writing, that seems to suggest some people had advance knowledge of exactly what the finance minister was going to say.

That evidence is in public bulletin board postings on a popular investor’s internet site called “Stockhouse”. The first posting — at 11:14 that morning — came from someone who wrote: “Skuttlebutt is that he (Goodale) will soon announce a reduction on dividend taxation to ‘even the playing field’.” This information was posted a full seven hours before the minister’s press conference, and possibly viewed by many potential investors before the markets closed.

The second posting on the same site came from another person, who also seemed to know what was coming. At 3:59, they posted this message: “The hot rumour is that the government’s decision on the income trust issue is that they are going to make a more level playing field by reducing the degree of double taxation which currently exists on dividends by increasing the dividend tax credit.”

The Finance Minister used almost that exact wording, when he made his announcement two hours later.

“We’re going to help to level up the playing field as between corporations and trusts and we’re going to be doing that by ending double taxation on dividends,” said Goodale in his media conference that evening.

Full Story

Someone from Goodale’s office must have been the leak.  Whether or not it was innocently done without the intentions of benefitting those associated with the Liberal party is up to investigators to decide.  We’ll know for sure that there’s more to the leak if the Liberals start downplaying or delaying the investigation. 

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