Jane Taber of the Globe & Mail has acquired from an anonymous sourcea new explanation for why Senator Mike Duffy has an Ontario health card and doesn’t pay resident taxes in PEI, even though he claims that his primary residence is in Cavendish and he is compensated to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars by the taxpayer for having said residence while working as a senator in Ottawa:
Mr. Duffy, at the time of his appointment in 2009, was concerned that if he began paying taxes in PEI and using its health-insurance program, he would be forced to seek treatment elsewhere, according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
PEI has no cardiac care centre, so residents have to be treated in Saint John or Halifax.
Yikes. Okay, first of all, and this appears to have sailed right over Taber’s head, this is not an argument for registering for a PEI health card. It’s an argument for not moving to PEI in the first place. If you have a heart attack at “home” (read: your vacation cottage) in Cavendish, they’re not going to open up a special, super-secret cardiac unit kept only for off-island visitors because you happen to have an Ontario health card. If you’re worried about the fact that PEI has no cardiac care unit and you need cardiac care, then you don’t live there in the first place.
Which, as it happens, is exactly what Mr. Duffy stands accused of doing. So much for that particular excuse.
But what this again illustrates is that we’re no longer talking about an issue of merely failing to uphold a few technical rules. We’re talking about fraud here.
The only question is: fraud against whom? Against Ontario taxpayers, for using an Ontario health card when he is really a primary resident of PEI, or against federal taxpayers, for collecting expense fees for his PEI cottage when he is really a primary resident of Ontario?
Either way, I guess we now know why right-wingers are so paranoid that lazy, self-interested gits are ripping off the welfare system. That’s what they think is going on, because it’s exactly what they do when given the opportunity.Tweet