Premier Harris Receives Tax Fighter of the Year Award
June 28, 2000
-- CTF Honours Premier for Commitment to Balanced Budgets and Taxpayer Protection Legislation --
TORONTO: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation today presented its Tax Fighter of the Year Award to Premier Mike Harris at a news conference at Queen's Park in Toronto.
The annual award is presented to an individual who has shown a long standing commitment and dedication to the cause of taxpayer emancipation. This year's choice of recipient marks the first time an elected official has been granted the honour.
"Premier Harris promised balanced budget and taxpayer protection legislation when he first came to office in 1995 and he ultimately delivered with passage of the Taxpayer Protection and Balanced Budget Act this past November," said CTF Federal and Ontario Director Walter Robinson. "This legislation is the most comprehensive in the country and protects future generations of taxpayers from abuse by free-wheeling and free-spending politicians."
Both Mr. Robinson and Premier Harris spoke of the importance of governing for the future. Mr. Robinson noted "that this is one of the key objectives of our organization to ensure that citizens are the ultimate owners of public policy." Premier Harris echoed these sentiments in his remarks by noting that "there is no such thing as government money - it's taxpayers money. Government must always ensure that the people's money is spent wisely and well."
Ontario's law mandates annual balanced budgets (except in catastrophic circumstances) with consequent and substantive financial penalties for the Premier and Cabinet if the law is broken. Meanwhile, the protection component of this legislation ensures that future tax increases must be approved by taxpayers through a province-wide referendum or intervening election campaign.
"While it is very easy for us to criticize politicians when they run afoul of taxpayer interests, it is equally important, if not more so, to also speak up when they do the right thing. That is what today's award presentation to the Premier is all about," noted Robinson.
In ten short years, the CTF has grown to become Canada's foremost non-partisan taxpayer advocacy organization with 83,000 supporters from coast to coast.