Trudeau’s chief fundraiser linked to Cayman Islands tax scheme
Massive offshore leak reveals secrets of Stephen Bronfman's company
The Liberal Party of Canada has a longstanding challenge in the public’s eye with being the party of the wealthy and influential. It was the sponsorship scandal that brought an end to the Chretien government, but implicated the entire Liberal Party in a scheme of kickbacks.
The self-described ‘natural governing party of Canada’ spent a decade in exile for it.
It appears that it might not have been long enough. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals had branded themselves the party of the middle class. It is a branding that has been taking some serious broadsides throughout his government’s tenure.
The Liberal government has had a lengthy series of challenges with ethically questionable practices since coming into office. First there was the cash-for-access scandal; then there was Prime Minister Trudeau’s jaunt to the private island of the billionaire supporter the Aga Khan,which it turned out also cost the taxpayer $125k.
More recently, it was the revelation that multi-millionaire Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau had not followed the standard practice of placing his assets in a blind trust, pushing his political career to the brink.
But this latest report is a continuation of the potentially explosive revelations of the Panama Papers., a scheme of tax evasion that the Liberals seemed intent on closing in the name of fairness. This revelation might, however, be the most damaging to the Liberal Party.
It appears that longtime Trudeau family friend and chief Liberal Party fundraiser Stephen Bronfman, heir to the Seagram family fortune, had mounted a lobbying campaign in Ottawa that for several years fought legislation designed to crack down on offshore trusts. His counterpart in the Cayman Islands-based trust is Leo Kolber, a former Canadian senator and another powerhouse within the Liberal party.
There are now allegations of possible tax evasion.
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