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The Ottawa Senators have a friend in Canada’s finance minister

Jim Flaherty

Last week Ontario’s finance minister, Dwight Duncan, wrote to his federal counterpart, Jim Flaherty, proposing the government end corporate tax write-offs for tickets to professional sports.

The Ottawa Senators responded by saying such a move would put them out of business.

Today Flaherty added his two cents. And the Sens will like what he had to say.

“We have much bigger issues than that and I was quite frankly disappointed that this has been made into some sort of major issue,” said Flaherty, as reported by The Globe and Mail.

Flaherty added: “Ontario has fundamental budgeting problems. They have major spending problems that built up over eight years. And I’m not into scapegoating. I’m not into side issues.”

A couple of thoughts:

---- Flaherty has a point. Ontario has a $16-billion deficit. Ending sports-ticket write-offs would purportedly add $15 million in annual revenue, which is a very small drop in a very big bucket. However, it makes sense politically for the center-left Ontario Liberal Party to go after the suits in the good seats.

---- Flaherty is a conservative that, for partisan reasons, will be loath to endorse anything Duncan’s party puts forward.

Politicians. Can’t live with ‘em, pass the beer nuts.