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Tax fraud charges against ex-Tory MP mysteriously dropped

John Bell

June 9, 2022
During his 18 years as a Reform Party, Canadian Alliance and then Conservative MP Rob Anders was a champion of lower taxes. And when government (even the ones he was part of) didn’t lower them enough it seems he took the DIY route.
Anders was put on trial for 5 charges of evading taxes, hiding capital gains, and lying on his tax returns to the tune of $750,000. The “misleading” returns were filed from 2012 to 2018, so include 2 years when he was still a Harper government MP.
Then, shockingly, on the first day of the trial the Crown dropped all charges. “Last week, new information came to my attention, the consideration of which led me to believe that I no longer had a reasonable prospect of conviction,” said prosecutor Tyler Lord.
This is odd, since the charges were leveled over 2 years ago. Wonder what miraculous new info popped up in the nick of time?
One thing that Anders had going for him – Canada has the weakest white collar crime laws among OECD nations, and a poor record of convicting big-time tax avoiders. So, no prospect of conviction does not mean innocent.
For those not familiar with this exemplar of Canadian conservatism, a career review is in order. Then we can leave it to you to decide if Anders is “innocent”. 
He was under 30 when first elected as a Reform (soon to be rebranded Canadian Alliance) MP.  He was hailed as one of the “fresh, young faces” of the conservative movement, along with the likes of Jason Kenney and Ezra Levant. He was slavishly loyal to Stephen Harper, Frank Nitti to Harper’s Capone.
In 2001 Anders was the only MP who voted against granting honourary citizenship to Nelson Mandella. He maintained Mandella was a communist terrorist. Throughout his career Anders has been a rabid anti-communist. 
MP Anders was assigned the veterans affairs file. His dedication to his job was revealed after a 2012 meeting with a veterans’ support group. “He was out like a light for about five minutes. He came in late, didn't ask any questions and then fell asleep. Wow ... I couldn't believe my eyes,” reported veteran Jim Lowther.
Anders counter-attacked, branding the ex-soldier “an NDP hack”. Lowther responded saying he was a card-carrying Conservative. “I did two tours of Bosnia and one in Afghanistan – and now I'm a NDP hack? Never been called that before.”
In fact, Anders was famous for falling asleepin Parliament. Photos and videos of him catching his beauty rest abound.
Back in 2005 Anders was caught illegally using public money to send a flyer to voters, which was puzzling in a number of ways. For one thing the pamphlet, which was supposed to be about crime and crystal meth, contained a survey question about “homosexual sex marriage”. For another the propaganda was sent to people in Richmond BC, and he represented a Calgary riding. 
Worth noting: he was co-chair of the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee at the time. But then Tories like Anders are notoriously anti-regulation.
And then there was the time he accused then NDP leader Thomas Mulcair of “hastening” Jack Layton’s death by supporting the call for a 2011 election. The implication was that Mulcair did so to further his career. Mulcair was guilty of some pretty shitty things while NDP misleader, but this wasn’t one of them,
Finally his constituents started to turn on him. Was it the regular scandals, somnambulism and wackadoo statements? Perhaps, but Anders’ real sin was supporting the formation of the far-right split from the Alberta Conservatives – the Wildrose Party. Despite a glowing endorsement from Stephen Harper he lost his job.
Since then he has “worked” as a lobbyist for the gun industry, and for the Christo-fascist group Focus on the Family. He has also traveled to the US to be a paid, right-wing heckler at Democratic political rallies. He is much respected in Trumpian circles.
Now that he no longer faces the prospect of prison, Anders can sit back and help stir up the rabid far-right fringe in Alberta. And in a few years, when he hits 55 he can start to collect his MP’s pension of just under $100,000 a year. If he lives to 90 he’ll receive about $4.8 million.
Wonder if he’ll pay his taxes?
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