Article: It Had to Happen Sooner or Later

The Gazette, May 28, 1997, Jeff Heinrich

It Had to Happen Sooner or Later

Leftwing picketers showed up yesterday outside Canada Steamship Lines headquarters in Old Montreal (it’s nestled in the World Trade Centre complex) – because Paul Martin owns the firm.

CSL is one of Canada’s oldest companies, and has made Martin very rich. His shares have been held in trust since he took power, but that hasn’t stopped critics (like Reform MPs) from pointing out that one-third of the company’s ships are registered abroad – to avoid paying taxes in Canada.

Last year, a study for Greenpeace Canada also pointed out that CSL is a big shipper of coal on the Great Lakes, and noted that energy companies like to contribute to the Liberal Party. Plus there’s the fact the feds have negotiated the privatization of the St. Lawrence Seaway with a consortium of shipping firms, including – yup – CSL.

So who cares? Twenty-five picketers, that’s who. Led by Outremont NDP candidate Tooker Gomberg, they marched and chanted and held up defaced Martin posters. “What?” the smiling candidate says in one. “Me pay taxes?”