Farewell, Canadian Taxpayers Federation

It really was my pleasure to serve in this role and meet so many passionate and inspiring people from across the country.

Some may have noticed that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is looking for a new Ontario Director, so I thought I would post a note about my resignation.

After two years, and effective in mid-February, I will be stepping down from my role leading the Ontario branch of the CTF, due to the fact that I will no longer be a full-time resident of Ontario. I’m not fleeing bad weather, tax hikes or bad policy (although those are all contributing factors), but instead, will be splitting my time between Toronto and San Francisco.

Starting in February, I will be joining the Center for a Secure Free Society (SFS), a new think tank focused on the intersection of security, defence, and economic freedom. I am excited to be working with an organization that provides a much needed pro-liberty voice in foreign policy and international relations discussions, and works with a network of very impressive foreign policy scholars around the world. I’ll be working on economic and trade policy, the future of North America initiative, as well as working to expand SFS’s work in Canada.

Alongside SFS, I will remain a weekly columnist for the Toronto Sun and will continue to write and comment on economic issues in Canada and specifically Ontario. I’ve also been named a 2015 Fellow for the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute (CDFAI), and will contribute to their work and publications.

I will continue to post all of my work on my website, CandiceMalcolm.com.

Leaving the CTF has been a difficult decision, and I cannot speak highly enough about the organization and the importance of its mission. There are very few groups in the world that bravely (and incredibly effectively) uncover government mismanagement, hold politicians accountable (and embarrass elites!), speak for the people, and through tenacity and aspiration, manage to steer legislation to keep our country freer and fairer.

While I didn’t get to stay in the role for as long as I would have liked to, and I unfortunately didn’t accomplish everything I’d set out to do in Ontario, I certainly had a lot of fun and made a lot of folks pay attention to taxpayer issues in the province. It’s difficult to pinpoint my favourite moment as a director with the CTF; there are so many to choose from. I blew the whistle on Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) receiving half a million bucks from the taxpayer for the NBA all star game. I convinced the Queen’s Park press gallery it was at least possible to balance the budget in one year, and made the evening news on about a dozen channels with my pre-budget submission last year. I even trumped the Finance Minister’s own pre-budget consultation press conference by doing mine a few hours earlier, flipping his news day on its head, and making him respond to my figures during his Q&A.

I got to be a guest on some of Canada’s most watched shows, including Canada AM, the Global Morning Show and Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown, and became a regular contributor on what felt like every AM talk radio show in Ontario. They all needed an outlet for the anger with Dalton McGuinty, and then Kathleen Wyne, and all the things the Liberals seem to get away with in Ontario.

I gave speeches across Ontario, calling the government out for terrible policies and out-of-control spending, borrowing and piling on debt. I made A1 or A2 in just about every small town newspaper in Ontario during the debt clock tour and spent more time than I ever thought I would in the Soo after we broke the debt-mobile and waited for repairs (Ontario’s debt was just too much for it!) I also spoke at some of Canada’s top universities, and I was given the opportunity to meet and then mentor some of the best minds and rising stars in the libertarian and conservative student movements. I spoke at just about every liberty event possible in Canada, including dozens of Generation Screwed events, the Institute for Liberal Studies’ summer seminar, the World Taxpayers Conference in Vancouver, Mises Institute, Liberty Now, Manning Conference, Student’s for Liberty, the Albany Club, and even Atlas’s Liberty Forum in New York.

Of course, I spoke at plenty of non-liberty events too, including a Munk-style debate against the VP of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (and a longtime mayor) over municipal “revenue tools” at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference. And, despite the audience mostly comprises of government employees, I actually managed to win the debate! (I technically won by starting the debate with 19% of the vote and finished with 36%).

There were a lot of wins, despite the obvious legislative losses, and I’ve accomplished so much that I set out to do, both personally and professionally. I became a regular at Sun News, CHCH and CTV, landed a weekly column in the Toronto Sun, appeared on Global, CP24, CBC, and many other television stations, wrote a policy paper for Reason, and became a published author.

My book, Generation Screwed, which was inspired by the work of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, has reached #1 on Amazon.ca in the category of Economics and has been read by thousands of people in just a few weeks.

I’ve had a great run with the CTF, and appreciate all the support and mentoring from the organization, particularly from Scott Hennig (CTF’s VP Communications), Troy Lanigan (CTF’s President) and Michael Binnion (CTF’s Chairman of the Board), as well as the encouragement of CTF’s many supporters and donors.

It really was my pleasure to serve in this role and meet so many passionate and inspiring people from across the country.

For those interested in applying for the position, CTF will be accepting CVs until January 23 and I’d be happy to chat with anyone interested in the role. It really is the best gig in Canadian politics. Please email me to set up a call, [email protected].

Yours in liberty,

Candice Malcolm