Alberta Politics
Are shifty eyed horses like these eyeing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit? The Canadian Taxpayers Federation thinks maybe (Photo: U.S. Bureau of Land Management, so not these ponies).

Why won’t Ottawa do anything to rein in equine identity theft?

Posted on May 15, 2020, 1:50 am
3 mins

Is this Stablegate? The Canadian Taxpayers Federation wants to know why Justin Trudeau and his Liberals aren’t reining in equine identity theft.

The Twittersphere exploded yesterday when CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick indicated he believes horses may be hoofing it to sign up for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, fraudulently saddling the nation with additional debt.

CTF Federal Director and ardent tweeter Aaron Wudrick (Photo: Canadian Taxpayers Federation).

“Just got an email from someone … who knows an individual who owns horses — and filed for CERB in his horses’ names,” Mr. Wudrick tweeted breathlessly, and apparently in all seriousness, yesterday morning. “How can the government stand idly by and shrug off this kind of fraud?”

How indeed?

As writer Ethan Cox observed in a deeper exploration of this issue on the Ricochet website, it’s not clear if this is a case of horses stealing human identities, humans stealing equine identities, or what.

The late Riley Climenhaga, CTF supporter (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Twitter users were quick to point out to the ardent tweeter that any felonious filly hoping to defraud Ottawa of undeserved CERB funds would have to have a valid social insurance number, and probably a bank account and rudimentary computer skills. Many mentioned the fragrant material horses leave behind as they walk.

Rather than admitting he might have been misinformed in his effort to push the CTF view Canadians who access CERB would be better put in workhouses, Mr. Wudrick bridled and continued to flog his argument like the proverbial dead horse. A regular old rodeo ensued on social media.

I can’t shake the feeling that in the distant past, I may have put the idea that domestic animals were up to no good in the CTF’s collective mind by mentioning in this blog that I had enrolled my late dog Riley as one of its “supporters” just to see what turned up in his email. This made one CTF operative (not Mr. Wudrick) so angry he publicly accused me of fraud.

The innocent Riley, alas, has passed on, but his email address lives on, still receiving the occasional plaintive fund-raiser from the supposedly non-partisan “tax watchdog.” Perhaps another will be along soon, warning of the danger to Canada of impecunious ponies being given access to federal funds by negligent Liberals.

Do Canadians think there’s anything to Mr. Wudrick’s concern? The neighs have it.

5 Comments to: Why won’t Ottawa do anything to rein in equine identity theft?

  1. Dave

    May 15th, 2020

    Yes I am afraid you and Riley may have started something here. I can only imagine the consternation and disappointment at the CTF when they found out Riley was not a university age son rebelling against a parent’s political views, but a dog. Also, on his limited budget, I imagine he was not a lucrative source of future donations for them and not able to vote.

    As lax as the rules for the CERB are, there are more restrictions than on being a CTF supporter and there are a few things that a horse (or even a clever dog) would probably find insurmountable. As already noted, a SIN is needed. I don’t know of any horses or dogs that have one. Also, the government would be looking at income from the last tax return filed for over $5,000 in employment income and they would need to be over 15 years old. I doubt the horse was employed or has filed tax returns in the past and may not meet the age requirement either.

    I get the sense the CTF sees fraud everywhere, I gather it is a bit of a preoccupation, sometimes even where it does not exist perhaps like some people see ghosts everywhere. However, they should not be so gullible as to easily fall for what seems to be an urban myth in this case.

    I don’t doubt that in the rush to get things out, some problems will arise. I suppose the other alternative in this case would have been a more rigorous process that would have left the genuinely needy waiting weeks or months for desperately needed aid. This isn’t normal times or a normal government program, so the CTF should also be mindful of that. Also, they shouldn’t necessarily take seriously second hand stories of someone fanciful bragging about his horse’s exploits. In this case, it seems it is the CTF that has ended up stepping in the horse poop.

    Reply
  2. Corwin Sullivan

    May 16th, 2020

    It sounds like the CTF is champing at the bit to attack CERB on any pretext, but this business of benefits being claimed in horses’ names is surely a complete mare’s nest. Such a flimsy attempt at fraud would hardly induce the government to pony up, whatever nonsense the CTF might trot out.

    Reply
  3. CovKid

    May 17th, 2020

    I’m sure Riley would have been one of the CTF’s more ardent supporters, cocking his leg at perceived injustices against “hard-working Canadians” and leaving his mark at locations where “our hard-earned dollars” had been wasted on such items as infrastructure improvement and (gosh!) cultural innovations. Never mind: he’s moved on to Valhalla where every budget is balanced and no shirker is allowed a cent.

    Reply
    • Mike in Edmonton

      May 17th, 2020

      Horse racing too? Well, that’s no surprise. Two reasons: “Horses can make you a small fortune, if you start with a big one” (anybody who owns a horse can confirm this) and Ralph Klein’s cabinet used to include some horse-racing fans who apparently owned shares in either horses or a race track. Isn’t it nice to know that crony capitalism is alive and well in Oilberduh?

      Reply

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