Yes, the RCMP is on a wild goose chase...
Here's my prediction: No charges will be laid for this so-called leak.
Who knew what and when, just before Finance Minister Ralph Goodale announced that income trusts would remain free of corporate tax and that dividend taxes would be cut?
It was common knowledge that a statement was imminent _ and nobody expected Goodale to do anything unpopular ahead of an election.
So an RCMP probe into possible insider leaks could turn out to be, as one Bay Street veteran sees it, "a wild goose chase.''
Goodale made his announcement on Nov. 23 after the close of a stock-market session marked by unusual trading of many income trusts and dividend-paying shares.
That morning's newspapers had reported his promise the previous day to give the trusts issue "the greatest degree of certainty that's possible'' before the defeat of the Liberal minority government in a non-confidence vote set for three business days later.
The minister's move cut short a consultation he had launched in September into the tax treatment of trusts, a process that had been intended to go on until the end of the year.
A story on an inside business page of the Globe and Mail of Nov. 23 called this "a sudden change of timing that experts believe could pave the way for a politically popular dividend tax cut.''
The Mounties, who on Wednesday disclosed a criminal investigation into complaints by opposition politicians of possible insider trading, "are blowing in the wind, quite frankly,'' Ross Healy, president of Strategic Analysis Corp., said Thursday.
"They admitted themselves that they don't have anything and I am baffled as to what they think they're going to get,'' Healy said.
"This just strikes me as being a wild goose chase... I don't think there's anything there to find.''