Nate Bunnyfield (natebunnyfield) wrote,
Nate Bunnyfield

For Sam, Eva and any other The Economist or type geeks...

the (ever-evolving) economist

And a little type-based story...

Weber v. Canada (Minister of National Revenue)

Docket: ITA-6261-99

A Calgary inventor has failed in his inventive argument that his tax bill instructed him to pay in pesos rather than dollars.

In 1996, James Weber, 48, who holds patents on several oilfield tools, got a bill from Revenue Canada telling him he owed $110,000 in income tax. But Weber noticed the notice showed the dollar sign with just one line through it instead of two - a symbol he said denotes a Colombian peso. So down he trotted to pay his taxes with 110,650 pesos - worth about $75 Cdn.

The government didn't buy his reasoning and last August seized his BMW motorbike, helmet, jacket and pants. Weber fought back by filing 50 documents in Federal Court to back up his claim - including banking and other dictionaries, and the British North America Act.

However, on Tuesday the Federal Court ruled against him, noting one of the dictionaries he submitted as evidence "illustrates the Canadian dollar sign also to be a one-bar dollar sign."


The whole exercise may be summed up by saying that neither the Canadian tax system nor, indeed, the Canadian economy, ought to be held hostage to a type-setter's selection, at any given time, of what is considered a pleasing and useful type-face for a dollar sign.

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