Archive for June 2011

Thoughts on HST

27 June 2011

Excerpts from provincial/federal government emails and briefing notes obtained by CBC through FOI requests

“harmonization continues to present very real challenges including a loss of provincial tax policy flexibility, the real and perceived shift in tax burden from business to individuals, a lack of support from some business sectors, the need to protect low income individuals and families from tax increases, and the need to ensure adequate provincial revenues.”

“All businesses and final consumers are required to pay the HST but, under the multi-stage sales tax, businesses claim a credit,” … “Thus, businesses effectively recover all tax paid on purchases for business use.”

Re the PST In British Columbia, “even with the exemption for production machinery and equipement, businesses pay about 48% of the total provincial sales tax paid in the province.”


“About 48% of the total PST paid in British Columbia is paid by business, 48% by consumers and 4% by the public sector. For comparison, 87% of GST paid in British Columbia is paid by consumers, 11% by business and 2% by the public sector.”

“Harmonizing the PST in B.C. with the GST would have the following implications:”
“- The elimination of most PST exemptions.” (a list includes children’s clothing and footwear, residential fuel, school supplies, residential telephone, safety equipment and patent medicines)
“- Imposition of PST on most services that are not currently taxed” (a list includes accounting services, contractor services, personal care services)
“- B.C.’s ability to make unilateral changes to the provincial tax base in support of specific provincial social or economic policy objectives would be reduced.”
“- There would be a shift in the tax burden from businesses to individuals”

Ask yourself:

  • Should this tax burden be shifted from business to individuals?
  • Should PST exemptions on school supplies, heating fuels, children’s clothing, safety equipment, medicines be eliminated?
  • Are protections for low income individuals and families sufficient?
  • Do we want to give up provincial control of provincial taxes?

I think not. I am also mighty tired of government dishonesty and disrespect for voters. On all levels we need to pay attention, and demonstrate that we are paying attention, so that governments will work for citizens, economies will work for citizens and we won’t leave economic or environmental debts for our children and their children to pay. I’ll be voting “Yes” to extinguish the HST.

PM Harper – A Man to Get Things Done

24 June 2011

In just two days PM Harper has flipped the bird to British Columbians, people everywhere affected by asbestos caused diseases and working Canadians.

– Appointed disgraced former BC Premier Campbell as High Commissioner to the UK. After various affronts to BC voters; among them impaired driving in Hawaii, the BC Rail mess, and finally HST, British Columbians thought Campbell had finally become so unpopular as to be driven from office. Now one wonders whether he may have just left so as to be available to accept his reward from the Harper government.

– Prevented inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent. Canada was the lone voice against listing chrysotile. When Canadians go to the hardware store and buy a potentially hazardous product, we expect it to be labelled with potential hazards and safe use instructions. Should people living in other countries be provided the same sort of label? Apparently not.

– Having shocked the world by preventing listing of chrysotile, Harper skipped debate on punitive back-to-work legislation against postal workers to celebrate St. Jean Baptiste Day at the asbestos mining heart in Quebec. A two-fisted bird flip to both asbestos related disease sufferers and Canadian workers at once.

No one can argue that Harper is not a man to get things done.

Save Our Salmon

23 June 2011

See Alexandra Morton’s blog.
Do what you can do.