: Rats are deserting: BC Liberal Minister quits over HST


GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 11th, 2010, 04:28 PM
B.C. cabinet minister quits over HST (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/06/11/bc-blair-lekstom-resigns-hst.html)

B.C. MLA Blair Lekstrom, who represents Peace River South, has unexpectedly resigned as energy minister and quit the Liberal caucus due to public opposition to the coming HST.

"It is clear to me that the residents of Peace River South are opposed to the harmonized sales tax and are unhappy with the way in which our government moved forward with this policy," Lekstrom said in a statement released Friday morning.

"This is not about being right or wrong; in fact, I firmly believe that government is making a decision they believe will help the province, but as we have been unable to bring the public along, I acknowledge there is a need to re-evaluate this decision," he said.

"In light of the widespread opposition to the HST, I believe it would be prudent to bring the move toward the HST to a halt and immediately engage British Columbians in a dialogue about our taxation policy.

Gordon Campbell, well known for being tone-deaf to the public's mood, is really blowing it with this one. It looks like the public anti-HST campaign is going to succeed. If the Campbell government ignores a successful petition result, there will be individual recall campaigns and I predict they will succeed in some ridings. I think we are looking at the beginning of the end for Gordon Campbell's government.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 11th, 2010, 04:41 PM
It occurred to me reading my post that some non-BC ehMaccians might not be familiar with what's happening.

In BC we have unique laws that allow for a registered petition with Elections BC to run a campaign that can result in changes to the law. Canvassers registered with Elections BC have to collect a minimum of 10% of the signatures of registered voters in every riding to trigger a process where the petition can either be adopted as legislation introduced in the Provincial Legislature or put before the entire province as a referendum.

It's a limited form of direct democracy that so far has been extremely difficult for any group that has tried to achieve the minimum result. But the HST is so widely hated, polls say 80+%, that this one has already met the 10% according to the organizers and is close to at least 15% in almost all ridings. Many ridings have figures that are far higher.

Once the campaign ends, the signatures are sent to Elections BC for verification.

The organizers have vowed that if the Campbell government ignores the result, likely by putting it before the Legislature and simply voting it down with their majority, the group will move towards recall campaigns against MLAs in individual ridings. BC also has recall legislation, again very difficult to meet the bar, but in this case quite likely to succeed. In Blair Lekstrom's riding, he would have been recalled for sure, as the tax has its greatest unpopularity in that area of the province.

eMacMan
Jun 11th, 2010, 05:04 PM
I have always felt that recall abilitities were absolutely vital for democracy to really work.

Good luck when you're out hunting rats!

Macfury
Jun 11th, 2010, 05:10 PM
Good for that!

chas_m
Jun 11th, 2010, 06:51 PM
I don't pretend to be an expert in the minutia of this issue, but in BC there are two factors at work here:

1. It's a tax increase in a time of recession. Dumb move.

2. The government here has been completely tone-deaf to public opposition, which is enormous and growing due to the arrogance of the Campbell government.

I've met the man himself (once bumped into him grocery shopping!), and he seems a nice enough guy -- but this is just the last straw on a long string of things even his supporters are uncomfortable with.

It should be noted for know-nothings outside the province that "BC Liberals" are not to be confused with the similarly-named national party. "BC Liberals" are their own party and their own brand name. They have nothing to do with the (Federal) Liberals and are viewed here as centre-right in their views and policies.

Lawrence
Jun 11th, 2010, 08:06 PM
By the way Dalton...Thanks for the $100. but I still don't want the HST.

What is going to happen with my GST kickback?

Will I still get that 4 times a year too?

Or will I have to just get less with the HST kickback 3 times a year instead?

This whole thing stinks of clawback.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 11th, 2010, 09:37 PM
1. It's a tax increase in a time of recession. Dumb move.

Yup, it's a tax increase. The Campbell gov line is that it's not because the tax savings that businesses will realize will be passed along to their customers. Of course everyone knows that is unadulterated BS.

The main businesses who are pushing for this are the largest corporations who will see some significant savings with the HST. They will be able to claim an additional 7% as input tax credits that they just had to eat before. No one is stupid enough to believe the government propaganda that this will result in lower prices.

For small businesses like mine the effect will be minor at best. And the red tape savings will be miniscule. It takes me about 10 minutes per month to file my PST form now, whoop-de-doo.

I do however think the concept of the HST is a good one. It's just that this government's method of implementing it was deceptive and will result in more taxes paid by consumers and less by corporations, as well as more taxes paid by citizens in total. Services that were only subject to the 5% GST will now had 12% added on. Restaurant meals will also see the additional 7%.

There was an entirely reasonable proposal made by the BC Green Party that if an HST is brought in the total rate should be reduced somewhat, possibly to 9 or 10% instead of 12. Then the additional tax that people would be paying on services and restaurants would be offset by an overall lower rate. But Campbell said that couldn't possibly happen because the terms that Harper laid down precluded that. I don't believe that.

Under that proposal the businesses would be happy with their savings, citizens would see no increase to their overall tax burden and there would be less red tape with only one sales tax. I would have supported the HST under that scenario.

But I'm happy to see the Campbell gov finally shooting themselves in the foot badly enough that it will cost them.

zlinger
Jun 12th, 2010, 01:02 AM
If the Campbell-Harper HST goes ahead in BC, I will be reducing spending as much as possible and will be bringing business to Washington State where it will be tax-free for BC residents!

Why not just leave the GST and PST as is... so I know where my taxes are going to federal and provincial. It is clearly a tax grab and shift to consumers. I highly doubt that businesses will pass on their savings or hire more employees as a result of less red tape.

I was thinking that Campbell may have been good for BC, but not anymore.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 12th, 2010, 04:19 AM
If the Campbell-Harper HST goes ahead in BC, I will be reducing spending as much as possible and will be bringing business to Washington State where it will be tax-free for BC residents!

Why not just leave the GST and PST as is... so I know where my taxes are going to federal and provincial. It is clearly a tax grab and shift to consumers. I highly doubt that businesses will pass on their savings or hire more employees as a result of less red tape.

I was thinking that Campbell may have been good for BC, but not anymore.

There's no question that the HST is going ahead. It's due to come into effect July 1st.

The frantic hope for Campbell and his boys is that once people start to pay it, we'll all calm the hell down. I'm not sure when the referendum campaign is slated to end, but I believe it's at some point after July 1. Then the results have to go to Elections BC for verification and then if it passes that, sent to the Legislature.

If Campbell decides to be cute, he may delay the referendum result being brought before the Leg. He also might decide that no Legislative schedule will happen in the fall — he's already pulled that one before. So even if the referendum succeeds, it might be a long time before it gets near being voted on. They're hoping beyond hope that we'll all have gotten used to the HST by then. Their plan would be to then vote it down with their majority.

I would bet that it's possible that Campbell's big corporate Board of Trade supporters might even try and make some of their partners implement a few high profile price reductions that they will make sure is well covered in the media, in an attempt to make their case that the HST will be fabulous for all. I also think that they'll be sending out some juicy HST rebate checks to poor and lower middle class folks to hopefully quieten them down.

But the Zalm is pretty cunning as well. He was playing backroom politics when Gordon Campbell's most exciting event was getting drunk and driving for the first time. I think he'll manage to keep up the pressure with MLA recall campaigns to come. In the meantime, I wouldn't be surprised if we see more nervous Lib MLAs fleeing the sinking ship.

Lichen Software
Jun 12th, 2010, 07:59 AM
People in Ontario are not happy about HST either. We do not have the referendum or recall legislation that BC does, so there is not alot of noise right now.

For the most part, I provide service ( programming) which currently is taxed at 5%. This will rise to 13%. For business clients, it probably will not be a great problem as it will be a wash tax<->Input credit. But I also have not for profits and the odd private person. Not sure what will happen there.

The public will definitely be hit on all fronts. Utilities will now be taxed and so will other items.

As a previous poster said, the combination is a good idea in that it reduces administration and does provide for simpler input accounting. But again, as in BC, it is a revenue grab. It is not neutral. The goverment says that in the end it will be neutral due to rebates to lower income etc. But to me that is like McGuilty's health tax that has never ever financed health care in any way.

Here, I think the payback time will be next election. I do not think they have any idea of the simmering anger.

MLeh
Jun 12th, 2010, 11:00 AM
If the Campbell-Harper HST goes ahead in BC, I will be reducing spending as much as possible and will be bringing business to Washington State where it will be tax-free for BC residents!

Why not just leave the GST and PST as is... so I know where my taxes are going to federal and provincial. It is clearly a tax grab and shift to consumers. I highly doubt that businesses will pass on their savings or hire more employees as a result of less red tape.

I was thinking that Campbell may have been good for BC, but not anymore.

The benefit is to business in BC. Right next door is Alberta, where there is no PST at all.

Currently businesses in both Alberta and BC write off the GST as an input tax credit. But in BC corporations pay PST on everything which is 'consumable' in their business. So, right now, if I need a new computer for my business, I'll 'pick it up' while I'm in Alberta, and save the 7% PST. I still pay the GST in Alberta, but I can claim it as an input tax credit, so it's a wash.

So, under the current tax system, if a new business is planning to set up, if they're looking at their costs, they'll set up in Alberta, rather than BC, just because of the lower costs - no PST on consumables. With the HST the full 12% will be claimable as an input tax credit it will level the playing field on that issue, which means that other factors (work force availability, lifestyle choices, cost of living, etc) will come more into that decision of where to have the business located.

The PST has always been a detriment to new business in BC, especially when compared to Alberta.

Consumers, on the other hand, aren't nearly as mobile. They like to live on the west coast.

So this is definitely a tax shift from corporations to consumers, although it can be argued that the cost of doing business should be going down which should result in somewhat lower costs to consumers. (But we all know the reality.)

The real question is: does having more new businesses located in BC (versus Alberta) result in a net improvement to the overall well being of BCers?

Also, in the bigger picture, we need to look at the income tax rates of both provinces, to see the full effects of taxation policy and the overall mobility of the tax payer, both on income and consumption based taxes.

(I'm ambivalent on the PST/HST thing, because as a business owner I can see definite advantages, but I'm also a consumer, so I know I'll be paying more for certain items - the biggest being restaurant meals - which are not currently taxed under PST. It was a big shock moving to BC from Alberta. I think a lot of people here are under the mistaken idea that 'getting rid of the HST' means lowering taxes, but really, all it does is maintain the status quo, and I'm not too happy with paying 7% on what I do already!)

They certainly could have avoided a lot of this if they'd lowered the provincial component of the HST, or exempted things that weren't taxed under PST. Because it certainly does look like a big tax grab the way they've implemented it.

FeXL
Jun 12th, 2010, 11:16 AM
I live about an hour away from Montana. I live about 90 minutes from BC. Both easily accessible...

Been going to both areas all my life and enjoy both immensely.

Recently made a business trip to Cranbrook, BC. Fuel was $1.079/l in BC, in AB it was $0.929/l. In Montana, it will be cheaper yet, including exchange. There are a ton more comparisons I could make (food, lodging, alcohol, etc.) but there is no need. This year, given a choice, I'll be heading south rather than west.

BC's high costs will not only affect locals, it will hurt the tourist industry, large. There are always a few "must do" things in BC but we'll be topping up the fuel tank in AB and not bringing back half a tank, packing lunches, staying with friend/family when possible, generally spending far less.

Anyone who thinks the so-called "savings" will be passed onto consumers needs a reality check. In this economic climate, small business especially will be looking at any extra revenue they can grab. Can't blame them...

Macfury
Jun 12th, 2010, 11:52 AM
It reminds me of the hit people felt when that idiot Trudeau pushed us onto the metric system. Any small gouge that could be passed onto the consumer, for food, fuel or milk was cheerfully added despite promises that no such thing would happen,

hayesk
Jun 12th, 2010, 01:20 PM
It reminds me of the hit people felt when that idiot Trudeau pushed us onto the metric system. Any small gouge that could be passed onto the consumer, for food, fuel or milk was cheerfully added despite promises that no such thing would happen,

But yet, here we all are years later, using the far superior metric system just fine.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 12th, 2010, 01:27 PM
They certainly could have avoided a lot of this if they'd lowered the provincial component of the HST, or exempted things that weren't taxed under PST. Because it certainly does look like a big tax grab the way they've implemented it.

This is what baffles me, I don't like Campbell, but I didn't think he was quite so dumb as he's proven himself to be. I can't put it down to anything other than arrogance and being completely out of touch.

If the provincial component had been lowered, their revenue from it would have remained on par because of the increased revenue from the HST applying to services and restaurants. They could have sold this to people. Even if they'd backed down to this position when it was clear the opposition to the HST was only going to get worse, it may have possibly worked. But at this point, even if Campbell reversed course and announced that the HST is cancelled, I don't think he and his party would escape the political fallout.

Macfury
Jun 12th, 2010, 01:42 PM
But yet, here we all are years later, using the far superior metric system just fine.

It isn't superior and it led to an increase in prices.

SINC
Jun 12th, 2010, 01:45 PM
If it is so superior, why do grocery stores still see meat by the pound as a first preference? And why is lumber still largely sold as 2 x 4s and things built on 16 inch centres? And why do cars refer to miles per gallon, not that stupid litres per 100 bit? Superior my a

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 12th, 2010, 02:10 PM
If it is so superior, why do grocery stores still see meat by the pound as a first preference? And why is lumber still largely sold as 2 x 4s and things built on 16 inch centres? And why do cars refer to miles per gallon, not that stupid litres per 100 bit? Superior my a

Oy vey! Is there any retro-crank theme more tired than metric haters? Sheesh, start a thread.

screature
Jun 12th, 2010, 02:57 PM
If the Campbell-Harper HST goes ahead in BC, I will be reducing spending as much as possible and will be bringing business to Washington State where it will be tax-free for BC residents!

Why not just leave the GST and PST as is... so I know where my taxes are going to federal and provincial. It is clearly a tax grab and shift to consumers. I highly doubt that businesses will pass on their savings or hire more employees as a result of less red tape.

I was thinking that Campbell may have been good for BC, but not anymore.

Campbell-Harper HST?...

I think you need to read up on your history, the HST was implemented in the Atlantic provinces long before Harper's time. This is a Provincial decision cut and dry. The only thing that the Feds have to do with it is to "allow" it/facilitate it happening, i.e. implement the Provincial decision.

No matter how much the anti-HST campaigners try and and implicate the Feds on this this and make them complicit, it is the Provinces that make the decision. There is already a precedence of HST implementation in this country and if a Province chooses to go the HST route that is their right and the Feds will not stop it. There in no difference between it being facilitated for Ontario and BC from the manner in which it was facilitated for the Atlantic provinces.

Macfury
Jun 12th, 2010, 03:08 PM
Oy vey! Is there any retro-crank theme more tired than metric haters? Sheesh, start a thread.

Means nothing to roll-over-and-expose-belly lefties. Just ignore it.

SINC
Jun 12th, 2010, 03:30 PM
MF I asked a couple of qustions he could not answer, so instead, he attacked metric haters as a diversion. ;)

Dr.G.
Jun 12th, 2010, 03:56 PM
"I think you need to read up on your history, the HST was implemented in the Atlantic provinces long before Harper's time. This is a Provincial decision cut and dry. The only thing that the Feds have to do with is to "allow"/facilitate it happening, i.e. implement the Provincial decision." True, Screature. The problem here in NL is that we have come down from a 15% HST to a 13% HST, but only because the other three Atlantic Provinces did not prevent us from doing so.

screature
Jun 12th, 2010, 03:59 PM
"I think you need to read up on your history, the HST was implemented in the Atlantic provinces long before Harper's time. This is a Provincial decision cut and dry. The only thing that the Feds have to do with is to "allow"/facilitate it happening, i.e. implement the Provincial decision." True, Screature. The problem here in NL is that we have come down from a 15% HST to a 13% HST, but only because the other three Atlantic Provinces did not prevent us from doing so.

Dr. G. why is that a "problem" don't mean to be provocative, I just don't quite understand how what you describe is a problem.

Dr.G.
Jun 12th, 2010, 04:09 PM
Dr. G. why is that a "problem" don't mean to be provocative, I just don't quite understand how what you describe is a problem.

It's a problem that if we wanted to bring down the HST to 10% and two of the three other Atlantic Provinces did not agree, we could not do it. Thus, any Atlantic Province needs 75% support for any reduction in the HST. You can raise it as high as you want without any voting on this sort of change.

bsenka
Jun 12th, 2010, 04:16 PM
It reminds me of the hit people felt when that idiot Trudeau pushed us onto the metric system. Any small gouge that could be passed onto the consumer, for food, fuel or milk was cheerfully added despite promises that no such thing would happen,

Metric was the one really good thing that Trudeau did. Change for the sake of change is not a good thing, but sometimes truly great things for the better of everyone require upheaval.

If it is so superior, why do grocery stores still see meat by the pound as a first preference? And why is lumber still largely sold as 2 x 4s and things built on 16 inch centres? And why do cars refer to miles per gallon, not that stupid litres per 100 bit? Superior my a

For the most part, they don't. I certainly never see pounds, gallons, or miles being used anywhere. What little non-metric we do see is because Americans haven't caught up to the rest of the world.

Opposition to metric is possibly the most curmudgeonly thing I've ever heard of. Do you guys start your day shaking your fist and yelling, "hey you kids, get off of my lawn" too?

Macfury
Jun 12th, 2010, 04:16 PM
MF I asked a couple of qustions he could not answer, so instead, he attacked metric haters as a diversion. ;)

It was ever thus, SINC.

Dr.G.
Jun 12th, 2010, 04:37 PM
It was ever thus, SINC.

I think that it should be "'Twas ever thus." (Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night") Best not to misquote The Bard. Paix, mon ami.

Macfury
Jun 12th, 2010, 05:23 PM
I think that it should be "'Twas ever thus." (Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night") Best not to misquote The Bard. Paix, mon ami.

The Bard was just using common English of the day, Dr. G. I would credit Shakespeare if I were using his words specifically!

screature
Jun 12th, 2010, 05:28 PM
It's a problem that if we wanted to bring down the HST to 10% and two of the three other Atlantic Provinces did not agree, we could not do it. Thus, any Atlantic Province needs 75% support for any reduction in the HST. You can raise it as high as you want without any voting on this sort of change.

I figured as much but I really don't see this as a problem. Obviously at the time of signing these were the terms that were agreed upon by all the provinces. I think the reasons are somewhat apparent and reasonable.

The Atlantic provinces are very small geographically and share borders (with the exception of NL with whom the borders are Maritime and not land based). So if one province wanted to dramatically reduce their taxes because they were experiencing an economic boom in another area (say oil for example) and that meant they could still generate enough revenues to compensate for a reduction in taxes that would place them at an unfair economic advantage from a taxation perspective.

I think that being in NL you are in a far better position to allow for NL to reduce their taxes than any of the other provinces because your borders are only Maritime rather than land based. To go to NL to conduct business from the other provinces requires not an insignificant amount of time and expense. Whereas in the other provinces you simply hop in the car and cross the border (PEI being a little different again because of the cost to use the bridge or the ferry (but still significantly less than going to NL).

So a 3/4 agreement on the taxation reduction makes sense to me and the other 3 Atlantic provinces would be least threatened by a taxation reduction in NL... That is why I don't see it as a problem particularly because you live in NL. IMHO at any rate. :)

Dr.G.
Jun 12th, 2010, 08:09 PM
I figured as much but I really don't see this as a problem. Obviously at the time of signing these were the terms that were agreed upon by all the provinces. I think the reasons are somewhat apparent and reasonable.

The Atlantic provinces are very small geographically and share borders (with the exception of NL with whom the borders are Maritime and not land based). So if one province wanted to dramatically reduce their taxes because they were experiencing an economic boom in another area (say oil for example) and that meant they could still generate enough revenues to compensate for a reduction in taxes that would place them at an unfair economic advantage from a taxation perspective.

I think that being in NL you are in a far better position to allow for NL to reduce their taxes than any of the other provinces because your borders are only Maritime rather than land based. To go to NL to conduct business from the other provinces requires not an insignificant amount of time and expense. Whereas in the other provinces you simply hop in the car and cross the border (PEI being a little different again because of the cost to use the bridge or the ferry (but still significantly less than going to NL).

So a 3/4 agreement on the taxation reduction makes sense to me and the other 3 Atlantic provinces would be least threatened by a taxation reduction in NL... That is why I don't see it as a problem particularly because you live in NL. IMHO at any rate. :)

True. Few people come to NL to do shopping. It costs far too much to get here. :(

Lichen Software
Jun 12th, 2010, 09:00 PM
Well almost nobody

Macfury
Jun 12th, 2010, 09:01 PM
If you're excited to run with the crowd, Lichen, the metric system is for you. If you like being told when to adopt it, be happy.

Lichen Software
Jun 12th, 2010, 09:04 PM
If you're excited to run with the crowd, Lichen, the metric system is for you. If you like being told when to adopt it, be happy.

I gotta quit feeding the trolls.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 12th, 2010, 09:05 PM
No matter how much the anti-HST campaigners try and and implicate the Feds on this this and make them complicit, it is the Provinces that make the decision.

There was no desire by the BC government to bring in the HST before Harper called them up and told them he had a cheque for 1.6 Billion dollars waiting for them if they would agree to sign on. For Campbell who was faced with a nasty post-Olympic party deficit, this was manna from heaven and he did an abrupt about face from his publicly stated position, from only a few weeks before, of not considering the HST.

I don't know if Harper offered the same deal to Ontario, nor do I really understand what Harper's interest is in offering such a massive bonus to get the province to sign on, but to say that the Feds aren't complicit in this is not really true.

BigDL
Jun 12th, 2010, 10:05 PM
"I think you need to read up on your history, the HST was implemented in the Atlantic provinces long before Harper's time. This is a Provincial decision cut and dry. The only thing that the Feds have to do with is to "allow"/facilitate it happening, i.e. implement the Provincial decision." True, Screature. The problem here in NL is that we have come down from a 15% HST to a 13% HST, but only because the other three Atlantic Provinces did not prevent us from doing so.The HST "In God's Country" is only in the Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. PEI has GST and PST. PE Islanders have never had HST. see here Tax and Land Information Website: Revenue Tax (PST) (http://www.taxandland.pe.ca/index.php3?number=76948) With a tax on tax situation the HST was a welcome relief in the other three Atlantic Provinces.

It's a problem that if we wanted to bring down the HST to 10% and two of the three other Atlantic Provinces did not agree, we could not do it. Thus, any Atlantic Province needs 75% support for any reduction in the HST. You can raise it as high as you want without any voting on this sort of change. I do not understand why NL couldn't change the HST. HST is being changed in NS. The HST rate shall be raised in NS without your or my concurrence see here2% increase in Provincial portion of HST July 1, 2010 (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/04/06/ns-budget.html)

I figured as much but I really don't see this as a problem. Obviously at the time of signing these were the terms that were agreed upon by all the provinces. I think the reasons are somewhat apparent and reasonable.

The Atlantic provinces are very small geographically and share borders (with the exception of NL with whom the borders are Maritime and not land based). So if one province wanted to dramatically reduce their taxes because they were experiencing an economic boom in another area (say oil for example) and that meant they could still generate enough revenues to compensate for a reduction in taxes that would place them at an unfair economic advantage from a taxation perspective.

I think that being in NL you are in a far better position to allow for NL to reduce their taxes than any of the other provinces because your borders are only Maritime rather than land based. To go to NL to conduct business from the other provinces requires not an insignificant amount of time and expense. Whereas in the other provinces you simply hop in the car and cross the border (PEI being a little different again because of the cost to use the bridge or the ferry (but still significantly less than going to NL).

So a 3/4 agreement on the taxation reduction makes sense to me and the other 3 Atlantic provinces would be least threatened by a taxation reduction in NL... That is why I don't see it as a problem particularly because you live in NL. IMHO at any rate. :)Regardless of size the NB Liberals were toying with the idea of raising the HST like NS but with the NB Power fiasco and a pending election in September the Graham Government backed off.

Perhaps more investigation into the level of Provincial autonomy with regarding to rights to establish and change the HST and if Federally anyone has any control might be interesting.

Dr.G.
Jun 12th, 2010, 10:27 PM
BigDL, any province in the Atlantic Provinces can raise the HST, but lowering it requires acceptance by a majority of the four Atlantic Provinces. We don't pose a trade threat to any other Atlantic province, so they let us cut it from 15% to 14% and then down to 13%. Our government has also lowered the provincial income tax rate. As a have province, we don't receive federal transfers anymore, and have to stand on our own two feet as an equal partner in Canadian Confederation. Paix, mon ami.

mrjimmy
Jun 12th, 2010, 11:37 PM
Well almost nobody

It still ain't right I tells ya!

Kazak
Jun 13th, 2010, 03:22 AM
Ah, that mrjimmy. Give him 2.54 cm, and he'll take 1.61 km.

mrjimmy
Jun 13th, 2010, 06:34 AM
Ah, that mrjimmy. Give him 2.54 cm, and he'll take 1.61 km.

Welcome to Instant Rimshot (http://instantrimshot.com/)

chas_m
Jun 13th, 2010, 07:11 AM
For the most part, they don't. I certainly never see pounds, gallons, or miles being used anywhere. What little non-metric we do see is because Americans haven't caught up to the rest of the world.

Here in Victoria BC, we don't use miles/gallon for cars (since it would mean little to people here). Being a tourist town, we DO have signs that remind tourists that 80KM/hr = 55MPH, and yes I can order meat by either kilos or pounds (but not any other deli food; they're all on kilograms).

Alberta has been described to me many times (by Canadians of all walks) as "another planet." Perhaps the author of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" could be persuaded to write a sequel called "Is There Something in the Water in Alberta?" :)

eMacMan
Jun 13th, 2010, 10:12 AM
Though out Alberta we see all sorts of livestock and sadly feed lots. Because of that Albertans are able to recognize BS when they smell it and are more than willing to come right and say that's BS.:D

MLeh
Jun 13th, 2010, 10:23 AM
Here in Victoria BC, we don't use miles/gallon for cars (since it would mean little to people here). Being a tourist town, we DO have signs that remind tourists that 80KM/hr = 55MPH, and yes I can order meat by either kilos or pounds (but not any other deli food; they're all on kilograms).

Alberta has been described to me many times (by Canadians of all walks) as "another planet." Perhaps the author of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" could be persuaded to write a sequel called "Is There Something in the Water in Alberta?" :)

In Alberta 80km/hr = 50 MPH (not 55), but that doesn't matter because they're all driving 120.

As an Albertan born and bred, living in BC, I try to appreciate the good qualities of both places. The hardiness of the population and the work ethic in Alberta is something to behold. People are regularly working when everyone else is still abed. A lot of the reason for the 'Alberta advantage' is that Albertans aren't afraid to work and take responsibility for themselves. (This applies to most prairie folk.) Westcoasters are 'soft' in comparison. A good winter freeze would kill ya'll off.

SINC
Jun 13th, 2010, 10:39 AM
Here in Victoria BC, we don't use miles/gallon for cars (since it would mean little to people here). Being a tourist town, we DO have signs that remind tourists that 80KM/hr = 55MPH, and yes I can order meat by either kilos or pounds (but not any other deli food; they're all on kilograms).

Alberta has been described to me many times (by Canadians of all walks) as "another planet." Perhaps the author of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" could be persuaded to write a sequel called "Is There Something in the Water in Alberta?" :)

Why do they post erroneous traffic signs in Victoria chas_m?

90KM/hr = 55 MPH is how we post it in Alberta.

(80KPH = about 49 MPH and 90 KPH = about 56 MPH to be more precise.)

But then again, your water must have something in it that impairs math skills. ;)

screature
Jun 13th, 2010, 10:45 AM
There was no desire by the BC government to bring in the HST before Harper called them up and told them he had a cheque for 1.6 Billion dollars waiting for them if they would agree to sign on. For Campbell who was faced with a nasty post-Olympic party deficit, this was manna from heaven and he did an abrupt about face from his publicly stated position, from only a few weeks before, of not considering the HST.

I don't know if Harper offered the same deal to Ontario, nor do I really understand what Harper's interest is in offering such a massive bonus to get the province to sign on, but to say that the Feds aren't complicit in this is not really true.

Care to back that up with some evidence? Not talking about the money, this was part of the deal in the Atlantic Provinces as well, it set the precedent. Just the "There was no desire by the BC government to bring in the HST before Harper called them up", part.

groovetube
Jun 13th, 2010, 10:49 AM
actually Harper offered Ontario more billions to implement HST. It's well known here that Flaherty was pushing the idea enthusiastically. But both Harper and flaherty knew it'd be the liberals provincially that would bear the brunt of all backlash.

screature
Jun 13th, 2010, 10:57 AM
actually Harper offered Ontario more billions to implement HST. It's well known here that Flaherty was pushing the idea enthusiastically. But both Harper and flaherty knew it'd be the liberals provincially that would bear the brunt of all backlash.

The precedent was set with the Atlantic provinces. Once they received money at the time of the system change, every other province would have to be made similar offers, obviously dependant upon the size of their economies and populations.

groovetube
Jun 13th, 2010, 11:42 AM
oh. flaherty begrudgingly had to give the liberals billions and billions to allow them to implement the hated HST.


Damn liberals.
;)

Sonal
Jun 13th, 2010, 11:51 AM
Alberta has been described to me many times (by Canadians of all walks) as "another planet." Perhaps the author of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" could be persuaded to write a sequel called "Is There Something in the Water in Alberta?" :)

The best description I've heard for Albertan (well, as good as I can judge from way over here in the centre of the Universe) is that Alberta is Canada's Texas.

groovetube
Jun 13th, 2010, 12:10 PM
The best description I've heard for Albertan (well, as good as I can judge from way over here in the centre of the Universe) is that Alberta is Canada's Texas.

yep.

FeXL
Jun 13th, 2010, 01:54 PM
Not even close. We got more land AND more oil...

Macfury
Jun 13th, 2010, 02:00 PM
Not even close. We got more land AND more oil...

I'm always grateful for Alberta. Without its conservative influence, Ontario would be in the same economic hell as California or New York State.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 13th, 2010, 02:21 PM
Care to back that up with some evidence? Not talking about the money, this was part of the deal in the Atlantic Provinces as well, it set the precedent. Just the "There was no desire by the BC government to bring in the HST before Harper called them up", part.

When Campbell was specifically asked, just weeks prior to the last election, by his his supporters in the restaurant and construction industries, groups that were even paying for TV ads to support his campaign, whether there were plans to go to an HST, he very clearly said no and gave reasons why it would be a bad idea.

Then mere days after the election, Campbell announces the HST and the Harper government incentives of 1.6 Billion. The free market groups that were Campbell's most vociferous supporters screamed loudly at the huge knife that had been thrust into their backs and this accounts for the majority of Campbell's freefall in public opinion. Both left and right are against this tax, for somewhat differing reasons.

It subsequently became known that at the same time prior to the election when Campbell was declaring he was against the HST, he had senior staff in Ottawa negotiating the level of the incentive. Ontario had already struck their deal for over 4 billion dollars and BC wanted their goodies to be calculated using the same formula.

I can Google up all of this for you, but I'm in a hurry right now. It's well known in BC and has been all over the media.

Now as far as the current Harper spin, that you appear to be helping them out with, that their government is only reluctantly paying out funds to provinces who want to jump on board with the HST, this is nonsense on the face of it. Given current budgetary problems, where is Harper finding all these multiple billions that are being offered to provinces? And given those problems why would his government not be fighting tooth and nail to avoid having to pay this out.

But besides that, prior to last summer, when both the Campbell and Harper governments started to realize that this issue was not about to blow away, Flaherty was running around making speeches encouraging all provinces to get on board the HST train and talking directly about the booty awaiting them to sign on. Harper doesn't want any of manure that is hitting this particular fan to splash on him so now the revised line is that they are merely responding to what the provinces want and reluctantly paying out many billions.

I happen to have a couple of links bookmarked and handy on that:
Tory MPs blame provinces for tax harmonization - CTV News (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090820/tory_tax_090820/20090820?hub=QPeriod)

Summerside The Journal Pioneer: News | Feds still pressuring Province to sign on to HST (http://www.journalpioneer.com/index.cfm?sid=276372&sc=118)

groovetube
Jun 13th, 2010, 03:43 PM
I'm always grateful for Alberta. Without its conservative influence, Ontario would be in the same economic hell as California or New York State.

except we didn't have a president (prime minister) who spent like a drunken sailor up to the economic crash.

Can you imagine if we had a government like gw bush during the same period?

Macfury
Jun 13th, 2010, 04:13 PM
except we didn't have a president (prime minister) who spent like a drunken sailor up to the economic crash.

Can you imagine if we had a government like gw bush during the same period?

The U.S. states are bankrupt on their own.

screature
Jun 13th, 2010, 05:42 PM
When Campbell was specifically asked, just weeks prior to the last election, by his his supporters in the restaurant and construction industries, groups that were even paying for TV ads to support his campaign, whether there were plans to go to an HST, he very clearly said no and gave reasons why it would be a bad idea.

So Campbell lied...

Then mere days after the election, Campbell announces the HST and the Harper government incentives of 1.6 Billion. The free market groups that were Campbell's most vociferous supporters screamed loudly at the huge knife that had been thrust into their backs and this accounts for the majority of Campbell's freefall in public opinion. Both left and right are against this tax, for somewhat differing reasons.

So Campbell lied...

It subsequently became known that at the same time prior to the election when Campbell was declaring he was against the HST, he had senior staff in Ottawa negotiating the level of the incentive. Ontario had already struck their deal for over 4 billion dollars and BC wanted their goodies to be calculated using the same formula.

So Campbell lied...

Now as far as the current Harper spin, that you appear to be helping them out with, that their government is only reluctantly paying out funds to provinces who want to jump on board with the HST, this is nonsense on the face of it. Given current budgetary problems, where is Harper finding all these multiple billions that are being offered to provinces? And given those problems why would his government not be fighting tooth and nail to avoid having to pay this out.

As I have said before, a precedent had been set with the Atlantic Provinces in 1997 when they were paid $1 billion to switch to the HST. The Government had to offer a similar sum relative to the size of the economy and population.

But besides that, prior to last summer, when both the Campbell and Harper governments started to realize that this issue was not about to blow away, Flaherty was running around making speeches encouraging all provinces to get on board the HST train and talking directly about the booty awaiting them to sign on. Harper doesn't want any of manure that is hitting this particular fan to splash on him so now the revised line is that they are merely responding to what the provinces want and reluctantly paying out many billions.

Doesn't prove or even imply that Harper made any call to Campell suggesting the idea of the HST for BC. So what if Flaherty and Harper think the HST is a good idea (there is plenty of evidence to indicate that it has been good for the Atlantic provinces BTW) it is still the sole decision of the province to make it happen, if they didn't think it was a good idea, they could have said no thanks.

I may tell you it is a good idea to jump of a cliff but if you agree to do it (even if I offer you $1.3 billion to do it) you still have no one to blame but yourself for the risk and consequences if you decide to go ahead and do it.

In 1997, three Atlantic provinces (Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) harmonized their PSTs with the federal GST. Professor Michael Smart of the University of Toronto examined the effects of harmonization in Atlantic Canada and found that consumer prices in the harmonizing provinces fell after the 1997 reforms.

Not only will prices decrease, but the costs to businesses of investing in machinery, equipment and technology (computers and software) will also be reduced.

Since the PST applies to business inputs, including much of the machinery, equipment and technology firms buy, it impedes business investment.

Under the HST, lower taxes on investments will spark more business investment and development. This will ultimately make B.C. workers more productive, drive up their wages and improve employment opportunities.

Here again, past experience with sales tax harmonization in Canada is telling. Smart found that per-person investment rose by more than 11% in the harmonized provinces compared with the non-harmonized provinces after the 1997 reforms in Atlantic Canada.

In addition, professor Jack Mintz of the University of Calgary has estimated that harmonization in B.C. will account for an $11.5 billion increase in capital investment and a net increase of 113,000 jobs over 10 years.

British Columbians would do well to ignore the anti-HST rhetoric. The HST will improve the investment climate in the province, which will ultimately benefit British Columbians through higher rates of economic growth, more opportunities and a higher standard of living.

Better off with the HST (http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/communityofinterest/archive/2010/06/10/better-off-with-the-hst.aspx)

groovetube
Jun 13th, 2010, 05:48 PM
The U.S. states are bankrupt on their own.

backup a little. you mentioned Alberta's conservative influence on Ontario. If only at a provincial (or state) level, how does this play out exactly?

eMacMan
Jun 13th, 2010, 07:57 PM
The best description I've heard for Albertan (well, as good as I can judge from way over here in the centre of the Universe) is that Alberta is Canada's Texas.

Not even close. We got more land AND more oil...

And a lot fewer Texans, praise da Lard.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 13th, 2010, 09:11 PM
Care to back that up with some evidence? Not talking about the money, this was part of the deal in the Atlantic Provinces as well, it set the precedent. Just the "There was no desire by the BC government to bring in the HST before Harper called them up", part.
So Campbell lied...

So Campbell lied...

So Campbell lied...
I was only trying to point out that the BC government had a desire to bring in the HST and yes Campbell most certainly lied.
Doesn't prove or even imply that Harper made any call to Campell suggesting the idea of the HST for BC. So what if Flaherty and Harper think the HST is a good idea (there is plenty of evidence to indicate that it has been good for the Atlantic provinces BTW) it is still the sole decision of the province to make it happen, if they didn't think it was a good idea, they could have said no thanks.

I may tell you it is a good idea to jump of a cliff but if you agree to do it (even if I offer you $1.3 billion to do it) you still have no one to blame but yourself for the risk and consequences if you decide to go ahead and do it.

Now you're splitting hairs. Flaherty was travelling around giving speeches about what a fantastic idea the HST is. He was actively encouraging provinces to join and talking about the incentives they would get to join on. And the idea that the incentives are some sort of fixed formula that the Feds with tied hands have to pay out is belied by the reported negotiations on the terms and amounts of the incentives. And after Ontario and BC signed on he made further public entreaties for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and PEI to opt in.

According to the CTV story I posted earlier: "Tax harmonization was initiated by Ontario alone and was not a decision made by the federal government in any way," [Ontario Conservative MP Larry] Miller wrote in an opinion piece published Aug. 11 in the Owen Sound Sun Times.

That wasn't what happened in Ontario, according to senior provincial sources familiar with the deal.

Flaherty has "aggressively pursued" tax harmonization for the last year, but his original offer of financial help was far less than the $4.3 billion he finally agreed to provide the province, they said.

In fact, negotiations stalled at one point because Flaherty wasn't offering the province enough to take the plunge, they added.

"The federal Conservatives and Minister Flaherty have been advocates for this going back well over a year, [date of this story is Aug. 2009] and have in fact cut the cheques to make it happen," said one senior source.

Tory MPs blame provinces for tax harmonization - CTV News (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090820/tory_tax_090820/20090820?hub=QPeriod)

If Harper tells BC to jump off a cliff, offers our Premier an incentive of $1.6 Billion to do so and at the same time runs around telling everyone who will listen what a fantastic idea cliff-jumping is, well yes, technically it's was the Premier's bad judgement to follow that advice. But for you and Harper to now try and say, "Sorry folks, the HST has nothing to do with us, strictly a provincial affair, nothing to see here." is simply nothing more than quite transparent political ass-covering.

None of these guys, Campbell, McGuinty, Flaherty or Harper expected the sustained political blowback that is occurring and all Harper is trying to do now is to make sure that none of the manure falls anywhere near him. If the HST is still such a fantastic idea, then why isn't Flaherty still travelling around stumping for the tax?

And I'm not even conceptually against the HST, just against the way it's being rolled out here as a method to save significant expenses for large corporations while forcing individuals to make up that difference. It's just another transfer from big business to citizens.

screature
Jun 13th, 2010, 10:35 PM
I was only trying to point out that the BC government had a desire to bring in the HST and yes Campbell most certainly lied.


Now you're splitting hairs. Flaherty was travelling around giving speeches about what a fantastic idea the HST is. He was actively encouraging provinces to join and talking about the incentives they would get to join on. And the idea that the incentives are some sort of fixed formula that the Feds with tied hands have to pay out is belied by the reported negotiations on the terms and amounts of the incentives. And after Ontario and BC signed on he made further public entreaties for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and PEI to opt in.

According to the CTV story I posted earlier:

If Harper tells BC to jump off a cliff, offers our Premier an incentive of $1.6 Billion to do so and at the same time runs around telling everyone who will listen what a fantastic idea cliff-jumping is, well yes, technically it's was the Premier's bad judgement to follow that advice. But for you and Harper to now try and say, "Sorry folks, the HST has nothing to do with us, strictly a provincial affair, nothing to see here." is simply nothing more than quite transparent political ass-covering.

None of these guys, Campbell, McGuinty, Flaherty or Harper expected the sustained political blowback that is occurring and all Harper is trying to do now is to make sure that none of the manure falls anywhere near him. If the HST is still such a fantastic idea, then why isn't Flaherty still travelling around stumping for the tax?

And I'm not even conceptually against the HST, just against the way it's being rolled out here as a method to save significant expenses for large corporations while forcing individuals to make up that difference. It's just another transfer from big business to citizens.

You clearly take no solace in facts. ;)

Bad conservatives. They tell provinces of their alternatives, even promote it because history shows it can be good thing, but when there is political fallout out because of a provinces decision to come on board, despite the general electorates ignorance, the Feds are supposed to accept the political "blame" when they had nothing to do with the decision making. Bad, bad, conservatives. :rolleyes:

Geesh if only the provinces had as much say in matters such as say in decisions like... oh, I don't know official bilingualism, something that has cost the country, let alone individual provinces much more than any implementation of the HST ever will. At least the provinces have the final say in the matter. Time to gain a little perspective as to where to attribute blame and responsibility. :rolleyes:

I understand this doesn't sit well with your political proclivities, but if one is being reasonable one cannot attribute blame to the Feds for BC and Ontario deciding to implement the HST. If you do fine, that is your point of view and we are done because at a most basic level I cannot accept that anyone else is responsible for anther's actions.

groovetube
Jun 13th, 2010, 10:43 PM
I was only trying to point out that the BC government had a desire to bring in the HST and yes Campbell most certainly lied.


Now you're splitting hairs. Flaherty was travelling around giving speeches about what a fantastic idea the HST is. He was actively encouraging provinces to join and talking about the incentives they would get to join on. And the idea that the incentives are some sort of fixed formula that the Feds with tied hands have to pay out is belied by the reported negotiations on the terms and amounts of the incentives. And after Ontario and BC signed on he made further public entreaties for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and PEI to opt in.

According to the CTV story I posted earlier:

If Harper tells BC to jump off a cliff, offers our Premier an incentive of $1.6 Billion to do so and at the same time runs around telling everyone who will listen what a fantastic idea cliff-jumping is, well yes, technically it's was the Premier's bad judgement to follow that advice. But for you and Harper to now try and say, "Sorry folks, the HST has nothing to do with us, strictly a provincial affair, nothing to see here." is simply nothing more than quite transparent political ass-covering.

None of these guys, Campbell, McGuinty, Flaherty or Harper expected the sustained political blowback that is occurring and all Harper is trying to do now is to make sure that none of the manure falls anywhere near him. If the HST is still such a fantastic idea, then why isn't Flaherty still travelling around stumping for the tax?

And I'm not even conceptually against the HST, just against the way it's being rolled out here as a method to save significant expenses for large corporations while forcing individuals to make up that difference. It's just another transfer from big business to citizens.

I suppose the bolded just is too difficult to comprehend. Ultimately, the final blame lies with the premier, but to think the feds don't have their share is simply ridiculous.

screature
Jun 13th, 2010, 11:08 PM
I suppose the bolded just is too difficult to comprehend. Ultimately, the final blame lies with the premier, but to think the feds don't have their share is simply ridiculous.

Comprehension in this arena isn't your strong suit gt stick to the things you know mmmkay, ;) :eek:
I might think you would be inclined to interpret this post as condescending. I know I would. :D

Lichen Software
Jun 13th, 2010, 11:15 PM
The idea of having one central collection agency instead of duplicated burocracy is a good idea. This cuts costs for both the governments involved and the the businesses involved. The costs are substantial for a large company.

The idea of allowing businesses being able to claim their inputs for both is also a good idea. With PST there are only some things that can be claimed as inputs. It is going to be the net tax that is collected. No more double taxation of business.

Both of these things will make Canadian business more competative and in the medium run give us a stronger economy. In light of this, why wouldn't Flaherty and Harper go across the county selling it. National economy is their job and by comparison to other nations, they appear to be fairly good at it.

What sucks is the implimentation by both BC and Ontario. They are collecting taxes on more goods and services but are not dropping their rate. I can't say what the rational is in BC, but in Ontario the claim is that it will be revenue neutral with lower income groups getting rebates to help out. Nice, maybe, if true, but I just do not trust McGuinty. I think the same "trust" is going on in BC. It is being seen as a money grab. Perhaps real - Perhaps bad optics.

As posted previously, the experience in other jurisdictions is cheaper product and more investment.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 14th, 2010, 12:29 AM
You clearly take no solace in facts. ;)

The fact is that the HST is a policy that Harper and company have both promoted and worked to have implemented. Their claim about having "nothing to do with it" is bogus. And now the fact is that the change in their public support of the policy has only come since it became clear there was a huge political fallout associated with it, a lot of that fallout coming from their own right of centre. I'm not "blaming" them, I'm pointing out that a policy that they were instrumental in implementing has now run afoul of the public. However I am pointing out that they are spinning a different tune than they were a year ago.

If the HST is such a worthwhile policy then Harper shouldn't be letting Campbell twist in the wind all by his lonesome, he should be fighting alongside his friend. The Cons are backing away from support of the HST for political reasons alone. But clearly they take no solace in integrity.

I'm certainly blaming Campbell for his lies and arrogance in this, but again, to pretend that the Cons had nothing whatsoever to do with this is nothing but plainly obvious damage control.

HST is a good idea in and of itself.

The idea of having one central collection agency instead of duplicated burocracy is a good idea. This cuts costs for both the governments involved and the the businesses involved. The costs are substantial for a large company.

The idea of allowing businesses being able to claim their inputs for both is also a good idea. With PST there are only some things that can be claimed as inputs. It is going to be the net tax that is collected. No more double taxation of business.

Both of these things will make Canadian business more competative and in the medium run give us a stronger economy. In light of this, why wouldn't Flaherty and Harper go across the county selling it. National economy is their job and by comparison to other nations, they appear to be fairly good at it.

I agree, although the stronger economy bit is certainly not a slam dunk. The rosy studies of the effects put forward by the business lobbies and the governments are not the only studies on the issue. We've seen others here in BC that predict little or no overall positive economic effects. The assumption here is that businesses will always pass on every saving to the customer and that is not necessarily true. Maybe in areas where they are in tooth and nail competition, but that certainly doesn't cover everything. Your accountant who charges you $X + GST will now charge you the same $X + HST as will many other services. Any input tax credits he can now claim will allow him to buy himself more beer on the weekend.

What sucks is the implimentation by both BC and Ontario. They are collecting taxes on more goods and services but are not dropping their rate. I can't say what the rational is in BC, but in Ontario the claim is that it will be revenue neutral with lower income groups getting rebates to help out. Nice, maybe, if true, but I just do not trust McGuinty. I think the same "trust" is going on in BC. It is being seen as a money grab. Perhaps real - Perhaps bad optics.

This is my main beef with it. The BC Green proposal to drop the overall HST rate by a point or two, so that the total sales tax burden by individuals doesn't rise from what it is now made sense to me. The HST is a reduction of costs to businesses. For my small business the savings are minor, but for larger businesses the savings may well be substantial. If the government wants to make a cut to taxes paid by business, fine, but don't then take that out of everyone else's pocket.

I don't know about Ontario, but the only time I ever heard the Greens proposal brought up as a question to the BC government, the answer to why they couldn't possibly do it this way was, "Our agreement with the Feds doesn't allow us to reduce our portion of the HST." I have no idea if that is truth or not, but it certainly helped them weasel out of answering.

I think if the BC government had proposed something along those lines, assuring people that their total sales tax bill wasn't going to rise on average, they could have sold this thing. Now it appears that they have cut their own throats.

groovetube
Jun 14th, 2010, 08:26 AM
Comprehension in this arena isn't your strong suit gt stick to the things you know mmmkay, ;) :eek:
I might think you would be inclined to interpret this post as condescending. I know I would. :D

likewise. When someone posts something so clearly, and you ignore it, it's funny to hear a lecture about comprehension afterwards.

screature
Jun 14th, 2010, 10:13 AM
The fact is that the HST is a policy that Harper and company have both promoted and worked to have implemented. Their claim about having "nothing to do with it" is bogus. And now the fact is that the change in their public support of the policy has only come since it became clear there was a huge political fallout associated with it, a lot of that fallout coming from their own right of centre. I'm not "blaming" them, I'm pointing out that a policy that they were instrumental in implementing has now run afoul of the public. However I am pointing out that they are spinning a different tune than they were a year ago.

If the HST is such a worthwhile policy then Harper shouldn't be letting Campbell twist in the wind all by his lonesome, he should be fighting alongside his friend. The Cons are backing away from support of the HST for political reasons alone. But clearly they take no solace in integrity.

I'm certainly blaming Campbell for his lies and arrogance in this, but again, to pretend that the Cons had nothing whatsoever to do with this is nothing but plainly obvious damage control.



I agree, although the stronger economy bit is certainly not a slam dunk. The rosy studies of the effects put forward by the business lobbies and the governments are not the only studies on the issue. We've seen others here in BC that predict little or no overall positive economic effects. The assumption here is that businesses will always pass on every saving to the customer and that is not necessarily true. Maybe in areas where they are in tooth and nail competition, but that certainly doesn't cover everything. Your accountant who charges you $X + GST will now charge you the same $X + HST as will many other services. Any input tax credits he can now claim will allow him to buy himself more beer on the weekend.



This is my main beef with it. The BC Green proposal to drop the overall HST rate by a point or two, so that the total sales tax burden by individuals doesn't rise from what it is now made sense to me. The HST is a reduction of costs to businesses. For my small business the savings are minor, but for larger businesses the savings may well be substantial. If the government wants to make a cut to taxes paid by business, fine, but don't then take that out of everyone else's pocket.

I don't know about Ontario, but the only time I ever heard the Greens proposal brought up as a question to the BC government, the answer to why they couldn't possibly do it this way was, "Our agreement with the Feds doesn't allow us to reduce our portion of the HST." I have no idea if that is truth or not, but it certainly helped them weasel out of answering.

I think if the BC government had proposed something along those lines, assuring people that their total sales tax bill wasn't going to rise on average, they could have sold this thing. Now it appears that they have cut their own throats.

It isn't Harper's policy. The HST has been available as a taxation option for provinces since 1996. You can ramble on about what you do or don't like about it all you want blah, blah, blah. It doesn't change the fact that ultimately it is the Provincial Government's decision and they have to/should bear any political fallout for the decision. Period.

And no it not up to the Feds to politically back a decision made by a provincial government at all. They are big boys they should be capable of fighting their own fights.

screature
Jun 14th, 2010, 10:17 AM
likewise. When someone posts something so clearly, and you ignore it, it's funny to hear a lecture about comprehension afterwards.

My comprehension of the matter is just fine thank you very much. I ignored the portion that you bolded because it is irrelevant to the argument as to who bears the responsibility for the decision to to adopt the HST, it was pure deflection, seems you weren't quite up to grasping that.

groovetube
Jun 14th, 2010, 10:20 AM
My comprehension of the matter is just fine thank you very much. I ignored the portion that you bolded because it is irrelevant to the argument as to who bears the responsibility for the decision to to adopt the HST, it was pure deflection, seems you weren't quite up to grasping that.

The problem with you, is you can only see things as on, or off. No one is "blaming" the federal government solely. We are simply recognizing that they are a part of this whole HST scheme as much as the provincial governments implementing it.

Pretty simple.

screature
Jun 14th, 2010, 10:27 AM
Now you're splitting hairs. Flaherty was travelling around giving speeches about what a fantastic idea the HST is. He was actively encouraging provinces to join and talking about the incentives they would get to join on. And the idea that the incentives are some sort of fixed formula that the Feds with tied hands have to pay out is belied by the reported negotiations on the terms and amounts of the incentives. And after Ontario and BC signed on he made further public entreaties for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and PEI to opt in.



Just to add, I never said it was any sort of fixed formula, this is your interpretation of what I said, I said a precedent had been set in the Atlantic provinces for a similar payout that was relative to the size of the economy and population. Of course their is negotiation as to how much it will be. Whoever said that there wouldn't be.

screature
Jun 14th, 2010, 10:33 AM
The problem with you, is you can only see things as on, or off. No one is "blaming" the federal government solely. We are simply recognizing that they are a part of this whole HST scheme as much as the provincial governments implementing it.

Pretty simple.

The problem with you is you don't understand what is being said even if it is said a half dozen times in a half dozen ways. The point is the Feds have no blame to bear what-so-ever. The option for the provinces to adopt an HST regime has been there since 1996. The provinces and the provinces alone make the decision to adopt it or not. Period.

KC4
Jun 14th, 2010, 11:52 AM
The best description I've heard for Albertan (well, as good as I can judge from way over here in the centre of the Universe) is that Alberta is Canada's Texas.

yep.

I have nothing new of value to add to the HST part of the discussion, but having lived and worked in both Texas and Alberta, I want to address this comparison from my experiences.

Texas is actually slightly larger than Alberta in land area: 696,241 km2 vs. 642, 317 km2
(268,820 vs. 248,000 sq. mi for the Imperialists)

Texas also has a significantly higher population ~25M, while Alberta has less than 4 Million. Many of the residents of Texas are undocumented, and uncounted (I’ve seen it estimated as high as 10%) This undocumented population provides an important foundation in the workforce and economy of Texas. Without them, the economy would be in dire straits. It is a volatile situation for many reasons. Thankfully, this is not an issue in Alberta.

While Texas is one of the wealthier states, its taxpayers generally do not contribute towards equalization payments to other poorer States. Local poverty is also considerably more prevalent.

There is a common predominance of conservatism and a driven workforce. Whereas Alberta’s workforce seems to be uniformly driven, I noted in Texas, those most intensely driven (in some cases more driven than the average Albertan) were those working at the bottom and the top ends of the pay scale. The middle was large and soft, rife with high unemployment.

Both are famous for their oil history, both are experiencing a decline in production volumes, but the production of West Texas Intermediate crude has been on a seriously rapid decline for many years. Note that any offshore production is in Federal jurisdiction, not within or to the benefit of the individual shoring states. We all are too painfully aware of the dicey future of offshore drilling thanks to BP’s messy gutting of that part of the industry along with itself.

Texas produces around 1070K BOE (Barrel Oil Equivalent) a day, while Alberta produces over 2000K BOE/d. Both pale in comparison with Saudia Arabia at ~ 10,000K BOE/d.

Further significant disparities exist in health care, environmental, social, crime and racism issues.

No, Alberta is not Canada’s Texas and for that we all should be thankful.

eMacMan
Jun 14th, 2010, 11:55 AM
The problem with you is you don't understand what is being said even if it is said a half dozen times in a half dozen ways. The point is the Feds have no blame to bear what-so-ever. The option for the provinces to adopt an HST regime has been there since 1996. The provinces and the provinces alone make the decision to adopt it or not. Period.

Still they refused to sell their residents "Down de Ribber" until the feds threw in juicy Billion+ dollar incentives.

People need to learn that even when a politician seems to agree with their own philosophy, that particular politician is still a politician and therefore no more honest or reliable than the politicians you disagree with.

groovetube
Jun 14th, 2010, 12:40 PM
The problem with you is you don't understand what is being said even if it is said a half dozen times in a half dozen ways. The point is the Feds have no blame to bear what-so-ever. The option for the provinces to adopt an HST regime has been there since 1996. The provinces and the provinces alone make the decision to adopt it or not. Period.

the fact that our federal finance minister, actively supported, openly encouraged, and convinced the provinces it was a good idea by giving them billions and billions of dollars in incentives, passing legislation to clear the way, and you think they are completely blameless, and have nothing to do with it?

riiiiiiiiiight. Sorry but I'm just not that stupid.

screature
Jun 14th, 2010, 12:56 PM
the fact that our federal finance minister, actively supported, openly encouraged, and convinced the provinces it was a good idea by giving them billions and billions of dollars in incentives, passing legislation to clear the way, and you think they are completely blameless, and have nothing to do with it?

riiiiiiiiiight. Sorry but I'm just not that stupid.

Yes they are blameless. A gun was not held to anyone's head, they are following precedent cut and dry. The passing of the legislation is a mere technicality that was done in exactly the same way for the Atlantic provinces, the billions are also merely following a precedent as the Atlantic Provinces received $1billion dollars in 1997. You may not be stupid just not very well informed.

screature
Jun 14th, 2010, 12:57 PM
Still they refused to sell their residents "Down de Ribber" until the feds threw in juicy Billion+ dollar incentives.

People need to learn that even when a politician seems to agree with their own philosophy, that particular politician is still a politician and therefore no more honest or reliable than the politicians you disagree with.

The money was part of the deal for the Atlantic provinces in 1997, the precedent had been set. Nothing to see here.

groovetube
Jun 14th, 2010, 01:00 PM
yep. nothing to see here, move along. The fact that our finanance minister openly campaigned for it and said it was a great idea giving billions in incentives.

Nothing to see here. If your name is "Dougie" that is.Which apparently makes you more informed.
:lmao:

Max
Jun 14th, 2010, 03:34 PM
By and large, the tenor of this particular conversation reminds me of a typical session of Parliament - with cameras rolling, of course. A lot of grandstanding and speechifying. Not a lot of gulfs being bridged.

Sigh.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 14th, 2010, 04:17 PM
Yes they are blameless. A gun was not held to anyone's head, they are following precedent cut and dry. The passing of the legislation is a mere technicality that was done in exactly the same way for the Atlantic provinces, the billions are also merely following a precedent as the Atlantic Provinces received $1billion dollars in 1997. You may not be stupid just not very well informed.
The money was part of the deal for the Atlantic provinces in 1997, the precedent had been set. Nothing to see here.

$4.3 billion and $1.6 billion are mere technicalities? You know that when an avid partisan says "nothing to see here" there almost certainly is something to see here. I wonder if any journalists have managed to get back their FOI requests on just exactly was promised and said between the Feds and BC and Ontario. No doubt there is much that would be redacted.

I have to give you kudos screature, you're a terrier for the Conservatives and their spin on this issue, not giving ground on the slightest point. Stephen Harper should be paying you for such valiant service. :)

Let me try one more time and then I'm done. I didn't start this thread to talk about Harper, (or the metric system, or Alberta vs. Texas) but to discuss the unprecedented meltdown that Gordon Campbell has got himself into.

Did Harper and company campaign for the implementation of the HST? Yes.
Did they negotiate with Ontario and BC to get them to sign on and offer incentives? Yes.
Did Flaherty afterward make speeches encouraging Manitoba, SK and PEI to also jump on board with the HST? Yes.
Was it a policy of the Harper government that all provinces should join in on the HST? Yes.
Does the Harper government think the HST is a good idea? Yes.
Has the Harper government been quiet on the subject of the HST since the massive unpopularity of it became obvious, where previously they were promoting it vociferously? Yes.

Does the Harper government bear any responsibility for the the fact that the HST is coming to BC and Ontario? According to screature, No.

Believe what you want. Spin what you wish.

By and large, the tenor of this particular conversation reminds me of a typical session of Parliament - with cameras rolling, of course. A lot of grandstanding and speechifying. Not a lot of gulfs being bridged.

Sigh.

It kind of does doesn't it?

groovetube
Jun 14th, 2010, 04:23 PM
By and large, the tenor of this particular conversation reminds me of a typical session of Parliament - with cameras rolling, of course. A lot of grandstanding and speechifying. Not a lot of gulfs being bridged.

Sigh.

didn't really expect the gulfs to be bridged. But the hollering and guffaws is rather parliament like.

Max
Jun 14th, 2010, 05:25 PM
Which is why so little gets done. This last session set a new low in utter futility and inaction.

Macfury
Jun 14th, 2010, 06:50 PM
Which is why so little gets done. This last session set a new low in utter futility and inaction.

Good session, IMHO.

screature
Jun 14th, 2010, 06:50 PM
$4.3 billion and $1.6 billion are mere technicalities? You know that when an avid partisan says "nothing to see here" there almost certainly is something to see here. I wonder if any journalists have managed to get back their FOI requests on just exactly was promised and said between the Feds and BC and Ontario. No doubt there is much that would be redacted.

I have to give you kudos screature, you're a terrier for the Conservatives and their spin on this issue, not giving ground on the slightest point. Stephen Harper should be paying you for such valiant service. :)

Let me try one more time and then I'm done. I didn't start this thread to talk about Harper, (or the metric system, or Alberta vs. Texas) but to discuss the unprecedented meltdown that Gordon Campbell has got himself into.

Did Harper and company campaign for the implementation of the HST? Yes.
Did they negotiate with Ontario and BC to get them to sign on and offer incentives? Yes.
Did Flaherty afterward make speeches encouraging Manitoba, SK and PEI to also jump on board with the HST? Yes.
Was it a policy of the Harper government that all provinces should join in on the HST? Yes.
Does the Harper government think the HST is a good idea? Yes.
Has the Harper government been quiet on the subject of the HST since the massive unpopularity of it became obvious, where previously they were promoting it vociferously? Yes.

Does the Harper government bear any responsibility for the the fact that the HST is coming to BC and Ontario? According to screature, No.

Believe what you want. Spin what you wish.

It kind of does doesn't it?


That is the trouble with some people, they can't allow for the fact that some people are capable of looking at both sides of an equation, the spin and facts on both sides and formulate their own opinion. If when those people decide on a point of view that differs from their own they are called an avid partisan or a "terrier for the Conservatives" or some such. I could equally ascribe to you a number of partisan epithets, but wouldn't that demean your capability to come to your opinion based on your own free thought? I guess your ascribing that attribute to someone is limited only to those who share your perspective. :rolleyes:

Everything you say is true. So what? It doesn't in the least change who has the responsibility for making the decision to adopt the HST.

If I am a salesman and I am telling you product X is a great product and it is 75% off and you buy it and it then your wife complains about the money you spent and why did you buy that, what were you thinking, am I/the salesman at fault/have responsibility/worthy of blame because YOU bought it? Hardly!

groovetube
Jun 14th, 2010, 09:05 PM
so we have a couple people saying this hst thing should be credited to both governments, federal conservatives, and the provincial governments. And they be ascribed partisan 'epithets'?

lol. good luck with that. Since I dislike both the provincial liberals, -and- the federal conservatives probably about as much, give or take, the ascribing should be an interesting spectacle.

screature
Jun 14th, 2010, 10:00 PM
:yawn:

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 14th, 2010, 11:49 PM
Lekstrom a hometown hero after resignation - The Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/lekstrom-a-hometown-hero-after-resignation/article1602863/)

Former cabinet minister Blair Lekstrom may have seriously ruffled feathers within his own party, but his decision last Friday to leave Liberal ranks over implementation of the HST has made him a hero among the hometown folks of Dawson Creek.

“The response has been overwhelmingly in favour of Blair and his decision to step down,” local councillor Terry McFadyen said Sunday.

“I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t agree with what he did.”

Ninety-seven per cent of respondents in a small online poll by the Dawson Creek Daily News were in favour of Mr. Lekstrom’s resignation from his Energy Minister post and the Liberal caucus.
I don't think Lekstrom is a hero by any means. After all he did vote along with his party in the Legislature for the HST. But he's probably ensured that he will keep his $100K job as an MLA.

Macfury
Jun 15th, 2010, 12:32 AM
backup a little. you mentioned Alberta's conservative influence on Ontario. If only at a provincial (or state) level, how does this play out exactly?

On Canada. The feds have to kowtow to them to govern. In the U.S., it's winner take all on the federal level.

groovetube
Jun 15th, 2010, 09:31 AM
On Canada. The feds have to kowtow to them to govern. In the U.S., it's winner take all on the federal level.

I'm afraid that doesn't at all explain how the albertan conservatives have influenced ontario liberals.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 24th, 2010, 04:16 PM
Anti-HST forces reveal hit list of BC Liberals targeted for recall (http://www.vancouversun.com/Anti+forces+reveal+list+Liberals/3194460/story.html)

Organizers of an anti-HST petition published Wednesday a hit list of 24 Liberal MLAs they plan to target for recall in November if the government hasn't repealed the harmonized sales tax.

Led by Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater, the list includes those Liberals who represent ridings where at least 25 per cent of people signed the anti-HST petition. Comprising half the 48-member Liberal caucus, the list includes 10 cabinet ministers and Speaker Bill Barisoff.

screature
Jun 24th, 2010, 05:11 PM
Anti-HST forces reveal hit list of BC Liberals targeted for recall (http://www.vancouversun.com/Anti+forces+reveal+list+Liberals/3194460/story.html)

You go grl...!!! ;)

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 24th, 2010, 05:37 PM
You go grl...!!! ;)

In the case of BC Liberal MLA Ida Chong, they'll be yelling that from the streets, accompanied by flaming torches and pitchforks. ;)

screature
Jun 24th, 2010, 05:42 PM
In the case of BC Liberal MLA Ida Chong, they'll be yelling that from the streets, accompanied by flaming torches and pitchforks. ;)

Democracy in action... :lmao:

Vandave
Jun 24th, 2010, 07:54 PM
In the case of BC Liberal MLA Ida Chong, they'll be yelling that from the streets, accompanied by flaming torches and pitchforks. ;)

In the last few elections I have volunteered for the BC Liberals. I was on Ida's list as I was near the border and it is a swing riding. I sent an email complaining about the HST when it come out along with some questions. Neither her nor her staff responded.

Let's just say that she can't count on my support should her riding be targeted by recall.

I complained to Richard Lee whom I have helped in the past and at least he was kind enough to respond. Given the typos, I could tell it wasn't just a cut and paste response from government.

Unfortunately, it feels like the BC Liberals have outlived their mandate and they have gotten arrogant and lazy. Sadly, there are no alternatives. I think the BC Liberals did a lot for our Province and turned us around from our have-not days. I fear a return of the NDP because their fiscal policy and ideology will damage the economy once again.

:-(

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 24th, 2010, 08:29 PM
In the last few elections I have volunteered for the BC Liberals. I was on Ida's list as I was near the border and it is a swing riding. I sent an email complaining about the HST when it come out along with some questions. Neither her nor her staff responded.

Let's just say that she can't count on my support should her riding be targeted by recall.

I complained to Richard Lee whom I have helped in the past and at least he was kind enough to respond. Given the typos, I could tell it wasn't just a cut and paste response from government.

Unfortunately, it feels like the BC Liberals have outlived their mandate and they have gotten arrogant and lazy. Sadly, there are no alternatives. I think the BC Liberals did a lot for our Province and turned us around from our have-not days. I fear a return of the NDP because their fiscal policy and ideology will damage the economy once again.

:-(
Far be it from me to suggest anything to the BC Liberals, but I fail to understand why they don't just announce that the HST will come in at 10% instead of 12%. I know they've said that the particulars of their deal with Ottawa precludes that, blah, blah, blah. I simply don't believe that line. Deals are only words on paper and are always negotiable. Harper surely is aware of the dilemma Campbell and his government are in and he and Campbell are supposed to be political soul-mates, so I'm sure some accommodations could certainly be made. If the HST was 10% Campbell would be keeping his tax break for big business and not taking a bigger overall tax bite from individuals, thereby keeping everyone happy. I could support the HST under those terms.

But maybe even if he did that, at this point it would be too little, too late. I suspect that all of the more right wing who voted BC Liberal would never vote NDP, but may just stay home, in either the recall campaigns should they happen or the next provincial election.

Vandave
Jun 24th, 2010, 09:20 PM
Far be it from me to suggest anything to the BC Liberals, but I fail to understand why they don't just announce that the HST will come in at 10% instead of 12%. I know they've said that the particulars of their deal with Ottawa precludes that, blah, blah, blah. I simply don't believe that line. Deals are only words on paper and are always negotiable. Harper surely is aware of the dilemma Campbell and his government are in and he and Campbell are supposed to be political soul-mates, so I'm sure some accommodations could certainly be made. If the HST was 10% Campbell would be keeping his tax break for big business and not taking a bigger overall tax bite from individuals, thereby keeping everyone happy. I could support the HST under those terms.

But maybe even if he did that, at this point it would be too little, too late. I suspect that all of the more right wing who voted BC Liberal would never vote NDP, but may just stay home, in either the recall campaigns should they happen or the next provincial election.

Sure, 10% is better than 12%, but it will also result in prolonged deficits. I actually think the tax is probably a good one. It encourages production and investment, which is good in the long term for jobs. That said, I disagree with the tax when it comes to specific areas (e.g. real estate, bikes).

The problem I have with the Liberals is how they went about bringing it in. It should have been an election issue. Or, if their story is true, then they should have had an open discussion with the Province.

As far as political outcomes... this Province has a long memory. I knew the NDP were going to be trounced six months into their last government. People are angry and that will be hard to defuse. It's hard to say how this will play out in the next election. Campbell will be gone and a new leader might be able to turn the page. If they lower the tax, you know it will occur once the budget is balanced again (not before).

The turnout in the last two elections has been low. Will it get lower? I'm not convinced it will be substantial. I think the Liberals still have a chance and voters like me will carefully consider our choices next election. Although I am mad, I can't honestly say I won't turn out to vote Liberal or even help them out again. I truly fear the NDP. It feels like the Province has just regained it's footing and that we were headed in the right direction.

I'm also not convinced that Carol James can win an election. She doesn't seem to stand for anything other than the typical NDP dogma. I think somebody like Clark or Harcourt could pull it off.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 25th, 2010, 02:28 PM
Sure, 10% is better than 12%, but it will also result in prolonged deficits. I actually think the tax is probably a good one. It encourages production and investment, which is good in the long term for jobs. That said, I disagree with the tax when it comes to specific areas (e.g. real estate, bikes).

As stated earlier in this thread, I'm not anti-HST necessarily, I'm just against a $2 billion tax break for big business, while at the same time expecting individuals to make up that difference. Only the Fraser Institute believes the line that the tax break will completely trickle back down to consumers.

The problem I have with the Liberals is how they went about bringing it in. It should have been an election issue. Or, if their story is true, then they should have had an open discussion with the Province.

I think most people believe that there is no way the BC Liberals went from absolutely no plans to implement the HST days prior to the election to an agreement with Ottawa to implement the HST days after. They had to be planning it prior to the election, but also knew that it wasn't going to get them any votes, so they strategized that once they got their majority win they could push this through and people would have forgotten about it by 2013. Ooopsy.

Many ardent BC Lib supporters feel they were knifed in the back, especially the construction and restaurant/bar industry who even funded paid advertising supporting Campbell. Their industries are going to suffer for a while under the HST.

As far as political outcomes... this Province has a long memory. I knew the NDP were going to be trounced six months into their last government. People are angry and that will be hard to defuse. It's hard to say how this will play out in the next election. Campbell will be gone and a new leader might be able to turn the page. If they lower the tax, you know it will occur once the budget is balanced again (not before).

The turnout in the last two elections has been low. Will it get lower? I'm not convinced it will be substantial. I think the Liberals still have a chance and voters like me will carefully consider our choices next election. Although I am mad, I can't honestly say I won't turn out to vote Liberal or even help them out again. I truly fear the NDP. It feels like the Province has just regained it's footing and that we were headed in the right direction.

I'm also not convinced that Carol James can win an election. She doesn't seem to stand for anything other than the typical NDP dogma. I think somebody like Clark or Harcourt could pull it off.

I'm no fan of Carole James and I know I'd find plenty to disagree with if the NDP manage to form government at some point. But it probably goes without saying that I find far more to disagree with with Campbell and the BC Libs.

As far as the province "just regaining its footing" — well, ... that's one way to look at things ... I guess.

Macfury
Jun 25th, 2010, 02:33 PM
I don't see why the likes of you are getting upset about increased taxes, 'sauce. You'd be happy to see people dinged for extra cash if you thought it was going to go to a destination of which you've approve.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 25th, 2010, 03:59 PM
I don't see why the likes of you are getting upset about increased taxes, 'sauce. You'd be happy to see people dinged for extra cash if you thought it was going to go to a destination of which you've approve.

The likes of me? Fab straw man you've built yerself there, but he don't look like me. Sorry.

http://imgur.com/JjHwj.jpg

MLeh
Jun 25th, 2010, 05:03 PM
I don't see why the likes of you are getting upset about increased taxes, 'sauce. You'd be happy to see people dinged for extra cash if you thought it was going to go to a destination of which you've approve.

Don't be ridiculous. Tax and spend people don't want to pay more taxes themselves. They want OTHER people (the mythical 'rich') to pay more taxes, so it can be spent on their special interest projects. It's all about spending "Other Peoples Money". Also known as O-P-M. (Say it out loud, and you'll get it.)
beejacon

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 25th, 2010, 07:46 PM
Don't be ridiculous. Tax and spend people don't want to pay more taxes themselves. They want OTHER people (the mythical 'rich') to pay more taxes, so it can be spent on their special interest projects. It's all about spending "Other Peoples Money". Also known as O-P-M. (Say it out loud, and you'll get it.)
beejacon

Hmmm ... OPM™ seems to work equally well for the Fraser Institute and the Vancouver Board of Trade who are pushing for the HST. They want all of us in BC to subsidize their $2 billion tax cut, promising in return nothing more than the same "trickle down" BS they've been offering for years. OPM™ is certainly not the exclusive domain of the so-called "tax and spend" contingent by a long shot. I seem to remember some recent multi-billion dollar bail-outs that made one or two headlines in recent years. The only thing that ever trickles down is the bailout bills when things go pear-shaped.

Macfury
Jun 25th, 2010, 09:02 PM
The likes of me? Fab straw man you've built yerself there, but he don't look like me. Sorry.

http://imgur.com/JjHwj.jpg

As stated earlier in this thread, I'm not anti-HST necessarily, I'm just against a $2 billion tax break for big business, while at the same time expecting individuals to make up that difference. Only the Fraser Institute believes the line that the tax break will completely trickle back down to consumers.

As I said, you don't mind the tax, you just think that the wrong people are benefiting from it.

Vandave
Jun 26th, 2010, 12:35 AM
They had to be planning it prior to the election, but also knew that it wasn't going to get them any votes, so they strategized that once they got their majority win they could push this through and people would have forgotten about it by 2013. Ooopsy.

I heard from a well placed source that it wasn't actually a plan. That said, I still have trouble believing it.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 26th, 2010, 01:11 PM
As I said, you don't mind the tax, you just think that the wrong people are benefiting from it.

Actually that's not what I think or what I said, you are misrepresenting my views. This leads me to believe that either you don't understand the issue or you're purposely trolling.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 26th, 2010, 01:29 PM
I heard from a well placed source that it wasn't actually a plan. That said, I still have trouble believing it.

I wish I could track it down, but last summer I was sure I read something the construction industry was putting out where they claim that senior finance ministry staff were meeting in Ottawa negotiating the HST deal prior to the election. It IS hard to believe they could have put that deal together so quickly and so shortly after the election starting from scratch.

Macfury
Jun 26th, 2010, 02:25 PM
Actually that's not what I think or what I said, you are misrepresenting my views. This leads me to believe that either you don't understand the issue or you're purposely trolling.

You're not against the tax, you're against a perception that "big business" is benefiting.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 26th, 2010, 03:20 PM
You're not against the tax, you're against a perception that "big business" is benefiting.

Again, just making stuff up MF.

If I am in favour of the concept of the HST, then I must be in favour of the benefit it provides to business. I am not in favour of having an additional tax burden placed on individuals and harm come to some smaller businesses to pay for that benefit. Someone like you who is opposed to corporate welfare should be able to understand this.

What I WAS proposing, a 10% HST, would keep the benefit to big business, lessen the blow to smaller businesses and not increase the average sales tax load to individuals. The big business lobby that advises the Fraser Institute, Van Board of Trade and BC Liberals didn't like this idea though. Campbell's people said that the deal they cut with Harper precluded a cut to the HST below what the combined PST + GST is.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jun 30th, 2010, 04:57 PM
Happy Canada Day! HST to hit B.C. and Ontario on holiday (http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Happy+Canada+Ontario+holiday/3221225/story.html)

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/3215762.bin

Vandave
Jul 1st, 2010, 11:36 AM
What I WAS proposing, a 10% HST, would keep the benefit to big business, lessen the blow to smaller businesses and not increase the average sales tax load to individuals. The big business lobby that advises the Fraser Institute, Van Board of Trade and BC Liberals didn't like this idea though. Campbell's people said that the deal they cut with Harper precluded a cut to the HST below what the combined PST + GST is.

Why are you suggesting this is of greater benefit to bigger business when compared to smaller businesses?

It's a benefit to businesses with large inputs, of both large and small sizes.

It's going to hurt my main business because I now have to charge clients an extra 7% and I have essentially zero off-sets for deduction.

Vandave
Jul 1st, 2010, 11:41 AM
I wish I could track it down, but last summer I was sure I read something the construction industry was putting out where they claim that senior finance ministry staff were meeting in Ottawa negotiating the HST deal prior to the election. It IS hard to believe they could have put that deal together so quickly and so shortly after the election starting from scratch.

I wonder if somebody could FOI meeting minutes and itineraries to piece together what happened pre and post election. Get on it Mr. Vanderzalm.

Vandave
Jul 1st, 2010, 11:50 AM
The likes of me? Fab straw man you've built yerself there, but he don't look like me. Sorry.

But he looks like the people you vote for.

The NDP need to realize that big business and corporations are not a negative thing. We cannot create an atmosphere that is negative to business. The union entitlement mentality needs a serious shift towards reality.

The Western world is going to face some very difficult issues around taxation and entitlement programs. We are absolutely maxed out on taxes. We are absolutely maxed out with the size of government. The NDP way would move us closer to the likes of Greece and Spain.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:11 PM
Why are you suggesting this is of greater benefit to bigger business when compared to smaller businesses?

It's a benefit to businesses with large inputs, of both large and small sizes.
It's going to hurt my main business because I now have to charge clients an extra 7% and I have essentially zero off-sets for deduction.

For large corporations represented by the Vancouver Board of Trade, the BC Business Council and the BC Chamber of Commerce (although the Chamber should be listening to some of their smaller members on this), the HST is big tax break because of the size of their operations. For smaller businesses, who don't have the scale, not so much. For smaller service businesses, the new tax may be a serious blow as their customers will now be paying an extra 7%. Contractors are already reporting lots of pressure from customers to go off the books to avoid the HST.

For many small businesses the tax break will be not of great consequence to their bottom line and the potential of lost sales might even make it a negative.

For my business, it doesn't change much. There wasn't much that I bought that I couldn't use my PST number with, because it was a component for resale. Any extra inputs I can claim might allow me to buy a couple of extra pizzas or a sixpack or two.

The NDP need to realize that big business and corporations are not a negative thing. We cannot create an atmosphere that is negative to business. The union entitlement mentality needs a serious shift towards reality.

I can't speak for the NDP, but I think it's a caricature to think all of its leaders and members believe that business is a negative thing. It would be just as much of a caricature to think that all Conservatives or BC Liberals are social darwinists who don't give a damn about anything but their own profits.

As someone who is often NDP-leaning I see that large corps have their place and usefulness in society, just as all but the most die-hard conservative would probably admit unions have their place, but I am against the big corporate agenda being the be-all and end-all and I am against their interests being given precedence over the interests of other segments. I think the HST issue is an example of this. It's a tax break for them, that they have strongly pushed for while being a tax hike for everyone else. If the government decides to hand out tax breaks, then hand them out equally.

I am a believer in small business, family business and micro-business and I think the NDP could do much to improve their standing among those groups. I regularly interact with many small business owners and not all believe that the BC Liberals have their concerns at heart. Especially today on HST day - a tax that was rammed through without ever consulting with small business groups.

Metro - HST bad news for small business, NDP says (http://www.metronews.ca/vancouver/local/article/561332--hst-bad-news-for-small-business-ndp-says)

Macfury
Jul 1st, 2010, 04:39 PM
I am a believer in small business, family business and micro-business and I think the NDP could do much to improve their standing among those groups.

By abandoning their big union base? These guys practically sing the Internationale. Small business with non-union employment is anathema to them.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jul 1st, 2010, 08:57 PM
By abandoning their big union base? These guys practically sing the Internationale. Small business with non-union employment is anathema to them.
BS caricature MF. Are you getting a job with the new "Fox News North" Sun TV when it launches in Canada? I hear they're looking for someone who can do the Red Scare routine as well as Glenn Beck.

gwillikers
Jul 2nd, 2010, 02:24 AM
BS caricature MF. Are you getting a job with the new "Fox News North" Sun TV when it launches in Canada? I hear they're looking for someone who can do the Red Scare routine as well as Glenn Beck.

:lmao::lmao::lmao:

Macfury
Jul 2nd, 2010, 09:46 AM
Sure, if more than half your party's financial support comes from big unions, you have an obligation to support independent small business:

Unions gave over $520,000 to NDP this year :: The Hook (http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/BC-Politics/2009/05/08/Fundraiser-and-unions-top-the-donor-list-for-BCNDP/)

Unions gave over $520,000 to NDP this year

By Morgan J. Modjeski and Ashley Gaboury
May 8, 2009 09:00 am 6 comments

Donations from trade unions and fundraising events to the B.C. NDP party far exceeded corporate donations to the party this year.

Donations from trade unions surpassed $520,000 with the largest donation from the B.C. Federation of Labour at $137,500. Fundraising events brought in a net income of over $32

GratuitousApplesauce
Jul 2nd, 2010, 06:40 PM
Sure, if more than half your party's financial support comes from big unions, you have an obligation to support independent small business:

Unions gave over $520,000 to NDP this year :: The Hook (http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/BC-Politics/2009/05/08/Fundraiser-and-unions-top-the-donor-list-for-BCNDP/)

:lmao::lmao: LMAO, MF! You really don't know much about the BC Libs and who they might have an obligation to support, do you?

Besides the fact that your $500,000 represents less than a single dollar per member of the unions whose elected leadership donated it, that amount is dwarfed by a few single donations from just a handful of the top large corporate donors to the BC Liberals. Some of BC's largest corporations lead that list, (who were solidly lobbying for the HST, dontcha know), and have contributed massive amounts.

Besides all that, your story is quoting the 2008 figures, not the election year figures. In 2009 the BC Liberals received almost double what the NDP did in donations, $12.3 million, with corporations being responsible for a whopping 64% of that amount. Large corporate donations to the BC Libs last year dwarfed the NDPs ENTIRE budget.

On the other hand in 2009 the figures for the NDP are the reverse, the NDP got $6.9 million in total donations with 63% being from individual donors and 32% being from trade unions.

Given all that, the NDP still outdid the BC Liberals in small individual donations classed as being less than $250. The NDP got over 4 times the amount of small donations from regular folk than the BC Libs did. $1.7 million given to the NDP in that category, only $.4 million to the BC Liberals in smaller donations.

The NDP has called for a maximum cap on donations from both corps AND unions, something that the Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals are not in favour of and refuse to discuss. Wonder why, eh?

If you believe that the he who pays the pipers calls the tune, then those figures might just tell you all you need to know about why we have the HST in place now.

2009 Party Annual Finance Reports Released - BC Election 2013 (http://bc2013.com/2010/04/09/2009-party-annual-finance-reports-released/)

Macfury
Jul 2nd, 2010, 08:36 PM
:lmao::lmao: LMAO, MF! You really don't know much about the BC Libs and who they might have an obligation to support, do you?


They don't call you Gratuitous for nothing do they? I know who the Libs are beholding to--and the new figures also shows who the NDP continues to be beholding to. Who do I think would do the best job supporting small business, based on those contribution figures? Certainly not the BC NDP, which incidentally continues to crow about setting a record minimum wage--a grand boon to small business.

GratuitousApplesauce
Jul 3rd, 2010, 12:02 AM
They don't call you Gratuitous for nothing do they?
Riffing on my ehMac handle now? Really, Mr. Macfury? Nothing like a good ol' discussion about ideas, eh?

I know who the Libs are beholding to--and the new figures also shows who the NDP continues to be beholding to. Who do I think would do the best job supporting small business, based on those contribution figures? Certainly not the BC NDP, which incidentally continues to crow about setting a record minimum wage--a grand boon to small business.

Maybe you just skimmed what I posted, or didn't check out the link, but it shows that the BC Liberals are 64% beholden to large corps, the kind that can afford to donate many millions over the years of their reign, while the NDP are 63% beholden to ... hmmm ... individuals and small donors.

To get back to the HST, which you keep dragging the subject away from, many small businesses aren't feeling a whole lotta love from Campbell and his BC Libs these days and are siding with the NDP in opposition to the tax. He's even got his own erstwhile supporters pissed at him. But the HST ever-so-nicely serves the interests of those who paid for Mr. Campbell's election campaigns over the years.

But maybe I'm misunderstanding you and when you say "do the best job supporting small business" and what you really mean by that is lied to, taken for granted as supporters and forced to pay for the tax breaks for their large corporate competition. Then the BC Libs are doing a super job.

Those corporate buddies of Gordon are counting on all of us to now just roll over and forget about the HST now that it's here. I think they'll be surprised. What was that old bumper-sticker we used to see around in the early '90s ........

http://imgur.com/Fya4Q.jpg

Macfury
Jul 3rd, 2010, 12:21 AM
No, I understand completely who is supporting which party. The Libs are beholden to corporations and the NDP is beholden to unions--and a bunch of "individuals" who have no group pull. I don't support the HST but if I had to choose, as a small business, between "HST and the BC Libs," or "no HST and the NDP," I wouldn't need to look back for two seconds at the disaster that was the provincial NDP to make up my mind.

BC Libs without the HST is the best bet.

GratuitousApplesauce
Aug 11th, 2010, 05:33 PM
BC Libs without the HST is the best bet.

That choice is not on the table, MF. It's looking more and more like it might well be BC without the BC Liberals.

I'm resurrecting this thread because the word on the results of the petition counting are expected from Elections BC within a couple of hours.

CBC News - British Columbia - Decision on B.C. anti-HST petition expected (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/08/11/bc-hst-petition-ruling.html?ref=rss&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)

Macfury
Aug 11th, 2010, 06:44 PM
If Elections BC confirms the petition is valid, a committee of the legislature will decide to either put the issue to a vote in the house or send it to a non-binding plebiscite next year.

This has nothing to do with recalling MLAs as i read it. So it's not :BC without the BC Liberals" but BC Liberals having to vote on the HST.

GratuitousApplesauce
Aug 11th, 2010, 08:11 PM
This has nothing to do with recalling MLAs as i read it. So it's not :BC without the BC Liberals" but BC Liberals having to vote on the HST.

You're right MF. The announcement of the petition results has nothing directly to do with recalling BC Liberal MLAs or winning or losing future elections. Today, that is. Whatever occurs today will lead to the next thing. MLA Recalls can't legally start before November.

It's all very interesting. Either way Campbell's future and the future of his party isn't looking particularly stellar.

Macfury
Aug 11th, 2010, 09:13 PM
I'll bet it results in Campbell and the HST being dumped, rather than all of the Liberals.

eMacMan
Aug 12th, 2010, 12:57 AM
Interesting. The petition was successful. However the Libs are hiding behind the dodge that there is a court challenge underway and they can't do any thing until that is resolved 2, 3 or maybe 10 years from now.

Since BC taxpayers are already plenty pissed I suspect that province may see a real upheaval in the coming months. At least I hope so.

GratuitousApplesauce
Aug 12th, 2010, 08:18 PM
I'll bet it results in Campbell and the HST being dumped, rather than all of the Liberals.

Hmmmm ... I think it'll take more than Campbell either falling on his sword or being deposed at this point. People are plenty pissed at him, but they're also pissed at the whole caucus for supporting the HST as well. Blair Lekstrom resigned because he could read the writing on the wall. With yesterday's manoeuvre the call for using the recall legislation in November to cull a whole swath of BC Lib cabinet ministers has been strengthened further. And polls have said that recalls in many ridings will be massively popular.

Campbell has been a successful politician and has emerged from quite a few scrapes in his career, but he seems to have lately become completely tone deaf to the public mood.

Witness his statement today, (Globe & Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/gordon-campbell-congratulates-hst-petitioners-on-win/article1670923/)):
B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell is hailing the passage of the anti-HST petition as a good day for democracy.

“We should recognize that this really is, kind of, a celebration of democracy. The reason we have an initiative and referendum legislation in place is to give citizens those tools,” the Liberal premier said Wednesday while in California to address the State legislature.

“So to those who felt that it was important enough to motivate them to sign the petition and move it forward, congratulations to them.

It seems he really does think the public is stupid enough to swallow just about any bit of completely disingenuous crap. "A celebration of democracy"? One that Campbell managed to temporarily derail by getting his biggest campaign contributors, the guys who benefit the most from the HST tax shift from corporate to individual, to put up a strategic lawsuit and frighten Elections BC into submitting to it. "Give citizens these tools" - (reading between the lines) "that we'll feel free to completely ignore"?

Campbell has hoped that the anger would eventually blow over, but I think it's only building.

Macfury
Aug 12th, 2010, 10:42 PM
..One that Campbell managed to temporarily derail by getting his biggest campaign contributors, the guys who benefit the most from the HST tax shift from corporate to individual...

How much actual cost is there to the consumer in BC? End consumers ultimately pay all taxes, so what's the upshot?

GratuitousApplesauce
Aug 20th, 2010, 04:26 PM
Anti-HST petition ruled legal in B.C. Supreme Court (http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Anti+petition+ruled+legal+Supreme+Court/3423142/story.html)

VANCOUVER - The Zalm has won — and the anti-HST initiative, a Frankenstein for the government, has been resuscitated to again stalk the province terrorizing B.C. Liberal MLAs.

In a brief, to the point ruling on Friday, B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman rejected outright the big business coalition’s bid to kill the controversial petition and save Premier Gordon Campbell from continuing political damage.

With a flourish of ironic wit, the chief judge added insult to injury by celebrating the grassroots initiative quoting Campbell describing the tax revolt as “a victory for democracy.”

Campbell's in a no-win situation now because of his own arrogance in thinking that the issue would just eventually blow over and that his big biz cronies could divert the petition through their BS lawsuit. As he said himself, "a victory for democracy". Hope he likes it.

Vandave
Aug 20th, 2010, 10:28 PM
How much actual cost is there to the consumer in BC? End consumers ultimately pay all taxes, so what's the upshot?

It makes it cheaper for exporters and manufacturers to do business here. We have one of the lowest corporate tax rates in North America now. I think the tax is good because it encourages business activity and the tax is a consumption tax.

The problem I have with the tax is how is came in place.

GratuitousApplesauce
Aug 21st, 2010, 04:37 PM
It makes it cheaper for exporters and manufacturers to do business here. We have one of the lowest corporate tax rates in North America now. I think the tax is good because it encourages business activity and the tax is a consumption tax.

The problem I have with the tax is how is came in place.

I think the HST makes sense, it's a better process for dealing with a sales tax. But it IS a tax break for business and large tax break for the big business groups that are pushing this the most. And no matter what the business groups say, it is and will be a tax increase for the general public. So it's a shift of a part of the tax burden from businesses to everyone else.

BC's finances are in trouble and Campbell thought that the HST, plus the $1.6 billion handout from the feds for adopting it, would be just the ticket. Realistically, there was no way he was going to go into the last election promising a tax cut to business and a tax increase for consumers. Why he didn't do this differently though, I'll never know. I can only put it down to arrogance, stupidity or a combination of both.

As I've said earlier in the thread, he could have foregone the consumer tax increase by announcing that along with the HST adoption, the new amount would be reduced from 12% to 10%, so that the public's average sales tax load wouldn't increase. This wouldn't have made any difference to the businesses and probably would have won over the public. I guess he just got greedy. Campbell's "Olympic legacy" amongst other things simply required some extra cash.

zlinger
Aug 21st, 2010, 05:46 PM
I don't buy the argument the HST makes sense, and savings are passed to consumers. I will boycott business that support this tax.

They could have just raised PST 1% if they needed more tax revenue. I am not against paying my taxes, but this has gone too far. I want to see where my tax goes to - provincial, federal. Whats next, a harmonized personal income tax?

I signed the petition, and am eager to get moving with a recall campaign and election. We have eliminated unnecessary spending in our household (i.e. restaurants, consumer items, entertainment), and businesses can go stick it.

We now travel to Bellingham to go shopping for gas/groceries. Too bad for the BC economy eh! Bye bye Campbell .. your time is up, you too Harper.

GratuitousApplesauce
Aug 21st, 2010, 07:27 PM
I don't buy the argument the HST makes sense, and savings are passed to consumers.

It makes sense in that the only payer of the tax is the final purchaser of the product. With the PST this wasn't true. There were layers of PST that were added into the manufacturing and retailing of products that PST was then paid upon. But the "savings passed on to consumers" line is something that may be true in some cases but in others cases won't be. The business lobby and the BC Libs are saying it will be true in all cases, but I think that's just spin.

Your accountant, or graphic designer who used to add 5% GST to their bill now has to add 12% HST. They're not about to drop their price because they can now avoid paying a little bit of PST on their tools or supplies. In fact they may be considering keeping that little extra in their pockets since their own personal cost of living has gone up along with everyone else's due to the HST.

I will boycott business that support this tax.

Well since all businesses (with the exception of those whose gross annual sales are below $30K) are required by law to collect it and remit it, I don't see how you'll accomplish this without asking businesses to break the law. Or do you mean businesses that are part of the big business groups that were pushing the government for the HST?

I signed the petition, and am eager to get moving with a recall campaign and election.
---
We now travel to Bellingham to go shopping for gas/groceries. Too bad for the BC economy eh! Bye bye Campbell .. your time is up, you too Harper.

Unless there is an unprecedented about face by Campbell, which I don't expect, I think you're right about Campbell and the BC Libs.

chas_m
Aug 23rd, 2010, 06:04 AM
I'm broadly against the HST in BC for a variety of reasons, some more rational than others. I won't go over the sordid story of how the public here got hoodwinked by the Campbell administration over it, they didn't handle it well I think everyone agrees on that point.

The second reason I don't like it is that it affects some businesses a LOT more than others. It essentially became a new tax on services that were previously exempt. Practical effect = haircuts, restaurant meals, training classes and a million other things just raised their prices 7%. This has directly led to my wife and I not going out as often as we used to, since it's just that much more expensive now.

I can only imagine what a hardship it is on people poorer than us -- since their income certainly DIDN'T go up even 1% to help cover this increase!

It needs to be repeated again and again, however, that the BC Liberals are a "brand name" and a party unto themselves. They are NOT to be confused with the Federal Liberals, regardless of how closely they might align with the Libs on some positions. Living here, I've found them to be much more like what I perceive the Conservative Party outside of BC to be like (we don't really have much of a Conservative presence in these parts; think of us as the anti-Alberta!).

Campbell, whom I've met and who seems to me a nice and decent fellow, has made his name mud round here through a series of deceit-laden missteps (of which the HST is but one issue) either directly by him or his underlings, and generally dragged the BC Liberals down with him. When elections roll around next time, it's basically the NDP's to lose. If Bill Vander Zalm ran, he'd be elected in a landslide, at least here on the island.

I'm not in any way opposed to the overall idea of an HST, indeed the concept makes a lot of sense -- but its seen as a gift to big business and a kick to consumers, has raised prices substantially at *exactly* the wrong moment, and that's before you even get to the general mistrust about how the money will be handled. If its allowed to remain, I predict the rise of an underground "cash/barter" economy to fight it.

If nothing else, it has shown once again that the citizens of BC are engaged in provincial politics and will hold leaders accountable when they screw up. Ultimately I think this will go the way of Florida's "Services Tax" in the late 80s, which is still seen as such a huge fiasco and big-biz/government overreach that it's still an untouchable hot potato nobody ever brings up, 20 years later -- whereas if they'd phased in a modest tax increase over the same period, few people would have minded, particularly back when the economy was strong.

GratuitousApplesauce
Aug 24th, 2010, 03:17 PM
I'm broadly against the HST in BC for a variety of reasons, some more rational than others. I won't go over the sordid story of how the public here got hoodwinked by the Campbell administration over it, they didn't handle it well I think everyone agrees on that point.

.... [snip] .....

If nothing else, it has shown once again that the citizens of BC are engaged in provincial politics and will hold leaders accountable when they screw up. Ultimately I think this will go the way of Florida's "Services Tax" in the late 80s, which is still seen as such a huge fiasco and big-biz/government overreach that it's still an untouchable hot potato nobody ever brings up, 20 years later -- whereas if they'd phased in a modest tax increase over the same period, few people would have minded, particularly back when the economy was strong.

Nicely summed up, chas_m.

GratuitousApplesauce
Sep 2nd, 2010, 02:24 PM
HST discussed before election, e-mails reveal (http://www.timescolonist.com/news/discussed+before+election+mails+reveal/3472957/story.html)

Government documents yesterday revealed through Freedom of Information requests conclusively show that the Campbell government was lying when they told the public that the HST was not on their "radar" prior to the May 2009 election. No doubt there are more documents yet to be turned up since the current ones show that the planning for the HST was extensive prior to the election while the Premier was saying to the public that the HST was not being considered.

This would not be news to anyone with a couple of working brain cells, since bringing in a program of this type and scale would have required massive planning and consultation with the Harper government and could not have simply be decided upon in a few days post election as Campbell and his henchmen have claimed.

Every day just looks worse for this government. They've put themselves in some quicksand now that looks impossible to get out of. I "almost" feel sorry for the buffoons. (not really :))

GratuitousApplesauce
Sep 2nd, 2010, 02:37 PM
Libs' denials beggar belief (http://www.theprovince.com/news/Libs+denials+beggar+belief/3472689/story.html)

An opinion piece by a Vancouver Province columnist. A few emotional turns of phrase but accurately expresses the way people feel about the Campbell government right now.

But, once again, [BC Finance MInister Colin] Hansen's new version of the story doesn't match up with what he said before. He told the legislature last year that there was no discussion of the HST among his staff before the election. Period. Now he admits there was -- he just didn't know about it.

Brutal. Just brutal.

Other highlights of the bombshell document package included an earlier HST briefing note, this one prepared in January 2009 for Premier Gordon Campbell. That one said that, while B.C. saw "benefits" in the HST, they were still concerned about the negative effects of the tax. Another document warned the HST could have negative impacts on GDP, inflation and unemployment, and the economy could take five years to recover.

GratuitousApplesauce
Sep 10th, 2010, 05:38 PM
Gordon Campbell somehow believes he has the support of his party and the voters. I wish I could get some of the happy pills he has access to. ;)

Revitalized B.C. Premier "confident" of party support - The Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/historic-hst-debate-adjourned-until-monday/article1700251/)
“I’ve always had their support and I feel it right now,” Mr. Campbell told reporters on Wednesday, his first public comments in several weeks, amid a growing clamour over the HST and calls for his resignation.


Yet portions of his party who can't be touched by his autocratic leadership are in open revolt.

Witness the latest high-profile BC Liberals to speak up:
Liberals question Campbell's grit - The Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/liberals-question-campbells-grit/article1697661/)
“Members are so disillusioned and upset at what’s going on over the HST, they are walking away and throwing their hands up,” said Mr. Nelson, former mayor of Williams Lake who lost last year by a whisker in his bid for the Liberal nomination in his riding.

“They’re angry, frustrated, and disappointed. They feel alienated, just like the public,” he said. “And the person who has set this in motion is Gordon Campbell. … When the party is so beat up, you’ve got to have a change.”

But Campbell still plans on leading the party through the next election.

Meanwhile a more troubling development today is the firing of the second-in-command at Elections BC. This was one of the people who denied the BC Libs pro-HST mailer prior to the anti-HST petition drive and whose name was on the letter from Elections BC prohibiting that mailer. Afterwards the head of Elections BC was replaced by a BC Lib insider as an interim CEO, who last month sided with the pro-business lobby against the successful petition being sent to the government. A subsequent hearing overturned that stupid decision.

Now this BC Lib temp appointee is at a conference doing private volunteer work apparently, can't appear before the Legislative committee deciding what to do about the petition and yet has decided on an extensive restructuring of Elections BC that includes firing the only other high-ranking member of the supposedly independent body who disagreed with Campbell's government.

Normally the head of the non-partisan independent elections agency is supposed to be confirmed by an all party committee of the Legislature. This hasn't happened and the interim BC Lib appointed chief is now deciding on restructuring the agency that will have to decide on issues that could possibly result in the end of the BC Lib government. Nothing to see here?

This looks to me like Campbell is trying to ensure that Elections BC is staffed by BC Lib friendlies when the November MLA recall campaigns start up, under the Recall and Initiative Act administered by that agency.

Axe Falls on Officer who Nixed Libs' HST Budget Mailer (http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/09/10/AxeFallsOnOfficer/)

GratuitousApplesauce
Sep 14th, 2010, 03:44 PM
I know most in the Centre of the Universe aren't interested in this but it's huge news out here in BC.

The government committee (BC Lib dominated) voted to not send the successful initiative to the BC Legislature but instead to send it to a province-wide referendum vote. While this is big news, the way the Recall and Initiative Act is worded, this referendum is non-binding. This choice has been widely seen as a stalling tactic for Campbell, but his choices were crappy and also crappy.

The really big news now is that Campbell boldly announced that the referendum result would be binding, would only require a simple majority to pass and also promised that the referendum question would be clear-cut and unequivocal.

I have to admit, however much I would like to see Campbell and his government go down in flames, he has made the best possible move given his dire political situation that he could. He's most likely has succeeded in buying his government some time as well as probably blunting what seemed like the practically inevitable success of recall campaigns slated to start in November.

The one question I have now, that I haven't heard Campbell boosters answer or many anti-HST campaigners even ask is, if the Premier can ignore the Recall and initiative Act now and agree to treat the result as binding, why does the referendum have to be a year away?. If they can call and hold a provincial or federal election campaign in 60 days then they can hold a simple referendum in that time or less.

I know the real answer, Campbell needs the time to stave off the opposition and potentially wear them out. He can hope that the economy turns around and the effect of the HST on the little folks who unfortunately are allowed to vote will be lessened. But a year from now is still a stalling tactic.

I still think that when this vote happens, if indeed the Campbell government lasts until next September, the HST will likely lose, although not by as large a margin as it would if the referendum was held in a shorter time frame.

Vandave
Sep 18th, 2010, 12:56 PM
One year is too long. It creates too much uncertainty for business.

The odds of taxpayers voting a tax in are near zero. With wacky BC politics, it just might happen.

Macfury
Sep 18th, 2010, 01:02 PM
Actually, I appreciate the reports on this. Much of the news is encouraging and I like the recall provisions the province has in place.

Vandave
Sep 18th, 2010, 01:16 PM
I'm going to probably vote yes because I think a consumption tax is better than a production tax.

Macfury
Sep 18th, 2010, 01:49 PM
I would personally make all taxes consumption taxes. Let the people feel that there's a point in earning more income. Also keeps the taxes all in one place where people can see them.

GratuitousApplesauce
Sep 19th, 2010, 02:19 AM
One year is too long. It creates too much uncertainty for business.

The odds of taxpayers voting a tax in are near zero. With wacky BC politics, it just might happen.

I agree and I'd add not just uncertainty for business, but for every sector and the whole province. We are now watching a government who are distracted by a fight to save their own hides rather than one that is confidently governing.

There seemed to be some initial fight from Vander Zalm and others, as well as media questions to push back against the referendum being held so far in the future, but that seems to have dissipated. I honestly don't have a clue what's going to happen now, although I think Gordon Campbell is finished no matter when the next election happens.

I was recently thinking that Campbell's situation seems to very closely parallel Mulroney's from the early '90s. At the end of his 2nd term Mulroney saw his right/centre-right coalition disintegrate into nothing and his personal poll numbers hovering near single digits around where Campbell's are now. It was a more complex situation than the BC Lib coalition and one part that isn't analogous is the PC Quebec wing leaving with Bouchard as the Bloc Québécois.

But as far as the introduction of the hated GST resulting in the disaffection that created the Reform Party, which was the major component of Mulroney's downfall, I'd say the situation is very similar. The Reformers who felt betrayed by Mulroney and his Tories were the same brand of right-wingers who are now openly revolting against Campbell.

GratuitousApplesauce
Sep 19th, 2010, 02:21 AM
Actually, I appreciate the reports on this. Much of the news is encouraging and I like the recall provisions the province has in place.

The recall provisions are fairly unworkable in practice. No MLA has ever been recalled using the legislation, because the bar is almost impossibly high. A recall was started against a disgraced BC Lib MLA after he was ousted from the Liberal caucus but retained his seat. When it became clear that the recall would probably succeed, he resigned his seat.

A situation has to exist where the MLA in question is out of favour with a vast and overwhelming majority of the voters for a recall to have any hope of succeeding. But we'd never had an Initiative Petition succeed before this summer either, because that bar is also very high.

Prior to Campbell's latest move, the polls said a Recall could succeed in many ridings, but now it's not so certain. But if a Recall process starts and hits the goal, I expect there would be a domino effect, as well as many BC Liberal MLAs suddenly doing what Blair Lekstrom did a few months ago.

GratuitousApplesauce
Sep 20th, 2010, 03:33 PM
Recall is on.

HST recall campaigns to begin in B.C. in January (http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/09/20/bc-hst-recall-campaign.html)

3 campaigns scheduled to start after Christmas.

Vandave
Sep 21st, 2010, 01:44 PM
GA, I am on Ida Chong's email list given that I live in an adjacent riding and given that I normally volunteer time to help out during elections.

I sent her an email when the HST came in to complain that it was wrong for the Liberals to bring it in without public consultation.

She did not respond to me. I find that to be insulting.

I hope she gets recalled.