Deception means HST should go
Editor: I have been following the ongoing debate about the HST with some interest. I think that there are several important points to be made.
People may recall that, prior to the last election, both Premier Gordon Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen categorically denied that the HST would be introduced in B.C. They had apparently studied the question in depth and had determined that the possible benefits were far outweighed by the negative aspects.
In brief, the HST was unilaterally imposed through the deceptive actions of the Liberal government (they lied); and the deception seems to have continued, because just about every positive point made by the Liberals has been demonstrated to be false or extremely problematical. One example — the tax is not revenue-neutral as they originally stated. They also claimed that 24,000 jobs may be created over the next 10 years. We all know just how reliable a 10 year forecast is. What else is waiting to be discovered?
It has taken a massive effort, under difficult circumstances, to bring B.C. to the point where there is going to be a public referendum. In order to do so, a petition was circulated in every constituency in the province. The minimum requirements were exceeded by at least 15 per cent, as people took the time to search out the kiosks and identify themselves and sign their names to a petition requesting a referendum on the HST.
These are people who do not like the way they have been treated. This effort, this response should not be casually dismissed.
Should the HST not be extinguished in the coming referendum, then the message to the provincial government is “Say whatever you need to say to get elected, then do whatever you want to do and wait them out. They will cave in to your demands.”
It seems to me that our political representatives must show a higher standard of conduct. You may not agree with what they say, but at least you should be able to trust that they are telling you the truth, as they see it at that time.
Whether or not the HST is a good idea is a moot point. Considering the antics which have led us to this point, I think that it is not possible to make an informed decision.
I feel that too much arm-twisting and back-room stuff has gone on. The solution is to simply extinguish the HST on this go-around.
Clear the slate, and then if the current government feels that it is still a good idea, it can re-introduce the concept and B.C. residents can debate it in an orderly, timely fashion and eventually reach a consensus.
This decision has too many ramifications to be summarily introduced, just because a couple of politicians felt that it would save their goose.
Oh, and it is not $1.6 billion which has to be repaid. The federal government has only advanced something in the neighborhood of $530 million. The rest is scheduled to come later.
We now have a postal strike. It seems to me that since our MLAs were responsible for creating this mess, they should be instrumental in cleaning it up. They can contact Elections BC and find out how to get the voting packages returned by Canada Post by the deadline, and then get them back to you.
Leaving the ballots with your MLA — I wonder about that.