NDP says HST funding not fair

NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston

The B.C. government is stacking the deck in favour of the harmonized sales tax in its financing of a province-wide debate and referendum, NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston says.

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon has promised that $500,000 will be shared evenly between opponents and proponents of the HST, as Elections BC mails out ballots for a vote to be held in June and July.

Another $500,000 is budgeted to advertise and stage town hall meetings around the province, and $700,000 has been provided for a brochure to go to every household with arguments for and against the tax represented.

Ralston said the brochure and town hall forums are “under the thumb of the government,” and Falcon is also planning a government advertising campaign with an unspecified budget to promote the HST.

“Clearly, nothing has changed from before,” Ralston said Thursday. “The Liberal government is trying to persuade people with their own tax dollars that a $2 billion tax shift to big business, to take money out of their pockets, is good for them.”

Ralston said he expects the new NDP leader, to be chosen Sunday, will embark on his own campaign against the HST. And leadership candidates were quick to denounce the plan.

Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth said the the “talking taxes” forums announced by Falcon are the sort of public consultation that should have been done before the tax was introduced last year.

Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix said the funding should be shared evenly between the yes and no sides, along with “a clear and binding limitation” on third party spending by business groups who support the HST.

Just Posted

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Soccer dream comes true for young Port Alberni players

AVYSA’s development team takes to the pitch with VIU Mariners

Good things are brewing in Port Alberni’s Uptown

Young duo moves forward with plans to open microbrewery

Port Alberni to host World Juniors action

Team Kazakhstan will play exhibition games in Port Alberni

Hometown victory for Alberni Valley Midget Bulldogs

Annual Remembrance Day tournament drew 12 competing teams

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Canada wants free trade deal with southeast Asian nations, Trudeau says

ASEAN nations combined have nearly 650 million people, an economy of US$2.8 trillion, and are already Canada’s sixth-biggest trading partner.

Olympic and Paralympic committees disappointed, but respectful of Calgary’s vote

The majority of voters said ‘no’ to a potential Calgary bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Most Read