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

Courtenay voter taking it to the streets

Sarah Henckel-Sutmoller made her own election sign Saturday afternoon.

Basket raffle a Comox Valley Child Development Association Children’s Telethon tradition

One-stop Christmas shopping with Winner Takes All Basket rffle

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Golden anniversary for G.P. Vanier Thursday

It was a day of celebration for students, educators and administrators past… Continue reading

Steady stream of voters at Filberg

Voter turnout has been a steady stream Saturday at the Florence Filberg… Continue reading

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Steady stream of voters at Filberg

Voter turnout has been a steady stream Saturday at the Florence Filberg… Continue reading

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Most Read