EDITORIAL: Pause before automatically nixing HST

Most British Columbians, even many in the provincial Liberal party, acknowledge the HST was badly introduced without even an attempt to explain it or give us a say.

Most British Columbians, even many in the provincial Liberal party, acknowledge the HST was badly introduced without even an attempt to explain it or give us a say.

Although its provincial champion, Gordon Campbell, was forced to resign as premier in disgrace, much anger and resentment remains.

Decisions made for purely emotional reasons are not usually good ones, so let’s assess what we’re voting on.

The HST shifts some tax burden from business onto consumers by eliminating many exemptions added to the provincial sales tax through the years.

It harmonizes two archaic and complicated tax regimes into one. That greatly simplifies bookkeeping, a particular boon for small businesses that don’t have an accounting department.

The B.C. government and businesses argue that the HST will help them to be more efficient, modernized and profitable, which could create more jobs and maybe drop prices.

While there’s some truth to that, trickledown economics is a tricky thing. Money saved is just as likely to go onto the bottom line and into dividends for shareholders, who hold as much sway over corporations than customers or even government.

Having said that, the implications of dissolving the HST are dire.

Ottawa transferred $580 million Monday to Victoria, the final instalment in the $1.6-billion incentive to create the GST.

Unlike Jack Layton and his reckless, impractical election promise that a federal NDP government would allow B.C. to keep the $1.6 billion if the HST were extinguished, the Conservatives would rightly expect it all to be repaid.

That would balloon the current B.C. debt of almost $1 billion, forcing Victoria to raise taxes, cut services or both.

And we would return to the archaic tax system that would make our businesses less competitive against international competitors operating under a harmonized tax model.

Think carefully before voting yes to extinguish the HST.


Just Posted

Unity Comox Valley hosts serenity service in Comox Thursday

Do you have mixed feelings about the holidays? Unity offers a special… Continue reading

UPDATE: RCMP involved in crash south of Courtenay Saturday night

An RCMP member was involved in a three-vehicle collision on Highway 19… Continue reading

Mental health advocate’s journey with dissociative identity disorder sparks conversation

Coast Mental Health Courage to Come Back Awards nomination deadline Jan. 31

Assisted living workers allegedly attacked while picketing

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith says arrows and gasoline were thrown at the picketers early in the week

Dangerous drug confirmed in the Comox Valley

Lab test confirms the presence of fentanyl in powder substance

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read