NDP says HST funding not fair

Web Lead

  • Apr. 14, 2011 5:00 a.m.

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

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

They support us, let’s support them

Local businesses support our local economy, but they need us as much as we need them.

Genelle ‘vehicle incident’ under RCMP investigation

Regional firefighters respond to car fire Sunday night

Nelson commits to 100% renewables by 2050

This makes Nelson the sixth city in Canada to join the worldwide initiative

Health Canada consumer alert

Flintstones Plus Iron multivitamins for children: One bottle found to contain unidentified capsules instead of chewable tablets

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Best B.C. cities to live in: millennial edition

Other local municipalities score at bottom of list from real estate blog

LIVE: Solitary confinement in Canadian prisons unconstitutional: B.C. Supreme Court

Associations argued that solitary confinement was inhuman

1 in 4 B.C. consumers unable to pay bills, debt repayment: poll

Since interest rates first rose in July, poll suggests households across B.C. have had to tighten budget

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

B.C. husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

Couple presented with Vital Link Awards for quick use of CPR

154 remote B.C. communities to get high-speed internet

Government funding to bring subsea fiber optic cable to connect people on the coast

Kelowna West byelection called for Feb. 14

Four candidate race to replace departed former B.C. premier Christy Clark

Bank of Canada hikes interest rate to 1.25%, cites strong economic data

The rate increase is expected to prompt Canada’s large banks to raise their prime lending rates

Most Read