British Columbians vote to scrap the HST

The HST in B.C. will be no more.

  • Aug. 26, 2011 8:00 p.m.

The HST in B.C. will be no more.

Elections BC announced today that 54.73 per cent of British Columbians who voted in the Harmonized Sales Tax referendum voted yes to reinstate the PST/GST system and to scrap the HST.

In the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding, 56.9 per cent voted yes to the PST/GST system (6,361 people) while 43.1 per cent voted to keep the HST (4,818 people).

In the Cariboo North riding, 58.96 per cent voted yes to the PST/GST system (7,131 people) while 43.1 per cent voted to keep the HST (4,964 people).

One of the first tasks of the B.C. government is to open negotiations with the federal government on repaying a $1.6 billion transition fund paid to the province since the adoption of the HST in 2010.

A provincial sales tax administration and audit centre will also have to be re-established, and businesses across the province will have to change their cash registers and accounting systems for the second time in two years.

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon has kept his options open to change some of the exemptions to the former PST. But Premier Christy Clark said earlier this week that her government will carry out the will of the people as expressed in the referendum.

There were 1,610,125 valid referendum votes in B.C.