HST: It’s finally over

The PST legislation passed without fanfare in the Legislature this week, bringing an end to the four-year long HST debacle.

The PST legislation passed without fanfare in the Legislature this week, bringing an end to the four-year long HST debacle. It happened without the NDP calling a standing vote to rub salt in the wounds of Liberal MLAs who were compelled to defend and repeatedly vote for a tax their party had promised wasn’t in the cards during the 2009 election.

The HST saga demonstrates that the majority of party MLAs and candidates running in an election don’t have a clue what their leadership has in store for them should they form government. Election platforms and pre-election budgets aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. We’ve seen it time and time again, with the NDP’s so-called “fudge-it budgets”; with Premier Campbell’s sale of BC Rail after the 2001 contest; and with the HST and ballooning deficit after the 2009 election.

At a minimum, future fixed election dates must be moved to the fall to avoid this mess, so election year budgets can be fully debated and scrutinized.

Fortunately, the HST debacle shows that voters can hold their government to account between elections if they are motivated and organized enough to use the referendum and initiative legislation effectively. I’d like to see this tool used to force political parties to take big money out of politics by banning corporate and union donations.

The Liberals’ rationalization of HST also proves we should never listen to politicians who use economic fear mongering to justify their tax or social policies. We were told that PST is a job and investment killer. Funny that the provincial budget tabled a few weeks ago projects none of the job and investment-killing effects the Liberals said we’d experience if we returned to the PST.

Now that the HST is behind us, let’s hope the government starts actively assisting the 100,000 businesses (out of 130,000) that have yet to register to start collecting the PST as of April 1st. Some of the millions of dollars of taxpayer money being spent on partisan ads could have been put to much better use by making the transition back to PST as painless as possible.

Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.

Just Posted

Falcons junior, Grade 8 girls volleyball teams see success on court at district championships

Hurley said right from the start of the season commitment from players at the school was apparent

Cariboo Magi entertains and delights at TRU Gymnasium

This month the Williams Lake Studio Theatre has brought a heartfelt but absurd comedy to the stage

Midget Female T-wolves continue to improve: coach O’Hara

“We’re a young team playing against older teams, and I’m very happy we’re competing”

Police ask public to keep eye out for stolen Peterson Contracting work truck

Thieves drove the work truck through the closed bay doors

Disney Plus gives Canadians a streaming platform that nearly matches U.S. version

The Walt Disney Company’s new subscription platform unveiled a comprehensive offering of nearly 500 films

B.C. government grappling with multiple labour disputes by public-sector unions

Public-sector unions may have expectations of a labour-friendly NDP government

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

Most Read