BC Liberals wanted HST – despite high level warnings of job loss, wage loss and productivity loss for up to 5 years

Cross posted from Honestly Shared Taxation, another blog I co-author with writer Norman Farrell.

Jonathan Fowlie of the Vancouver Sun has breaking news this September 1st,2010. Here is an excerpt:

FOI documents: B.C. government adopted HST despite warnings of negative impact on the economy
13 months after Freedom of Information request, heavily censored documents reveal discussion surrounding harmonized sales tax

VICTORIA — The B.C. Liberal government pushed ahead with a harmonized sales tax despite warnings at the highest levels that such a move could lead to at least five years of increased unemployment, lower wages and depressed productivity.

“While the long-term economic gain [of the HST] is relatively clear, harmonization will cause a short-term loss in GDP and unemployment,” says a briefing note prepared by the top official in the B.C.’s tax policy branch for Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

“[A C.D. Howe] study suggests that it may take five or more years before the impact on GDP is positive and even longer for real wages and job numbers to recover,” the note said.

“Given current economic conditions, this could be a concern.”

The revelation came Wednesday in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Those documents also reveal that top bureaucrats in Victoria were discussing a possible move to the HST as early as March 2009 — a month and a half before the provincial election and far earlier than the Liberal government has ever acknowledged.

Campbell and Hansen have repeatedly said the HST was not on the government’s “radar screen” until after the May 12, 2009 provincial election.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/documents+government+adopted+despite+warnings+negative+impact+economy/3470614/story.html#ixzz0yK4aGlVR

The Sun has posted those documents online here: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/news/3470614/story.html?tab=PHOT

What more can I say? How about this:

If this were any other country,people would be flooding the streets in anger.There would be a general strike. There would be mayhem and people would storm government offices. Think Greece, Italy.

But this is British Columbia,and as much as I feel actions like those would certainly allow anger to be voiced, what else would it accomplish?

We will Recall in the Fall, and we will demand Honestly Shared Taxation.

The government knew it might take up to and over 5 years to recover from the job loss, the wage loss and the productivity loss the implementation of the HST would create,and they still felt giving big business priority over the people who elected them was the answer.

Let me tell you, they were wrong. Dead wrong and we must all send a message any way we can.

Money apparently is the only thing Gordon Campbell and the Liberals understand,so we have to speak to them using that language.

There is a  growing HST consumer boycott action underway in BC.  Many people have chosen to boycott both  the companies who supported the big business legal challenge that failed,as well as  boycott any business who  has supported only  the BC liberals through corporate contributions over the years Campbell has been in power.  It is a personal choice as to who one chooses to boycott, and why.

Political contributions are public information, and can be searched through this database:

http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/SA1ASearch.aspx

I can not stress enough how important it is to notify each company you are boycotting as to why you will no longer be supporting their business. If you do not,you have wasted the power you have to put pressure on those big businesses who can pressure the government to repeal this tax, and pressure the Chamber of Commerce to stop promoting the HST.

16 thoughts on “BC Liberals wanted HST – despite high level warnings of job loss, wage loss and productivity loss for up to 5 years

  1. Laila

    Mine either Lynn.

    Boycott now, Recall in the Fall.

    Pressure those businesses who have the ability to pressure the Liberals. Fight back and hit them where it hurts- their bottom line.

    Like

  2. cherylb

    No one should be surprised at the news today. After all, we’ve all been saying for a year that there was no way an agreement like that could have been discussed and implemented as quickly as Huggie and Gordo would have us believe. All it has done is confirm our suspicions and renewed our resolve to toss these lying b*stards out on their asses asap. Recall in the fall!

    Like

  3. workforfun

    Yep to all the above and also, let friends and relatives outside of British Columbia and even outside Canada, know just what is going on here.

    In many other countries around the world, Campbell would have been dealt with swiftly (you fill in the description) – maybe be to never be seen again.

    Given the hurt and damage Campbell has done to this province, kicking him out via the Recall seems too civilized for this poor excuse for a man.

    Let us all shout it out loud and clear – RECALL IN THE FALL

    Thx

    Like

  4. RoKeSc

    Take a look at the dates on the faxed letter of agreement with the federal government and explain how this could have happened so quickly after the election. The PDF used to be on the Finance Ministry WebSite.

    Like

  5. Lynn

    Huggies said the gov’t bureaucrats were working on tax options?
    Who works for whom? (Aside from the fact they WORK FOR US!)
    The bureaucrats work for Huggie, I assume. So why doesn’t the boss-man know what games his staff are playing?
    Lier, Lier, Lier. According to the CoC website they had been working with the government on implementing a “harmony (LOL) tax.
    A think tank put in their 2 cents worth advising the Gordo and the Huggster about the negative impact. So how in the hell can they both say it WAS NOT ON THE RADAR?
    LIER, LIER, LIER, LIER.
    Carole James should put on her pants and be all over this.

    Like

    1. Laila

      I too, am wondering why – in a time when the people of BC are clearly, CLEARLY, looking for black and white answers, not grey – why Carol hasn’t come right out and said what she will do should she become premier. Obviously that answer isn’t easy to give, but something, anything, is better than nothing.

      RoKeSc, this was in the bag long before the election. I am trying to locate an article that I found a couple weeks ago that states Campbell and McGuinty both went to the Harper and said they needed this tax to stimulate their economies, and Harper complied. McQuinty worked out his agreement, and Campbell followed suit. This occurred long before the election happened.

      Like

  6. I started emailing some of the companies on the list of HST supporters and here is a copy of my first reply

    Thank you for contacting our office.

    Like all other retailers, on July 1 we implemented HST tax changes passed by the Legislatures of British Columbia, Ontario and Atlantic.
    Canadian Tire – through Canadian Tire Petroleum – owns and operates 275 convenience stores across the country and is a member of the Canadian Convenience Store Association (CCSA) and, by extension, the Western Canadian Convenience Store Association (WCCSA).
    The WCCSA has acted independently on this issue and Canadian Tire is not involved in the court challenge.
    As a Canadian Tire customer, we appreciate your patronage and thank you for your valuable feedback.

    So who is telling the truth here ? According to this Canadian Tire is either a company that just joins organizations for the fun of it, OR maybe it wants nothing to do with the principles & policies of these associations ?

    Guy in Victoria

    Like

    1. Laila

      Guy, you want to know the great thing about this reply?

      It is a form letter. The same one they sent to me, and from what I have had forwarded to me, several hundred other shoppers in BC!! Canadian tire has received so many emails they have now created a form letter to address the issue.

      I really can’t answer that question Guy. I selected Canadian Tire based on their membership in the Association, which states it acted on behalf of it’s members. Personally I have a hard time believing that a large corporation would not have said, ” Hey, we want no part of this action” if they were not on board with it.

      I would say it is time for the Western Canadian Convenience Store association to tell the public who was on board, and who was not, if it comes to that. But I see every large corporate name that was a member of these associations trying to distance themselves as much as they can to avoid boycotts altogether.

      Like

  7. SB

    The truth is Campbell knew a long time ago he was going to implement HST and Hanson stands up and lies again , pure liars all of them and C James cant get a sniff out of MSN is what local NDP office tells me they shut her out and censor so we dont know what she has said and we wont get to if that is correct , but time to use websites to make it street fight if thats all she has i do think people are looking for a plan.

    Like

  8. G.J.W.

    It is now said, the FOI papers, were misread. We know, the FOI papers were tampered with before. The NDP pulled the papers, trying to find the Olympic deficit. Most all of those papers, were whited out. So now, Bateman retracted his statements? He is known as an intelligent person. How could he have been so wrong? Perhaps, his job was threatened? Don’t know. Just weird.

    Like

  9. North Van's Grumps

    I was looking for where the $780,000 brochure that never made it to the printing press ended up. Its here at: http://hst.blog.gov.bc.ca/ and in the very first sentence there is this:

    “Media recently received documents which they believe indicate officials in the B.C. Government were actively discussing adopting the HST prior to the May 2009 provincial election. This, however, is not true. ” Within the phrase “recently received” is this link:

    http://hst.blog.gov.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Releaserecords.pdf

    For the readers’ information BN is an acronym for Briefing Note………… and just who the heck is RKC asking for more info.

    This pdf document provides insight on how the briefing note was established before it was presented to Finance Minister Colin Hansen, and amended once he became involved. No matter how much the Finance Minister wishes he had paid attention to the BN, when he was answering a question in the BC Legislature, it paints a totally different picture than what is being said now by the MLA.

    8000 scanned pages of the BC Rail scandal is a required primer before reading this document.

    Like

  10. North Van's Grumps

    On February 2, 2009 here we have Premier Gordon Campbell promising to tell the TRUTH three times, and ended up lying to voters. And he even goes so far as to promise this:

    “We would have to table a budget with absolutely no margin for error and no room to manage in the event our forecasts are wrong.” – Gordon Campbell

    His election promise to voters was a $500 in the hole deficit, landed on his feet with an election victory, and then discovered that his deficit was closer to TWO BILLION. The only thing that could save his sorry ass was the HST.

    “And here’s the really hard part. The truth is – we could STILL deliver a balanced budget that would comply with our legislation.

    But to do that, we would have to cut hundreds of millions out of planned budget increases for health care and education.

    We would have to table a budget with absolutely no margin for error and no room to manage in the event our forecasts are wrong.

    It would be a budget that hurts more than it helps while aggravating our current economic predicament. In short, it would be a budget that satisfied the law, but that undermined public confidence and our province’s fiscal credibility.

    One of the worst things that ever happened to British Columbia’s reputation was the NDP “fudge-it budgets.”

    The only thing worse than a deficit budget is a duplicitous budget. That is why we introduced truth in budgeting legislation and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. No matter how politically tough it may be to table a deficit budget, the heart of any budget’s credibility is its commitment to telling the truth.” – Gordon Campbell –

    This speech came out of nowhere, a short two weeks after the First Ministers’ Meeting January 16, 2009 was held in Ottawa. The Finance Ministry’s Briefing Notes and Harm files were used by Premier Gordon Campbell at the Federal level.

    http://www.gov.bc.ca/premier/media_gallery/speeches/2009/feb/state_of_the_economy_update_2009_02_02_90234_M_1.html

    ********************************************************

    Minister Hansen’s Slide Presentation

    http://www.gov.bc.ca/premier/media_gallery/downloads/2009/feb/Economic_&_Fiscal_update.pdf

    My take of this slide presentation is that the projected deficit should have been assumed to be $2 billion, not .5 billion dollars

    Like

  11. Pingback: BC dumps electoral officer. Revenge? : Canada's online magazine: Politics, entertainment, technology, media, arts, books: backofthebook.ca

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