Testimonials for Provident Security, owned by Mike Jagger, co-chair of Smart Tax Alliance and champion of the HST

Gordon Campbell · Premier of British Columbia ·

“Provident’s quick response, around the clock service and professional staff was an important element in solving the security concerns in our office…” 

 

And what is behind his motivation to get the HST in action? From his own site….http://www.providentsecurity.ca/press/74 

Published October 13, 2010 · PROFIT Magazine · Written by Ian Portsmouth

Mike Jagger might share that sentiment. For close to six years, his Vancouver-based security business has been fighting the B.C. Ministry of Finance over provincial sales tax he never charged his customers because he’s sure it doesn’t apply to the products in question. Still, he has paid out $300,000 in remittances and penalties-and still owes more. “It’s the principle of the thing,” says Jagger, president of Provident Security Corp., a 175-employee firm that provides security personnel and such services as alarm installation and monitoring. “We’ve spent more on all the back and forth than the amount we owe.”

What really burns Jagger up is the unresponsiveness of government agents to his inquiries; through the beginning of October, ministry staff had still not replied to a letter Jagger had sent them in February. And when they have responded to past calls and missives, he says, they’ve simply restated their position without addressing any of his specific points.

Jagger vows not to give up his PST fight, although he has put this old saw into practice: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” This year, he joined a 25-member advisory panel that meets every two months to discuss business issues with B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

“The ability to get yourself to the table in advance is so much more productive,” says Jagger. “It’s easier to help shape new policies than to get government to change bad ones.”

 
 
 

47 thoughts on “Testimonials for Provident Security, owned by Mike Jagger, co-chair of Smart Tax Alliance and champion of the HST

  1. Laila

    Yes, I wonder if Mr. Jagger has been ” forgiven” the amount he owes according to his own words in this article, or if he paid his entire amount owing, including outstanding penalties, or if that debt owing was forgiven? He seems to be an ardent champion for the HST… right around that date.

    Mr. Jagger, perhaps you would care to comment?

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  2. John Sugden

    Why would this fellow pay the government taxes that he did not collect. Seems to me he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He may kow security, but he doesn’t know business.

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  3. Laila

    Honestly, I don’t know which is worse, a government who meets with people that includes a fellow who owes thousands of dollars of tax, or that this fellow is now schilling for the liberals, and the HST. Well, perhaps he likes the HST because he can get all of it back on the HST claim on his business expenses and purchases..lol..

    Mike is more than welcome to respond or comment, but I bet we won’t hear anything. Certainly this should go to he press in letters to the editors and to reporters, to ask the question: Did the government forgive Mike Jagger of the Smart Tax Alliances PST debts owed to the government ? Is this what motivated his big PR campaign involvement?

    Mike, Mike the man we want to hear from.

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  4. You are correct about what’s behind my motivation to support the HST. I’ve made little secret about it. In addition to the Profit Magazine article that you quoted from our website, I also outlined my experience with the old PST/GST system and the positive impact that the HST has had on our business in a video at http://www.supporthst.ca/video.php?id=3

    To answer some of the questions from you & your readers:

    1. Was Provident “forgiven” the amount owed?

    No. We were not forgiven anything. Despite a nearly 6 year battle to outline how arbitrary and contradictory the PST ‘rules’ were that applied to our business, we paid every single penny. At the time of the Profit Magazine article that you quoted, we were still disputing about $60,000.00 … that amount has since been paid. We were not ‘forgiven’ anything and paid everything that the PST office alleged that we owed.

    To be clear, we never asked for anything to be forgiven. We asked for a clear tax policy that both we, and the PST Auditors, could understand.

    The amounts we spent in that battle are a perfect example of how wasteful the PST system was.

    In terms of the timing of the tail end of our losing battle and the introduction of the HST, that is a coincidence. While it had zero impact on what we had to pay, it certainly provided inspiration for me to get as involved as possible to get the word out about how the HST has helped our company, our employees and customers.

    At my own expense, I created the http://www.SupportHST.ca website so that other small business owners could get their voices heard. The FightHST side was (and still is) trying to get people to think that the HST was only good for big business. I knew that that was not true and I took it upon myself to do something about it.

    Several months ago, the SmartTax Alliance asked me to get involved with them as it was clear we had a common goal. That’s how I got involved and I have been volunteering as Co-Chair since then.

    2. John Sugden asked ‘Why would we pay taxes we did not collect’?

    That is a great question. Unfortunately, the Government doesn’t care whether or not a business actually collects the tax. All they care about is whether they decide that a business was supposed to.

    In our case, we had been advised by one Auditor how the PST should be applied to alarm system installations and then, several years later, were forced to pay retroactive penalties by a subsequent Auditor who disagreed with the interpretation of the PST rules by the first Auditor.

    We’ve had three PST audits at Provident. All three audits resulted in different opinions from the government regarding how PST was to be applied.

    To say that the situation was a joke would be a massive understatement. It would have been comical had it not cost us so much money, and in turn wasted so many of our resources that our clients pay us to devote to serving them.

    With respect to your comment “I don’t know which is worse, a government who meets with people that includes a fellow who owes thousands of dollars of tax, or that this fellow is now schilling for the liberals, and the HST”… to start with, your statement makes the assumption that the tax we ‘owed’ was the result of simply not paying tax or otherwise falling behind in our obligations. Neither is the case.

    We were put in the position of being retroactively charged tax that we felt was unjustly and incorrectly applied. We took issue with the ambiguity and contradictory ‘rules’ in the outdated PST system and worked our way, legally, through the appeals process to get our case heard. Our argument remained the same from the first day of our fight right through to the last. Throughout that period, we paid hundreds of thousands of dollars that we believed had been incorrectly assessed while going through the process.

    We made no secret of our feelings on the matter and made no effort to hide or find a loophole. Instead, we felt it was our duty to go through the appeals process to bring light to a costly, wasteful and unjust tax application that was bad for us, bad for our employees and bad for our clients.

    I would argue that had the government not met with me, that that would have been an even greater injustice.

    In terms of schilling for the Liberals… I’m not. I’m advocating as strongly as I can for the HST. While I support the Liberals in a general sense, have certainly voted for them in every election & even made small donations (which is a public record) I am by no means ‘schilling’. I have been an outspoken critic of the PST system and complained loudly to Finance Minister Colin Hansen and to anyone else who would listen about how wasteful the PST system was.

    Given my experience with the PST, and my support for the HST, you would be hard pressed to find someone more angry with the Liberals in terms of how the HST was implemented. The HST is a good policy that is good for BC. It is a major step forward that helps small business and encourages job growth. The way that the HST was brought in was deplorable. I have never, and will never, defend the way it got brought in.

    I’m a small business owner, not a Politician. My interest is in being able to focus on providing the best possible customer service to our clients. The happier our clients are, the more job security for our existing employees and the more opportunities for job growth exist.

    Hope that clears things up.

    Mike

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  5. istvan

    Mike makes a good point,He had a problem with the pst .It like sounds like he had a beef with the tax people.Why does he think that the feds will be any better?

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  6. @istvan

    It’s not that I have any greater confidence in Federal tax depts as opposed to Provincial ones… its the rules that are clearer.

    Under PST, there were thousands of exemptions, special situations and different rules for different people at different times. In our case, the government had an almost 20 page handbook that attempted to explain how to apply the PST to alarm installations. That would have been ok, but even those rules were contradictory. It was a mess.

    By contrast, with the HST the tax is applied evenly to all of our services. No loopholes, no special exemptions.

    It has taken a process that used to consume hours each week in our office to a process that takes about five minutes each quarter.

    With simple rules that everyone can understand, we don’t waste time, the government doesn’t waste time and consumers get better value for the money they are spending.

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    1. Laila

      Thanks for stopping by Mike to clear that up for us! Now, I’m really glad the HST is working out for you, in a presumably small business as you describe yourself – some would disagree, like the mom and pop shops in many areas, that you are a large business owner.

      The only thing is Mike, it’s already been determined that Mintz’s estimates on job creation were far off, and that the impact of the HST was far greater than anticipated. Yes, people are still mad about the lies, after lies, and the lies we are still getting from Christy Clark, but it goes beyond that – the HST is also good for you because you are able to get the entire 12% back on items and purchases required to operate your business, as opposed to the previous 5% that you could previously get back . That alone is the true big savings to a business of your size.
      Now, in theory, most businesses would or should, pass that savings along to consumers, keeping before tax prices the same, but that hasn’t happened either. Many business owners have had to increase their prices because of increases in their overhead, and other costs passed down onto them. Many small business owners have contacted myself, and Norman Farrell personally through our Honestly Shared Taxation blog, because they are against the HST, which has hurt their businesses.

      So, the jobs that were promised didn’t really show up, the savings were not passed onto consumers, who are paying higher prices before tax, then add that HST on… BAM. System overload. Which is why the HST, otherwise known as a VAT in other countries, is always a regressive tax unless other items like Luxury taxes are also brought into play to offset that harmful effect it has on the lower income population. Those HST rebate cheques can’t possibly begin to compensate what is being paid out in the HST, and in higher costs passed onto that consumer in the lower income bracket. And since many don’t pay taxes at that low income bracket, the reduction in personal income tax is redundant.

      The rest of us, we aren’t able to fill out those forms and get the HST back on items required to run our lives, like businesses do, Mike. The HST is good for many businesses, but not all. The HST is not good for consumers, not good for low to mid income families who spend more of their incomes than higher income brackets do, and that is where I have the issue with this tax and this government.

      As for saying you are not schilling for the Liberals, I beg to differ. You were involved and supported Kevin Falcons leadership bid and joined the big business support web site pushing for his leadership. ” I support then in a general sense.” Really, how so? What exactly does that mean, a general sense?

      I also have a couple questions since you are here.

      First what are these”sample” letters going out to Chamber members all about? This is really infringing on peoples rights, don’t you think? This is a referendum, and pushing this on an employee, or suggesting to send it to employees is crossing a line in my opinion.

      Secondly, I heard your complaint about the VZ radio ads, saying they were deceptive. Would you consider that more or less deceptive than the hstjobs.ca signs that are being posted up that have no phone number, no agent, and no truth on them because they state:

      ” Keep the HST 10% Vote no to higher taxes” as per this link:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150214315542041&set=a.74351902040.82833.580097040&type=1&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=10150214315542041&set=a.74351902040.82833.580097040&type=1&theater

      Now Mike, seems you are in violation as an official opponent for failing to have the proper identification on these signs. Not to mention, the HST is 12%. The referendum is voting on the HST at 12% or going back to the old system. This sign is deceptive and indicates a 10% HST, which if someone is not truly informed of the promise to roll it back over two years – and it is still just a promise. People might actually think the HST is 10% or believe they are voting for higher taxes.

      Kind of like calling the kettle black now, isn’t it? How many of those illegal signs have your people got up Mike?

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    1. Laila

      It isn’t over til it’s over Ron, but it is hard to argue against facts, and I have plenty. For example, another argument I keep hearing is that the maritimes went to the HST so should we. Well the difference between their HST and ours is huge- they actually reduced the tax rate when the HST was implemented- Newfoundland (from 19% to 15% to 13%) and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (from 18.7% to 15% to 13%). The BC HST DOES NOT reduce the combined tax rate as it is 12% (7% PST plus 5% GST) making consumer goods and services more expensive as most items were not previously taxed the 7% PST tax. The tax base is broader- more items taxed overall AND more tax on those items. So even if the government ever did reduce our HST, we are still paying more tax that when it was GST and PST, because so many more items are being taxed that never were before….

      The reason the HST is called a Value added tax is the reason Mike speaks of in streamlining for business, although he failed to mention the point that businesses can now collect the entire 12% wheras before they could not. Huge miss, and most Liberals never mention that point because it highlights why business really really like this HST.

      The downside is that a VAT is always, always a regressive tax because it benefits the wealthy, and punish the poor. The wealthy man might make a couple million a year and only spend 10% of his income, so less payment of the HST. A regular joe making $38,000 likely spends all his income taking care of life, so his payment of HST is far higher. The HST cheques can’t even begin to make up what is being paid out, as explained below.

      Mike likes the one angle he presents and that is it, I think. I don’t think he looks beyond that.

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  7. Regarding job creation, I can speak on my own behalf as a small business owner (and we are a small business… keep in mind that a big part of our business is providing labour on an hourly basis, which makes the number of employees we have make us sound like a much larger business than we are)… the HST has allowed us to create two new full-time positions already. We are only one of almost 400,000 small businesses in BC.

    In addition, it allowed us to re-direct one position that was previously dedicated to PST/Government red tape/compliance to be a customer service focused position.

    The bottom line is that the HST has allowed us to provide more (& better) service to our clients without raising our costs – and therefore our prices.

    If we were to revert to the old PST/GST system, we would lose all of the efficiencies we have gained since the HST and would be forced to make a decision to either cut back on our service delivery or raise prices in order to stay even. Our clients get better value for the money they spend as a result of the HST.

    Re: your comment about getting the entire 12% back in the form of input tax credits… of course that is a big savings to us, just like it is a savings to every other small business in BC (keep in mind that many big businesses already had special PST rebates that gave them this advantage in the past… the HST now allows all businesses to operated on a level playing field). Under the old system, the cost borne by businesses for PST expenses was passed on to consumers. Now, businesses can choose how to apply those savings: they can increase their service levels without raising prices or they can reduce their prices.

    Ultimately, consumers will decide if businesses have made the correct decision. The HST creates a level playing field… and now, everyone knows that businesses costs have come down as a result of the HST. If you are not getting better value or lower prices, choose another business to patronize. Business is incredibly competitive and consumers are in charge. If they aren’t getting value, they will vote with their dollars and move on.

    You said that business owners have contacted you to say that they have had to increase their prices because of increases to their overhead. I’m not sure how that is possible. Every single business, no matter how small, is now able to claim back the HST they pay… if anything, their costs will have decreased. Do you have any specific examples of how HST could increase costs for a business? I’m not aware of any.

    I’ll leave the economic argument to the economists… other than noting that virtually every economist appears to agree that HST/VAT taxes are much better alternatives. The fact is that over 140 countries/jurisdictions have moved to a VAT… not a single one has gone backwards to a PST style sales tax. BC is at risk of being the first to go back in time to a complicated & unfair sales tax system that favors big business and creates hidden cost for consumers while making life much more complicated for small business owners.

    Regarding my support of Kevin Falcon, again, that is not a secret and could hardly be considered ‘schilling’. I publicly indicated who I supported, that’s it. I’ve been completely upfront with what I believe and what I support.

    As for your questions:

    1. The ‘sample letters’

    I have no problem with the letters. I do not think that they infringe on anyone’s rights anymore than a lawnsign or TV ad.

    In the event anyone’s job is put at risk for disagreeing with a letter, that’s a completely different issue.

    I intend to send an email to our team members to outline the impact that the HST has had on our company. They have a right to know and they also have the right to disagree or vote the opposite way for whatever reason they choose.

    Any company that disciplines, or takes any action against an employee based on how they vote deserves whatever action the Employment Standards or Human Rights Tribunal would take.

    I have enough respect for my employees to know that we can have an honest conversation about the topic. No one is going to ask them how they voted or do anything about it after the fact. Any company that does will be hard-pressed to convince anyone else to work for them.

    Our business is based on our reputation… and so is our ability to attract and retain great people. Telling people how to vote is wrong. Explaining how the HST has impacted the business that they are employed at is information that they have a right to know. How they choose to respond to that information is their business.

    2. The radio ads…

    I think the FIghtHST ads are misleading. Bill Vanderzalm says that if you vote against the HST you will get ‘all’ your money back. That’s untrue. It’s also not the first time. Chris Thompson did a great job outlining some of the other similar statements from Mr. Vanderzalm at http://www.FightFightHST.com

    With respect to the Smart Tax Alliance ads, they talk about the pending change to drop the HST to 10%… which is now federal law.

    The upcoming vote is all about what is going to happen in the future. If the HST passes, seniors & families will get transition cheques and the rate will be dropped to 11% and then 10%. If we go back to the PST/GST it will be 12% on most items and all of the hidden costs/inefficiencies (not to mention federal repayment of $1.6B) that go with it.

    The rate drop is more than a ‘promise’, it’s now a law. If you don’t believe that, why would you believe that the minimum wage will be increased?… in fact, if you have so little trust that a law will be carried out as enacted, why bother voting at all in the first place?

    The argument about the merits of the HST vs. the old PST/GST system has to include the changes to 10% in order to be relevant. To suggest otherwise is a great disservice to British Columbians trying to understand what they are voting on.

    3. The signs

    I have no idea what the rules are about agent/phone number thing on the signs are. I wasn’t involved with them and will ask for an answer on that tomorrow.

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    1. Laila

      First of all, may I congratulate on completely ignoring the impact of the HST on families and low income earners. Kudos! Again, those one time HST transition cheques are nothing and provide little additional relief to those that need it most. Try living on that kind of income for a month, with a couple kids and some rent etc… and then come talk to me about how great those proposed changes are Mike.

      I ‘ll tell you why I don’t believe ” the law” that the HST will be reduced, Mike, and it has a little to do with all the lies that originated from the government from the very beginning to now, over the HST. They changed the law to allow the HST to happen, what is to say Christy isn’t going to flip and do something else in desperation? What, we should believe it because it is law? Mike, this government has had a habit of making promises they either break, or go back on- we both know it. Christy said she wouldn’t entertain the drop in percentage before the referendum, then she changed her mind and did it. Get it? No consistency, no reliability, no honesty. Therefore, not counting on something that wont happen for two years when we are voting now on whether to keep it or not.

      Mike, I am not going to debate the issue of how the HST has helped your business- I dont doubt it has, but the mitigation of the HST on other sectors has still not occurred and as I said, many businesses are hurting, many small and many large. Tourism, hospitality, for goodness sakes, you might want to read the Chamber of Commerces own papers on mitigating the HST impact on many business sectors in BC- frankly I am surprised you even have to ask for examples of businesses that arent benefitting from the HST! Many businesses have faced increase in overhead, leases etc and many do not get the ITC that perhaps your sector does. Big difference. http://www.bcchamber.org/advocacy/policy/provincial_gov/finance/hst_mitigation_for_the_ritc.html

      So clearly, while the HST process might streamline for some, not all businesses, the harmful impact on thousands has been discussed up the ying yang and little mitigation has actually occurred or been made public in those areas. The VAT in Europe and the UK has been widely lauded as a cash cow for those governments, bringing in revenue to reduce deficits, yes, but the impacts have been the same there on the poor- and BC has plenty of those! Some have mitigated by making more exemptions and adding luxury taxes that generate revenue from those who can afford it. We have seen neither in this province, only weak attempts at consoling taxpayers with bonus cheques…lol.

      As for much of the Smart Tax Alliance advertisements, they are misleading as well. The fact is the tax is 12 % now, not ten. If you state it MIGHT be 10% in two years, but you will still be paying more tax because more items are being taxed more than they used to be, that would be honest! To show a big sign with a 10% in the middle and say vote against higher taxes could not be more misleading.

      I’m disappointed in you Mike, because you see like a really nice guy,a good boss… and yet you seem to know or care so little about the real and personal side of the impact of the HST. You are only thinking about your business, and that is it. Did you know Stats Can just announced that again, BC has the highest child poverty rate in the country? AGAIN! What, is that 12 years now or 13,
      I can’t recall. But I can tell you one thing. That rate is going to get higher with the HST, not lower.

      I can see the benefits to some businesses as you explain in your case, but you fail to see the facts bolstering my argument. There are so many programs,grants and tax credits in BC that never benefit companies who are based in BC, like the Royalty Infrastructure credit program. Man, you could cut that by half or even 3/4 and generate a hell of a lot of revenue there. I’l explain that one to you if you care to hear. So if the government wanted to make sure there was no impact on returning the partial payment BC has received, they could do it. There is more than enough incentives and credits being given out that could be halted- these gas and resource companies aren’t going anywhere with our reserves, and we all know it.
      Instead, we unfortunately hear people like Falcon threatening cuts to health care and education if we return to the old system, because again ” the money has to come from somewhere”…

      Let me know what is up with that sign- it would save me having to register a complaint if Smart Tax simply removed them all. I could provide you with locations but I think your people will know where every single one is that does not meet the requirements and needs to be taken down immediately.

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  8. cherylb

    The rate drop may be law, but it is only a promise until 2014 and we all know how good the Lieberals are at keeping their promises. Good example: the “fixed election date” law. Your signs infer that the HST is now 10% (which you bloody well know it is not) and that it will save us from higher taxes. Doesn’t make one mention about the fact that your precious LIeberals are the ones responsible for the higher taxes and even with a 10% HST, we are still paying much more in consumption taxes than we did a year ago. Argue all you want. Your “campaign” is dishonest and misleading. Why is that? Can’t you win with facts and reasoning? You have to twist things to get people to see it your way?

    As far as Vander Zalm goes – people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. They might get cut by the flying glass. You and your group are guilty of misinformation.

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  9. I haven’t ignored the impact on families and low income earners. I’ve simply spoken from my own direct experience. As a small business owner, I know exactly how the HST has helped and I know how it has created jobs… so I can speak with authority on that topic.

    In terms of impact on low-income earners, I think it’s important to listen to those directly impacted… and in particular, those that have done the math. Here is one such person speaking from her own experience about how the HST has put more money in her pocket as a low-income senior… http://www.supporthst.ca/video.php?id=22

    You didn’t give me an example of any business that has seen increased costs as a result of the HST. The fact is that the ITC credits are not sector specific as you suggest… they are across the board and available for every single business in BC no matter how small they are or what service they provide. Their overhead is now lower, their leases are now lower and they all get to claim back 100% of the HST they pay. That saves all of us as consumers.

    The child poverty issue is a completely unrelated issue that only serves to cloud this argument. If we expect the government to tackle the really important issues, like child poverty, they need to have the money to do it. Sending us back in time to repay the federal government and re-instate the PST office does nothing to help move things further ahead. It does the opposite.

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    1. Laila

      Wow Mike,one video from a senior who says it is good for her, as opposed to how many seniors who say it is not? She is poor,she has less to spend,so the HST forces her to spend less because it is a consumption tax?

      I just had a small rally with some seniors who are pretty pissed off about the money it is costing them. Mad enough to stand despite pains and vertigo in once instance, and let people know this is their choice. Where are all the videos from families declaring how good it is Mike, because I see none. By the way, Chrystal Ocean has been a reader of mine, and I think if you search the archives you will find some comments. Did she come to you, or did you go to her? Did she get paid for this endorsement? In fact, she has tweeted some of my posts in the past, so her view on this, as seen in the video where it appears she is reading from a script, quite surprising. Not impossible, but not surprising nonetheless. I see on her blog she joined the Liberal party just to vote for the leader she thought was best, and then quit!! But I digress. This is not about one senior who likes a consumption tax, this is about many who do not, and unlike her, can’t go without by choice.

      The child poverty issue is not an unrelated issue Mike, because the HST harms those with the least amount of income to spend, particularly those families with children. That is a huge fact of the HST and it is completely relevent. There you go again with the money needs to come from somewhere line..lol… The child poverty was here before the HST Mike, reality check. The HST is not going to help the government tackle those really important issues, its going to let them give more credits to gas, oil and resource sector businesses who already get a hell of a lot of credits. It’s going to let them expand the relationship with China.

      Sending us back in time to repay the feds the partial payment we have received is very doable. Reversing what has been done will not be easy, for sure, but it must be done. Will business cry, complain and whine? For sure. Will John Winters freak out that the years he spent lobbying the government for the HST went to waste? Yes he will. But the people will have exercised their right to be consulted, and their right to this referendum, and I and others will be there to make sure the government knows exactly where to get that money and how to make some more. As I said, I can show you where many credit programs exist that could be halted. Maybe over the next two years, like the alleged drop in the HST..lol..

      It’s really hard to fight in favour of a government that lies so often Mike, tell me, how do you do reconcile the lies, and still support them in good faith?

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  10. Lew

    Mike, thanks for answering questions.

    I’m interested in your testimonial in the HST Referendum Voters Guide.

    You appeared prominently with colour photo etc. while the same treatment was not afforded the “yes” side in a flyer produced by Kevin Falcon’s ministry.
    How did you arrange that; and don’t you think it would have been more transparent had you identified yourself as the co-chair of the Smart Tax Alliance instead of just a small business owner excited about the HST?

    The Smart Tax Alliance gets $250,000 from the government for its campaign, and still gets one of its leaders featured in a government-funded publication while not disclosing it. Seems misleading to me.

    Also, your claim in the testimonial that the HST makes you more competitive might be more believable if you tell us how. The HST makes your services more expensive to your customers, and your competitors enjoy the same HST “benefits”, so where is the competitive advantage?

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  11. brad s

    As many know already, Laila….Min. of Transport only recently (last friday afternoon, roughly 3:30pm) incorporating referendum signage into their election signage regs. I’m hearing reports of signs ALREADY up prior to the weekend, in prohibited areas. One has to wonder about that. I’m also curious about the photo being circulated, it certainly is erroneous in the 10% regard, and (if on on MoT controlled road) fails on a few other accounts as well. Most municipal bylaws , Ive learned lately, reflect the signage requirements. This photo would also fail that test, but not living in Greater Van, I have no idea of which municipality you should contact to confirm. I’d recommend doing just that.

    oh, and by the way, Mr. Jagger….you’ve created two jobs due to the HST. That’s nice news, first I’ve heard of jobs being created directly by the HST. However, depending on which report you care to reference,business only have 109,998 more to go, or if you take the most recent one, 21,998. I’ve got an offer for you, based on the cost of nearly half a million per job I’ve heard. Give me $350,000, and I’ll take myself off the job market. Business will save 150,000 more, and there’s one more job available with less competition for it. ;0)

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  12. cherylb

    Kudos to Mr. Jagger for hiring two more employees and his ability to increase his own profit margin in the security business. I’m wondering, Mr. Jagger, in the interests of transparency, what you pay your employees? $12 an hour? $14? Which is what $480, $560 a week full-time? I presume all 175 (177 with the new hires) work full-time? Hopefully all your employees are teenagers as it’s pretty hard to survive and pay your bills on $480, $560 a week. Especially if you have a kid or two.

    And with your increased profits I’m sure you have either given your employees a raise, or you have dropped your prices for your customers, right? You don’t sound like the kind of guy that would just pocket the extra money.

    Until it is demonstrated to me that the HST is creating employment where the employers actually pay a living wage you will not convince me that it is in my best interests to pay an increased amount of consumption tax; whether it is 12% or 10%. Sorry Mr. Jagger. Increasing your bottom line at my expense, at my adult kids’ expense and at my senior parents’ expense, sounds like a good deal for you, but certainly not for me. I’m voting YES to extinguish the HST.

    Oh, and on a personal note Mike. The STA signs are LIES! I wouldn’t be too quick to attack VZ and gang. The HST is not 10% and saying No to higher taxes is a trick and conveniently omits that your precious Lieberals are the ones responsible for the higher taxes in the first place! Can’t you win this battle telling the truth?

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  13. ron wilton

    Kudo’s to MJ for trying to get back up before the 10 count, only to get KO’d again and again.

    I do however have to tell ya’ Mike that I think you’re getting a little punch drunk. If I were hit that hard and continued to make no sense, I’d stay down on the mat.

    Like

  14. @cherylb

    I think that one of the biggest challenges with this vote is the fact that people are planning to make an emotional decision out of something that needs to be discussed and considered on its specific merits.

    You make the mistaken assumption that we have increased our profits as a result of the HST. As I have already pointed out, we used our savings from the HST to create new jobs and increase the level of service to our clients.

    You can choose to disparage the ‘quality’ of the jobs that we have. All I can say to that is that you have vastly underestimated what is involved in running our business and what it is about. Our employees are paid fairly and we have very few who make wages similar to the ones you suggest. Our two most recent hires were an Alarm Technician and a Lead Developer… both of whom earn substantially more than $14 per hour. Those jobs come with full benefits and are jobs that support our employee’s families.

    We’re proud of our record as an employer. Three times our employees have rated us well enough to be recognized as one of the 25 Best Places to Work in BC. Paying as little as possible and scraping out as much profit as possible is not a good long term strategy and it is not a strategy we have ever used. In order to be successful, our primary objective is to look after our clients… that’s what drives our business. The HST has allowed us to focus more of our resources on customer service and less on behind-the-scenes government administration. Our clients are getting better value from us, at the same price, with the HST.

    Again, as I indicated in a previous comment, if we were to go back to the PST, we would have to either cut back on service levels or raise prices in order to stay even. Many other businesses will be in the exact same position.

    As a consumer, you are in a position to choose where to spend your money. If you do not like how a business has used their HST savings, don’t patronize them.

    Why do you think that you will be better off with a taxation system that makes everything cost more for virtually every business that you buy from? How does that help you as a consumer having the Government impose wasteful and expensive tax policies?

    Given that Ontario has the HST, how does it benefit you as a consumer that any business that can choose to operate in either BC or Ontario would see an immediate, and permanent, cost savings by moving to the HST jurisdiction?

    What is the alternative to the HST that you are so confident is better?

    If you hate the Liberals and don’t trust what they say, vote them out in the next election. But don’t make the mistake of confusing the HST referendum as a vote on the Liberals. It’s a vote on a tax… it needs to be argued on its specific, tangible merits.

    The fact that the HST, if the referendum passes, will be dropped to 10% is now law. You may choose to not believe that it will happen, but your disbelief does not make it untrue.

    There doesn’t seem to be much point in continuing this comment thread… I’ve explained our experience about how the HST has helped our business grow. I have given examples from my own direct experience that you can choose to accept or not.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Mike, here is the issue. You have presented a compelling argument for your business experience, and yes, there are others like yourself who will no doubt argue those merits as well.

      But you have repeatedly (and woefully), failed to respond with facts to prove my points wrong on how the HST is harming families and low income residents in this province – nor have you otherwise demonstrated with facts why I am incorrect.

      Why? I am not being emotional, I am presenting facts again and again, and you repeatedly fail to prove otherwise.
      Why? Because you can’t prove otherwise with facts, that is why.
      Mintzs report was wrong. The claims made by the government how many jobs would be created is wrong. The impact on families and the amount the average family would pay out in HST was wrong. The impact on the tourism and restaurant business was wrong. And a very quick google of many leading economists, as you have mentioned, will also reveal that many assert the values of this HST or any VAT are oversold in an effort for any government to implement a cash cow tax as a quick fix to recessionary conditions, and years of deficit conditions from aggressive government spending. The Economist. Wall Street Business. You name it, there are a ton of articles and studies backing my points up as to the regressive nature of the tax unless government introduces effective mitigation measures- and rest assured, bribing people with one time payments is not on the list of recommended mitigation measures.

      If one rationally looks at a list of the pros and cons, the cons add up pretty damn fast based on facts, not emotions or rhetoric. You can’t dispute what I am saying here, and you have not been able to do anything but boast how this HST helps your business.

      The biggest point you fail to negate is that even if the government sticks with the law, and reduces the HST, we are all still paying far more than we were before the HST, because so many more products are taxed under the HST that never were before!

      You are doing a great job for the Smart Tax Alliance Mike if business is your only concern in life. Sadly, the HST is not just about you and your experience as a business owner, nor is it just thriving business that makes a successful society, but thriving families, happy healthy productive seniors and a reduction in poverty level. None of your spin has countered any of my facts, and based on your continual inability to do so, I would say there is not much point in continuing this thread with your weak presentations either, unless you can do better and bring something other than a one sided, business perspective to the table-something I find ironic, considering you accuse fight hst of not presenting both sides, you have done the same thing here, while I have looked at both sides.

      Before you go though, perhaps you could answer Lew’s question on the Finance ministries HST referendum guide and how you ended up being in it without identifying your Smart Tax Alliance position, which is complete and totally misleading advertising, and let me know what you found out about that illegal sign, as you promised you would make a phone call first thing this morning and find out about it. Neither issues did you address in your latest response.

      Like

  15. cherylb

    @ Mike – I am not being emotional in my decision. But you are being very emotional and extremely selfish in yours.

    I think you can agree that the BC government has made several statements about the HST and has consistently changed its story to reflect whatever it is trying to sell this week. All of the comments they have made up until now have been proven to be not quite accurate. And now they have acknowledged that maybe it’s not such a good thing for taxpayers, which is why I assume they want to lower it two percentage points (although not for 3 years). Why would I believe that this time they have it right? I’m not a sucker. When someone tells me things erroneously, for two years, I kinda take the latest claims with a grain of salt. Don’t you? If you don’t, you’re much more trusting than I am. And in this latest twist, once again, no consultation with anyone. And the Premier tells us a huge hole will be left in the economy if we defeat the tax. Stands to reason, there will be an even bigger hole if they cut it. Doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you think that something that has such a huge impact to our economy might be discussed first? Isn’t Christy telling us she’s doing things differently than Gordo? How so?

    I WILL be working and voting to get these bozos out in the next election. But I also don’t want my friends and family to have to pay for their incompetence for the rest of their lives. Emotion has nothing to do with my decision. Logic does. Yours, on the other hand, does, along with selfishness. You are only thinking of your own benefit. Not what’s best for the entire province. Or your family. Or your employee’s families. Or, for a lot of businesses, like the tourism, restaurant and real estate ones, for starters.

    So you are telling me that when you hire new employees, this does not give you the ability to provide more services to more customers and therefore increase your profit? You’re telling me, seriously, that you are hiring people with the sole intention of providing employment, with no personal benefit to yourself? Seriously? If you are, you’re not a very good businessman.

    I’m not disparaging your employees. I would think it’s a tough job. And I’m glad that you have hired a couple of people who make more than $14 per hour. Good for you. What do you pay them? $18? $20? $22? You do know that even at $22 an hour a person grosses $888 in a 40 hour week. That’s $1676. gross every payday. What do you figure they would clear? Maybe $1200? $1300? Wonder what their mortgage payments are. Pretty sure they are substantially higher than $1200. Mine is. What’s yours? Guess the benefit to you and your business is far outweighed by the damage that the extra taxes from the HST cause them and their families, eh? Bet the other 175 employees you have are happy for you that you’ve saved enough to hire a couple more employees.

    I have no idea how you and your supporters think that going back to the PST, after a single year of the HST, will force you to either cut back on service levels or raise prices in order to stay even. How do you think the taxation system that we have had for generations makes everything cost more? I haven’t seen one single, price drop since the imposition of the HST. Have you? Care to name some? I’ve seen lots of increases though, and even on products that aren’t affected by taxes, like basic food. Even the government increased the price of booze, which is one of the things that was affected. If the Lieberals won’t even drop prices, why would you think anyone else would?

    And again, you haven’t explained why the Smart Tax Alliance campaign is being less than truthful with the facts. You seem like an all right guy. Even you gotta admit those signs are dishonest. I think that you know you wouldn’t have a snowball’s hope in hell of winning this fight if you were to be completely truthful. I think you’re going to lose anyway…..

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  16. Curt

    Provident’s own website shows that hiring on as a team member you start 12.25-13.25/hour with benefits after 3 mohths. Salary is “hourly”. A customer service rep starts 12-14/hr, again benefits after 3 months and this salary is “hourly”.

    Question: How many hours do your employees (majority) work weekly? Monthly? How many 1.”full-time” do you have? 2. “Parttime and 3. casual” employees do you employ? I mean a company can have hundreds of employees, but only work 20/hr per week. Not really able to raise a family, and it could take you 6 or more years to even qualifiy for benefits, if ever.

    Now being somewhat aware of CoChambers’ extended benefits, at least there are some, but they certainly aren’t the best plan going. (Remember the saying: You get what you pay for.) If you have kids or even yourself, and you need treatements there are only so many/year. Dental – varying coverages. It all depends on what the Company buys.

    And now there is HST on all of those treatments, etc which weren’t there before.

    There is HST on so many things that were not taxed at 12% in the past.

    I thought I read/heard somewhere that there was a study that has 18/hr as a living wage, and especially in the lower mainland. Not to say 18 is the required pay, but the way hydro, gas, taxes, food, natural gas etc. is going up with “no” wage increases for so many people, something is wrong. Hydro has already said – 30-50% increases and Terasen, now Fortis is going for I believe it’s 9% right now. Groceries are going through the roof.

    Let’s not forget that RIGHT NOW the HST is 12% and will continue. It only drops to 10% IF the referendum for it to stay succeeds, according to the liberals.

    It IS NOT 10% that the ads definitely imply it is.

    We must all remember : it wan’t on the radar; the owelympics cost us 495 million; the convention centre was roughly half a billion (900,000+); we pay 1 milion plus for a CEO; we opened a new health care facility in Surrey (what 4, 5 times now?); we won’t sell bc rail; we honour collective agreements and on and on.

    VOTE YES to Extinguish the HST.

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  17. ron wilton

    The last person on the planet that I would want to show off as a ‘testimonial’ to my proficiency, would be Gordon Campbell.

    Trust me Mike, having this guy in your corner is no prize.

    I suppose the HA and a fair portion of the Asian gangs are keen to utilize your services after seeing GC on board.

    I suppose MacLean and Morgan are also ‘valued’ clients.

    Are these the kind of people you really want to do business with Mike, or is the source of their wealth of no interest to you?

    Like

  18. Julie

    As a senior on a fixed income, that hasn’t gone up for twelve years. I received a call, my house insurance had gone up, $140.00 from last year. I was flabbergasted. When I asked why, I was told, the materials to repair damage to my house, went way up in cost, because of the HST. Condo fees have gone up because of the HST. There are too many ways the consumer gets ripped off, because of the HST.

    The BC people even said, the HST was designed for business. And the HST comes off the backs, of those who can’t afford it. So of course businesses are fighting to keep the HST, they get all the breaks and we pay. Two BC chain restaurants, Mr. Mikes and The Pantry, are closing their doors, because the HST killed them too. More jobs gone. Other provinces had gains in jobs, BC did not. I personally know two family’s , that are going to lose mill jobs. So far, the HST hasn’t given them new jobs. BC had no new jobs, and are losing the old jobs. All of the HST provinces are failing. BC is dead last, of all the western provinces, because of the HST. BC has the highest number of children living in poverty. Since the HST, the food banks now have working people, depending on the food bank to feed their children. The HST is killing family’s, seniors and low income people. Thousands of BC family’s run out of money, before their next payday.

    The HST was a scam to take from the poor, to give to businesses. Where are these jobs Campbell and Hansen promised? Where is the money, we were to save by the HST? Huh, no jobs and no money, has “trickled” down from businesses. The BC people are paying for, new company vehicles, bigger bonuses, and reno’s for their places of business. Chains don’t give their employee’s more than twenty hours of work per week. This is so they don’t have to pay any benefits.

    BC is a province of natural resources, the HST does nothing for the BC people, what-so-ever. Besides which, our BC HST, goes directly to the other snake in the grass, Harper. Pray tell, what choice did the BC citizens have? The HST was extorted from the people, to benefit business, and that is that.

    Like

  19. erik andersen

    Much as I hate to mention this, the HST was never concieved in our Provincial Legislature (which makes it illegal in my opinion, immoral as well). Its implimentation was directed by the likes of the S & P Credit Rating Service.
    Please read their April, 2011 report on the financial condition of Canada’s provinces. This report explictitly states that the Provinces must raise revenues (HST) and decrease budgets for education and health care. Any person capable of putting one foot in front of another would have understood there would be consequences from excessive provincial borrowing and spending on next-to-valueless assets, such as the “Golden Ears” Bridge and much of the IPP contracted production of electricity.

    Politicians made sincere promises to folks in England when starting VAT at 6%. Now it is over 20%.
    What angers most people I talk with is how the “No” side takes us as fools. The HST is a tax designed to give businesses a “free ride” while forcing citizens to carry the financial burdens they have never asked for and given the opportunity would have rejected. Citizens of BC never were asked to be sponsors of the Winter Olympics and would most likely have said no thanks if the associated costs were disclosed.

    Examples abound but here are a few. New ferries made in Germany that are ill-designed for their task, with one sitting idle at the dock most of the time. Sea-to-Sky highway improvements that are now being paid for by shadow tolls with the contract being secret. Massive over contracting by BC Hydro for IPP power that is not needed and is so expensive it is making the corporation insolvent even as rates are fast going higher to cover the insanity. Even the Auditor General of BC is asking the government to disclose contracts amounting to more than $53 billion.

    Much if not all the borrowing and spending this past 10 years has been about making business owners wealthy (a lot of them from out of the province). The few jobs created pale in comparison to the debt hangover we now have from this indulgance of business interests. The regressive HST is the government’s way of escaping reasponsibility for this financial mess while at the same time keeping their narrow base of financial supporters happy.

    Regressive taxation only leads to one outcome and that is social unrest and violence. The reason is simple, its unfairness.

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  20. @Lew

    The voters guide was sent out by the Government, not the Smart Tax Alliance. Both the STA and the FightHST sides were asked to provide submissions for inclusion. My picture & quote was submitted by the STA… all of the anti-HST info was submitted by FightHST. It’s my quote and my picture, but I (and the STA) had nothing to do with the layout of the package. For what it’s worth, I think that the voters guide was very poorly designed.

    @Laila

    I asked about the signs. There is no requirement to put the information you asked about on the signs… apparently that would only apply to a political party in an election. All of the STA materials have the hstjobs.ca URL listed though. I have been assured that there is nothing ‘illegal’ about the signs.

    re: your comment about my only speaking on my own experience…. that’s all I can, or should, do.

    I’m not speaking on behalf of low-income earners, seniors or anyone else who’s position I am not in. In order to get that perspective, it’s important to get it straight from the source. Of course, it’s important for the source to have done the math and be educated on the specifics of the topic… Chrystal Ocean is one such low-income senior who has done that.

    When I posted a link of her video in support of the HST http://www.supporthst.ca/video.php?id=22 you rejected it’s validity by saying it’s only the opinion of one senior. You also made the accusation/implication that she got paid and was reading from a script.

    I have never met Chrystal. I can also confirm that she was not paid a cent, nor induced in any way to submit the video. If she is reading from a script, it’s a script she wrote … and I would assume she read it during her video to ensure her message got across in the manner she intended… she’s a real person, not an actor.

    She submitted the video because she feels strongly about the topic… and has done the research to back it up. I think that she seems like an incredibly level-headed, fair and objective person. I have no reason to doubt her claims or reject her experience.

    I place a lot more confidence in her story about how & why the HST has been beneficial for her than I do other people who only speak in general terms about how ‘everything’ is more expensive and that the HST is the worst thing to ever happen.

    In fact, Chrystal has written a lot on the topic of the HST and how it has helped her financially. Here are a few of her blog posts about why the HST is good for low-income earners…

    http://economicusridiculous.blogspot.com/2010/10/gsthstlicat-credits-benefit-low-income.html
    http://economicusridiculous.blogspot.com/2010/07/gsthstlicat-credits-benefit-low-income.html
    http://economicusridiculous.blogspot.com/2010/12/anti-hst-support-plummets.html

    Criticizing me for only speaking from my own experience is ridiculous. Discounting Chrystal’s experience is similarly unreasonable.

    I run a business that serves consumers… more than 70% of our business is residential. If I believed that the HST was bad for consumers, I would be crazy to fight to keep it. The fact is, our clients are receiving more value for the money they spend with us.

    We can agree to disagree on the topic, and we can all vote however we choose… however, it’s incumbent on all of us to get beyond generalities and hear from people directly about how, exactly, the HST has impacted them. I have seen first hand how the HST helps the economy and creates jobs. I support it.

    When I see business owners in other industries such as restaurants and tourism (who are regularly called out as examples of where the HST ‘hurts’) also support it, I think that that is telling as well. Video clips from both industries are below:

    http://www.supporthst.ca/video.php?id=7
    http://www.supporthst.ca/video.php?id=21

    In terms of the ‘prices haven’t dropped’ comments as well as suggestions that FightHST are telling the truth, watch this follow-up video from Chris Thompson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frnBgX9QRZM

    Like

  21. ron wilton

    M J’s comment about the HST allowing him to ‘re-direct’ a staff member due to not having to deal with PST/GST comes across as a little disingenuous.

    When I was in business under the GST/PST regime, I was allowed to retain 2% of the taxes I collected, ostensibly to pay me for doing the paperwork as well as actually collecting the taxes.

    I presume this 2% retention is still extant with the HST regime.

    The stated size of MJ’s business would easily be enough to cover the wages for time spent doing the paperwork.

    So it would appear that BC business was/is getting at least $1.8 billion annually in benefits from the government already off our backs, and still they want more, and the government wants to give them more.

    Between government and business, it would appear that democracy has taken a back seat to out of control greed.

    We will probably never again get the opportunity to reign in and corral this unhealthy arrangement if we fail to vote YES at this time and become a beacon to the rest of the country being brutalized by unbridled greed.

    This tax is a bad fit for BC and Canada. To quote the late Johnny Cochrane, “If the glove don’t fit, you must equit!”

    If you love BC, and you love democracy, you must vote YES.

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  22. @Ron

    you ‘presume’ about a 2% retention? You’d be wrong.

    The maximum amount a business could claim to ‘administer’ the PST was a MAXIMUM of $198.00 per quarter…

    Your comment is a great example of coming to a conclusion without having done any of the research. This vote is too important for you to simply ‘presume’… especially when you are completely wrong.

    There is a ton of information available on the internet to fact check anything you think or hear… why add to the mountain of mis-information already out there?

    Like

    1. Laila

      Carry on folks, I am off to enjoy the wooden adirondack chair I bought second hand on the buy and sell, ( No hst), on my patio I enhanced and expanded myself ( service HST free), in my garden planted with plants and flowers bartered and traded for with other gardeners( no hst), that is decorated with items scrounged for free during Deltas put it to the curb weekend ( again, no HST! ) to enjoy the warm sun, my lovely kids and a glass of ice tea, all of which, thankfully, have no HST.

      : ) Cheers!

      Like

  23. cherylb

    Well, gotta give Mike credit for returning again and again for more beat downs. However, a HUGE THUMBS DOWN for cherry picking the comments he responds to.

    You’re right Mike. This vote is too important to “presume” anything. The BC Lieberals had absolutely NO BUSINESS “presuming” to inflict the HST on us without prior discussion; Christy Clarke has no business “presuming” to offer to lower it without prior discussion and your group has no business “presuming” to be dishonest with us about the facts, and attempting to pass that dishonesty off as facts. The HST is 12%, won’t be 10% for 3 more years and lowering it does not result in higher taxes. The Lieberals original decision is what resulted in “higher taxes”.

    I’m waiting for a response. Curt is waiting for a response. Julie (another senior) is waiting for a response.

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  24. motorcycleguy

    I am not ashamed to say I am I am voting “Yes” to extinguish the HST based on emotion. I do not trust the BC Liberals. They have duped me on many issues. There is no way for us to know what they are not telling us right now. They have set a precedent of mistrust. Mr. Jagger sounds reputable and is absolutely correct about the convoluted nature of the PST …..but he should have hooked up with different people in order to make changes that would be of mutual benefit to business owners and consumers…..this bunch is ruining his image. I am very concerned that during all the hooplah about the HST that more IPP contracts are getting closer to being signed under the radar. The HST is a piece of paper that Mr. Jagger can bring up with the next government, one that discusses things with the electorate and has some respect for their intelligence and their love of this province. Once the lakes are drained and the waterfalls diverted…that’s it, they are gone and no amount of federal rebates will bring them back. I have the gut feeling I am being tricked. I don’t like that feeling and will anything I can do protest the policies of the BC Liberals…..and that is just the policies I know about. Emotional? Absolutely.

    ps. my 89 year old mom had to pay just over 500.00 more on the cost of removing her in ground heating oil tank…due to HST. She will not recoup that in rebates.

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  25. workforfun

    Mike,

    I am sorry, but I just gotta comment on what you are saying re HST.

    “YOU ARE BLOWING HOT AIR OUT OF YOUR REAR END MATE !”

    All you have done is sound like a morph of Campbell and Clark and if the truth be known, Harper too.

    You have studiously avoided addressing all the negative aspects that hit the pensioners, the sick, the elderly, the families and the needy in general – where it hurts them most, in the pocket.

    You arguements are centered around and on what makes it good for business – in a nut shell, getting the taxpayers to pay your business portion of the taxes – to the tune of $1.6 Billion a year !

    Sorry mate, that doesn’t resonate with me – all it does is tell me that somehow, Campbell and possibly Clark, have managed to get you to do their dirty work for them period.

    I don’t think anyone would argue that administering one tax is better than having to administer two – for the government. That the public get to pay extra taxes to carry businesses – large and small, is just pure greed and absolute bullshit. You are setting yourself up to be considered nothing more than an ardent BC LIEberal party supporter and I doubt that you will get much sympathy over that.

    I do give you credit for sticking to your principles – the trouble is they are your principles, not those of the majority of people. You echo so nicely, the mantra of greed that the BC Chamber of Commerce has been pushing of late.

    In the 1990’s, Great Britain literally exploded overnight with violent riots and large, full scale demonstrations over the reviled and hated Poll Tax, that the then prime minister of Britain, Margaret Thatcher introduced. The ensuing violent riots and civil unrest is said to have been the cause of the downfall of Margaret Thatcher as prime mininster. The Poll Tax was disgarded by the government as the public at large were not going to put up with it.

    We have an uncanny parallel happening here in British Columbia at this time. Our DISGRACED former premier – Mr. 9% Gordon “the liar” Campbell DUI, resigned in disgrace over the dishonest and corrupt dealings of the HST and the previous nine years of governance. We have a very strong public sentiment that is against the HST and all it stands for – including the BC Liberal party.

    The real protests and violence have yet to come – the so called “ice hockey” riots in Vancouver last week was a symptom of the utter distrust and revulsion a lot of people have for the BC Liberals and their Dishonesty, Deception and Deceit. We can hang all the lables in the world on the reason for the riot – but nothing rings truer than that the public patience is wearing thin, mighty quick, with all the chaotic political government acts and excuses.

    Sorry Mike, your excuses and comments are just like those of the BC Liberal government and their PAB team members. For me, I don’t believe one word of what the government says these days – a decade of lies is just too much. It is time to be practical, honest and mean what you say.

    Thank you

    Like

  26. Robert

    Yes to extinquish the HST. I just added up the three propane bills I have with HST on them the y add up to $45.00 in extra taxes . The fourth fill for the year is early July adding on about another $15 in taxes. Last year the taxes were just the GST. All our bills are up because of the HST I have trouble with this $340 extra in spending because just the ones I have added up come to more than that . My friends small business was growing till the HST now it looks like it will go underground to survive.

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  27. cherylb

    Guess he’s gone. Oh well. Can’t blame a guy for trying; even if he is DEAD WRONG! I do admire that he’s willing to stick to his principles, even though he clearly has been manipulated by the Lieberals and their cohorts into taking the heat for them. Anyone heard the illustrious Premier or Finance Minister defend their actions lately? Nope. She’s too busy with photo ops and lord knows what Falcon is doing. They’re content to let businessmen like Mike here fry on their behalf.

    Mike sounds like an intelligent guy. You’d think he’d be furious at having his strings pulled this way. Oh well. Regardless, the Smart Tax Alliance and their Lieberal masters are going to lose anyway. People see through the lies. We’re not stupid….

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  28. cherylb

    No Mike. I guess his “masters” told him he wasn’t allowed to play with us anymore. Too bad he fell in with the wrong crowd. Seemed like a basically, all right kind of a guy…..

    Like

  29. Laila

    Passed on via Emai:

    This is a quote from the Canada Revenue Agency’s web site:

    “CRA Example: A supplier in Ontario agrees to sell to a purchaser in British Columbia. Based on the terms of delivery in the agreement for the supply of goods, legal delivery of the goods to the purchaser occurs in British Columbia.”

    “CRA Position: The CRA takes the position that because legal delivery of the goods to the purchaser occurs in British Columbia, the supply of goods is made in British Columbia and the supply will be subject to HST at 12%”

    Can’t beat it via out of province purchasing, unless done in person perhaps while travelling, but online purchases will be taxed.

    Like

  30. One of the interesting things about the current regime and its’ backers, there is one theme that has been consistent throughout these past 10 years, that being the theme of “choice”. Clearly, Mike believes that people have manageable choices, but as his employees may tell him, if the hourly rates showing above are accurate, they now has fewer choices than they did prior to HST applied to goods and services that were previously exempted.
    1. You can choose to live in Vancouver, but not on $12 to 14 per hour.
    2. You can choose to drive to work unless you live in Surrey and beyond where you can elect to take transit, knowing full well you are subsidizing the City of Vancouver residents.
    3. You can choose to repair the roof on your home or tolerate the leaky roof.
    4. You can choose to repair your car so that you can get to a job where there is no transit or you can choose not to renew your medical prescriptions.
    In other words they believe that by taking money out of the consumers pocket during not great economic times, they will still choose to buy the goods and services they are offering.
    You know, I truly would like some of these triple digit earning folks to try to live for say 3 months on what a single senior citizen or a person with physical or other handicaps with a limited fixed income lives on and the choices they have to make numerous times a day.
    The thing about choice is that it can blow up in your face, how many more people would Mike like to see at the Food Banks because they can’t pay for rent and groceries.
    Sometimes you just do not have a choice.
    But the voters do have one choice; they can say to folks like Minster Falcon, Premier Clark and their friends, NO, we do not accept this tax as it has been dumped onto us. Go back to the drawing board and come back to us with something that both workable (for Mike) and fair for the rest of us. Tinkering with the screwed up mess by former Minister Hansen and former Premier Campbell, just isn’t going to work.
    Perhaps Mike needs to read the Wizard of Omahas’ (Warren Buffett, you know the mega billionaire) 2006 Letter to his shareholders and make special note on his comments on taxation, which are as applicable to BC and Canada as they are to the United States. If he needs a copy I can send it to him.

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    1. Laila

      Excellent commentary Stan.
      Last night I shopped at Superstore because they have no tax this weekend – they deduct your total tax from your bill at the end, which for families can be a significant savings. For me, the total HST on my bill was 24.12 cents. I recommend everyone to check this out, since you can pretty much buy anything from auto supplies to household good and furniture to clothing etc at Superstore and on top of saving the tax this weekend, they have smashing sales on everything. On top of that, I used coupons printed off the net and that come in the supersaver coupon book in the local paper, and my total savings on my bill between the deducted tax and coupons, was $42.55.

      You have to be very creative, as a previous posted mentioned, down the comment line, Evil Eye’s suggestion, I think it was, was in fact very noble! They mentioned going to the local market before closing where everything fresh is marked down significantly, and this is true for many markets. T & T asian supermarket marks down all their deli items to near nothing around 5 pm in Surrey central location, including all their baked goods baked that day! Last night I bought a huge bag filled with Asian BBQ pork buns and other asian baked goods, 8 to the bag, paid 4.99 and no tax since there was more than 6 in the bag. Their fresh made sushi is also marked down since they will not keep it over 24 hours, so you can have a cheap sushi night for next to nothing and at that time of the day, it is still only a couple hours old since they make it fresh all day long.

      Value Village can be a great place to shop – the one I go to has all high end clothing and excellent used goods, and if you use the points card you can earn 30% off your purchases and if you sign up for a value member card, you can get early access to their 50% off all items sale. I buy most of my clothing there, to be honest, since I often find items for myself and the kids that still have the original price tag on.

      Craigslist and the buy and sell are both excellent ways to beat the tax as well, if you are careful. You can buy and trade plants, garden items, furniture, clothing and while the free section has some stinkers in it, it also holds a lot of gems as well. Best time to look for deals is the last week of the month, when people are moving, since often furniture and other items wont fit into new homes, or they are buying new and want to get rid of the old.

      Fruit markets have excellent produce often on the clearance rack, often perfect for eating within a couple days since they are completely ripe. Also bananas are very cheap on the discount rack as well, I buy a whole bag for a dollar, yes the skin is dark, but that means the banana is excellent in side for banana bread and muffins, and I freeze them to use when I like.

      Of course, I find more and more that many businesses will be more than glad to give you a sizeable discount if you ask ” is there a cash price? ” or even simply ” I really like this item, is it going on sale soon?” Often the clerk or manager can give you that sale price right away if it is going on sale anyways, and often, even in retail stores like Zellers, they will further discount it for you to make the sale.

      Hope those tips help a few of you!! They work for me.

      Like

  31. Mike says;
    “Regarding job creation, I can speak on my own behalf as a small business owner (and we are a small business… keep in mind that a big part of our business is providing labour on an hourly basis, which makes the number of employees we have make us sound like a much larger business than we are)… “

    I’m sorry, but that’s a “Big Business” not a small one. You might “think” of yourself as small Mike, but you’re not, and trying to convince us of that only damages further anything credible you may have to say regarding your position as a “business” owner. You may not be a “huge” company, but you’re definitely bigger than small, or medium even.

    Mike says;
    “…and now, everyone knows that businesses costs have come down as a result of the HST. If you are not getting better value or lower prices, choose another business to patronize. “

    First, thanks for agreeing with me Mike, see, it’s far less painful to just accept who you are and not what you aren’t.
    As for businesses lowering (or being more competitive) prices, I’ve yet to see anything of that nature. Au contraire, if anything, prices have been climbing as the businesses claim that the HST has increased certain govt payouts or business expense and therefore no reductions are to be found, and if all businesses are playing on this “level field” you mention (after how many years of squeezing out the little guy) why aren’t the costs coming down?

    I’ll tell you. P R O F I T.
    The dirtiest 6 letter word in the dictionary, especially to consumers of the profiting company. If a company has more profit, the consumer less money in pocket for goods they wouldn’t have paid tax on (especially all the “healthy” items like gym passes, sports equipment, health accessories like walkers, canes and those mobile scooters) that are not exempt under HST, but were with PST/GST, the company has no incentive to lower costs to consumer, why would you lower your profit? You wouldn’t, hence, no savings.

    Mike says;
    “I intend to send an email to our team members to outline the impact that the HST has had on our company. They have a right to know and they also have the right to disagree or vote the opposite way for whatever reason they choose.
    Any company that disciplines, or takes any action against an employee based on how they vote deserves whatever action the Employment Standards or Human Rights Tribunal would take.”

    To me Mike, all I hear is: ” Hi members, MY company (insert lots of positive affirmations of “team spirit” yadda) is making money and therefore so will you (promises of wage increase, hours, perks, other “niceties” like vending machines or a billiards table in the coffee room) IF you vote for the HST as it is helpful to everyone.
    This is NOT allowing people to make an informed vote, this is coercion, hidden threats (downsizing if PST is brought back) and extolling the personal benefits to you (company) rather than the benefits to society.
    But, I guess that’s not technically against the ES and wouldn’t constitute “infringement” by the HRT, so therefore it’s do-able regardless of the fact that you ARE trying to promote HST choice, and being the owner/manager of a large.. ahem, small (in your opinion) company, you don’t think your influence doesn’t.. influence your workers/employees?

    I understand your need to look out for your business, but again, putting profit before people is what’s killing this province, and you’re perpetuating it.
    You can rationalize it out however you like, but when you’ve got more people who are hurting under the HST (especially the poor, sick/infirm, families and children), then it’s a good sign it’s NOT GOOD.
    Shame on you for being so selfish.

    Thanks Laila for all your helpful info and insight. I’m a disabled person living on an unlivable pension, I would happily contest that video that lady made as being only selective, not indicative of the normal or rest of the population.

    Like

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