My opposition to the HST in BC is based on two simple reasons.
The BC Liberals flat-out lied about their plans not to introduce it.
(see below) When Ontario did it, they did it the right way: the plan was
introduced to the public before the election, and people voted with
The BC Liberals have not operated the province with any fiscal
restraint. (Seriously, $600 million for a new roof for BC Place, and it
can't even close up while it's raining?) Instead, they've had to rely on
at least two major one-time sell-the-farm gambits (the BC Rail sale and
the HST coming with a crucial $1.6 billion one-time gift from the
feds) to make ends meet.
The BC Liberals in 2009, right before the election:
"The harmonized GST would make it harder for future provincial
governments to lower or raise sales tax rates, which reduces
flexibility. In short, a harmonized GST is not something that is
contemplated in the B.C. Liberal platform."
Just to be sure, the restaurant association asked whether it would be
consulted if the Liberals changed their minds. "We do commit to engage
in consultation with industry prior to any potential future tax changes
that affect food," was the reply.
A few months later, when the election was over, they turned around and
implemented it so quickly it was clear they'd been planning it before
the election. As further documents revealed.
Come to think of it, the lies about the sale of BC Rail - from the
state of its finances to whether it even was a sale or "merely"
a 990-year lease, remind me a lot about the similarly dishonest
post-facto fearmongering about turning over the HST.
Put it this way: I don't care whether the HST is better or worse for the
province than the GST/PST. The important things to me are that a
democracy cannot be run by lying to the electorate, and that the BC
Liberals must stop selling the future to pay for today.