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NEWS RELEASE · 17th September 2010
Chris Delaney

Ottawa can vote to tax BC without Legislature approval

Fight HST Leader, Bill Vander Zalm, says the Supreme Court dismissed his court petition challenging the constitutionality of the HST today.

Vander Zalm says Chief Justice Bauman’s decision effectively means that the imposition of the HST in BC can be done by “Order-in-Council”, rather than through the legislature as the constitution originally intended. He says it amounts to taxation without representation.

“When the court says that a single person with the stroke of a pen can legislate a tax in BC, the system is completely broken,” said Vander Zalm.

“The fight against the HST has exposed that the government doesn’t listen to the people. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court has exposed that the system not only permits this, it actually encourages it. People did not fight and die in two world wars to have taxes imposed by one man.”

Vander Zalm says that although the court ruled the HST is a federal tax, it acknowledged in its previous ruling that the province can rescind its participation.

“The only good news is we still have the means to undo this giant mess, since the first court ruling affirmed British Columbia’s right to kill the tax. We don’t have a say, but we still have a veto,” said Vander Zalm.

Vander Zalm says Fight HST will consult legal counsel to consider an appeal of the ruling.

Vander Zalm pointed out that the HST applies a new levy of 7% on a wide range of goods and services previously exempted from provincial sales taxes. He says legally that might not constitute a new tax, but in reality it is clearly a new tax imposed by the federal government at the request of BC’s Finance Minister.

“It is an unbelievable situation when Ottawa can use its votes in Ontario together with votes from the Bloc in Quebec to impose a tax in BC without the BC legislature’s approval. Quebecer’s are now deciding taxes in BC! Can you imagine if the reverse had happened? Quebec would separate tomorrow!”

Vander Zalm says after his group gets rid of the HST, he will commit himself to changing the entire system.

“After we defeat the HST, we must continue to fight to restore our democracy. It will be a short lived victory indeed if the same system that brought us this awful tax is left in place to simply carry on with ‘business-as-usual’.”

“We need a complete overhaul, and I promise to do whatever I can to bring that about,” concluded Vander Zalm.
Democracy is still alive
Comment by Gary Edwards on 20th September 2010
We still have the advantage in this province of a recall. And there are many MLA's that didn't listen to their constituents. Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett is one of them.
Just today I read that a NDP MP did a poll and found that 62% of his riding supported scrapping the gun registry. This man is listening. Unfortunately there is no recall in his province. But then again because he listened he will probably get re-elected
Taxation without representation?
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 18th September 2010
It all rather begs the question, Why do we have a legislature? We might as well send all the opposition MLA's on a holiday while the executive council decides tax laws and anything else. You send send all the backbench lieberal MLA's off as well. Don't need them. Maybe we could save a ton of money and retire the lot. The court has ruled you don't need debate. Laws don't have to be passed by the legislature, just Cabinet and the Premier. Come to think of it all it takes is the Premier since none of Cabinet will speak up.

Makes you wonder what kind of democracy the learned judge thinks we live in?
off with their heads!!
Comment by Kory Botz on 18th September 2010
I think its amazing how in 8 years they can take all the rights we've been fighting for for 200 years, sell off publicly owned utilities(oh sorry 100 year lease), and line their back pockets in behind the scenes deals in which they are bending us all over on taxes to pay for.... and nobody's hanging from a tree. If i had terminal cancer boy i'd tell you what i'd do but innuendo's are allot less chargeable than threats....

-Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.