CONTRIBUTION · 14th February 2011
Fight HST, the group that lead the successful petition to repeal the HST, will not be making a submission to the self described “Independent” Panel on the HST says Lead Organizer, Chris Delaney.
Delaney says Panel members were chosen by pro-HST BC Finance Minister Colin Hansen without consultation with the Official Opposition, any Independent MLAs, or Fight HST, and are neither independent or neutral when it comes to the HST.
“Everyone on the Panel is solidly in favour of the HST and belong to groups that support this tax. Pretending they are independent is like saying the Vancouver Canucks are neutral when it comes to playing a hockey game,” said Delaney.
The four panel members include former Alberta finance minister Jim Dinning, chair of the Panel; former Auditor General George Morfitt; SFU public policy professor John Richards; and Coast Capital Savings CEO Tracy Redies.
“It’s pretty rich having a former Alberta finance minister where there is no provincial sales tax come here to tell us we need an even bigger one in BC,” said Delaney.
Fight HST strategist Bill Tieleman says three of the four panelists belong to groups like the Canada West Foundation and the C.D. Howe Institute which are actively supporting the tax and the fourth is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the HST.
“George Morfitt represents accountants, one of the few groups who will actually see job increases due to the extra work involved in tracking this pervasive and unwieldy tax. Jim Dinning is the chair of the Canada West Foundation which has come out in favour of the HST. John Richards and Tracy Redies belong to the pro-HST C.D. Howe Institute – the same group that says the HST will harm the BC economy and increase unemployment for up to 10 years,” said Tieleman.
Delaney says he is not surprised that a bank would support the HST, “The Liberals removed the corporate capital tax on banks recently, so I guess its quid pro quo time. It turns out Coast Capital Savings was just pretending to be for the little guy. CEO Tracy Redies’ support for the HST sure puts the kibosh to that idea. Get your money out of Coast Capital now before they increase your banking fees and try to tell you that’s good for you too,” said Delaney.
Former BC Premier and Fight HST Leader, Bill Vander Zalm, who is away travelling issued the following statement:
“This panel is simply the latest incarnation of the BC Liberal government HST propaganda arm. First they tried having Gordon Campbell travel the province last summer to promote this tax – that failed. Then they tried getting Colin Hansen to promote in on the airwaves – that failed. Then they spent millions printing brochures only to throw them in the garbage – that failed. Then they created the HST propaganda office headed by John Les – that failed. Now they are giving us a self styled “Independent Panel” that will seek submissions on the HST – to do what? Tell us this tax wasn’t a good idea after all? It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious for so many people.”
Delaney says Fight HST was asked by the Panel to make a submission, but has declined.
“We will not give credibility to another pro-HST arm of the BC Liberal Government by dignifying their request to submit a paper. Instead, we will rely on the truth and the good judgment of British Columbians to counter the millions of dollars the BC Liberals will pour into trying to win the referendum,” Delaney explained.
“Lucky for us, we know the people of BC are much smarter than the BC Liberals think, and have already figured out that paying an average of $500 more each in sales taxes every year without a penny of that going to government services is not to their advantage in any way, shape or form.”
“Getting people to vote in favour of giving businesses a refund cheque at taxpayer’s expense would be a tough sell for any government, let alone the ethically challenged BC Liberals,” concluded Delaney.