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NEWS RELEASE · 16th May 2011
Fight HST
Finance Minister Kevin Falcon won’t rule out adding PST to previously untaxed items like restaurant meals if HST is extinguished

In a stunning revelation, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon has admitted he may break faith with BC voters in the HST Referendum if they vote “Yes” against his wishes and extinguish the tax, says Fight HST Leader Bill Vander Zalm.

Vander Zalm says Falcon admitted last week in the BC Legislature he may expand the PST to a number of goods and services that were previously exempted, such as restaurant meals, if British Columbians vote to repeal the HST in the Referendum.

“That is a total betrayal of what the whole HST citizens Initiative petition and Referendum are about and he knows it. More than 700,000 people signed our Initiative because they wanted to return to the PST and GST exactly as they were before the HST. The proposed legislation attached to our Initiative petition specifically laid this out as what we intended.”

“Furthermore, when the question for the Referendum was drafted by Acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James, he clarified to us that it means to restore the PST and GST to their previous status with the same exemptions,” said Vander Zalm.

Following is the email response from CEO James in answer to our concerns about the Referendum question meaning to include the previous exemptions for PST:

- Original Message -
From: "James, Craig EBC:EX"
To: "Chris Delaney" ; "Boegman, Anton EBC:EX"
Cc: "Bill Vander Zalm"
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 11:11 AM
Subject: RE: Draft HST Referendum Question - Changes Need to Be Made

Chris -

The dictionary meaning of "reinstate" is to restore to a former position. I therefore don't see anything "implicit" in the question and thus no reason for the concern you have raised.

Sincerely,

Craig James


“The Referendum is a legally binding process. The Finance Minister cannot change the meaning of it at his own discretion. If Mr. Falcon does not heed the result of the Referendum he will be breaking the law,” Vander Zalm charged.

Vander Zalm says the HST mistakes that cost both Gordon Campbell and Colin Hansen their jobs as premier and finance minister are now being repeated by Premier Christy Clark and Falcon. “The names and the faces have changed, but the lying hasn’t. These people are pathological. Every time I think I have never seen anything like it before, they top themselves. It is the height of arrogance and lawlessness for Kevin Falcon to tell people he will decide what the Referendum means. It’s unbelievable!”

Vander Zalm says his group will consider a legal challenge if the government breaks the law by not following the Referendum results.
Vander Zalm said an editorial in Friday’s Victoria Times-Colonist newspaper should serve as a warning to the government:

“Falcon won't say whether the government would impose the PST on restaurants if the HST is rejected by voters,” the editorial read. “The HST initiative petition certainly called for the restoration of the tax and exemptions. The government claimed [it was] willing to accept the referendum results as binding. If that commitment is not to be honoured, then voters -and the affected businesses -have every right to know.”

Vander Zalm called on the pro-HST business lobby group the Smart Tax Alliance to tell voters if it supports Falcon’s position that even a “Yes” vote to extinguish the HST will not bind him from removing the tax on restaurant food and other items previously PST exempt.

“If the Smart Tax Alliance is actually smart they will immediately tell Minister Falcon he is wrong and they profoundly disagree with his statements,” Vander Zalm said.

“What is the point of having a referendum if you won’t regard the result if it doesn't go your way? How can anyone align themselves with people like this?” Vander Zalm asked.
The Only Solution
Comment by Gary Edwards on 17th May 2011
The only solution I want to hear about is that they repealed this draconian legislation.
They still don't want to admit that this is a tax shift.I am not against taxes. We need them to run the province and the country. But to make life easier for big business and do it at the expense of the people, who actually do the voting is theft pure and simple.
The liberals just keep lying and stalling on this issue. There is no net job creation. Prices are not falling, and big business just keeps boosting their bottom line. All the while we just keep having less and less disposable income. Tell me the justification in that.
audit them all
Comment by richard on 16th May 2011
they all profitted. you paid for it,no accountability. can`t prove a thing as the books are constanly fixed. We need a independant company to moniter the goverments revenues as it is mismanaged this province for many years.sold out many resorces for a faction of the True Value How fare is it.Who`s pockets we lining. We borrow off other forgein countries and why not The Bank Of Canada. Why Not, Are we a Risk to our own bank of Canada,or is that owned by Foreignor too. It`s time for the big Corps to pay there way.they have Rape this Province Enough. Would be nice to see the true value of B.C.`s total Revenues,whose`s doing who. alot of wasted tax dollars, feeding us the bs. fix it,Audit the Hole dame lot.. put the whole lot on hourly. they are way over paid in the pensions,it crazy.quit sleepying in bed with the corperations,make them pay for the extraction of our raw resorces. holy crap theres billions saved ,right there.the b .c. lottery corp. another billion or two. gas,oil,water,hydro. You just have to quit given out the bonus . I C B C another fine Example. the goverment rapes this province, any which way it can. It has to stop,But how. Got rid of the old Cheif and still the Kitchen Smells. Not far from the truth
Gordon Campbell
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 16th May 2011
Why did Campbell leave politics. It is just as relevant.
Vander Zalm
Comment by S Leal on 16th May 2011
why did Vander Zalm leave BC politics?
Confuse the voter.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 16th May 2011
It would appear as though the government is deliberately trying to confuse the intent of the referendum as well as how it might be interpreted if it gets the required majority. Anything to obtain a little wiggle room. If they have to give up the cash cow which the HST is to them, they will have to come up with the money by other means and it will limit the new premier's options. She won't be able to spend a lot of extra money to buy votes going into an election. And, it was all suppose to be "revenue neutral."