NEWS RELEASE · 3rd June 2011
Adrian Dix, leader of the B.C. New Democrat Official Opposition, today accused Christy Clark's Liberals of running and hiding from fair debate due to their preoccupation with salvaging the HST.
"I came to this session of the Legislature to advocate for fairness and positive solutions to the challenges of working and middle class families," said Dix. "Christy Clark's Liberals responded with a profoundly anti-democratic continuation of the Gordon Campbell agenda and style—shut down debate, ram through legislation and say one thing while doing another."
The Liberals used closure to shut down the legislature after only 20 sitting days, ending debate on the HST and the Yale Treaty among other important business.
"Premier Clark had the audacity to complain about a lack of debate on the HST, then shut it down using the heavy hand of closure. Apparently, the Vancouver-Point Grey by-election was not enough to teach her that it's a good idea to show up for the debate," said Dix.
The Liberals' HST advertising blitz is another example of anti-democratic behaviour by Premier Clark, according to Dix.
"Far from providing balance, this taxpayer funded partisan propaganda campaign cannot find a single negative thing to say about the HST," said Dix. "It hides the fact that the HST shifts the tax burden from large businesses onto the backs of B.C. families to the tune of $3.2 billion over its first two years. It hides the fact that hundreds of goods and services that were untaxed under the PST are now taxed an additional 7 per cent under the HST."
Dix said of the ad campaign, "This is not information; it is blatant propaganda, funded by the very taxpayers who stand to lose most if the HST remains in place. It would also be illegal if Premier Clark conducted the referendum just like a provincial election, which is what she explicitly promised during her leadership bid.
"When it comes to the HST, the facts are simple: Liberals want a 7 per cent tax on a sandwich in a coffee shop, New Democrats want a zero per cent tax; Liberals want a 7 per cent tax on children's sports programs, New Democrats want a zero per cent tax; Liberals want a 7 per cent tax on bicycles, New Democrats want a zero per cent tax."
Dix promised to continue to protect families from the HST and continues to encourage everyone to vote "yes" to scrapping the HST in the upcoming referendum.