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COMMENTARY · 15th June 2011
Merv Ritchie
End Notes Added!
Today Falcon releases an Op Ed about receiving mail this week! His entire, unedited, writing is in the italized paragraphs below

Dear Minister Falcon,

Before you allow your name to be attached to such releases, maybe you should check what your staff wrote for you. If you did write this pile of nonsense then maybe you should consider a different job.

”With HST ballots starting to arrive in British Columbians' mailboxes this week, it is important to get informed about the HST and understand the HST Referendum question so you can make an educated choice.“

The date on this Opinion Editorial is June 15, 2011. Yesterday, June 14, the Office of Elections BC, a Ministry in your own government, announced the lock out of postal workers by Canada Post. You would think a minor change would have looked a bit better to your thought process.

”The HST is a complicated issue, and many people are undecided. When considering your vote, keep in mind that government has made changes to improve the HST in response to the largest listening exercise ever undertaken by a government in B.C. “

It is only complicated because your government made it complicated. Even with the entire attempt to allow the ‘legislated obligation’ to hold this referendum your government allowed a question designed to confuse and make the matter even more complicated. As the campaign against the HST began with and continued with the word NO, your government allowed a question that required the NO HST support to vote YES. Any right thinking Minister should be ashamed of such devious practices. And further you claim this is listening? No this is further deception and trickery. Listening would have been not necessarily cancelling the HST but at least being fair about the vote process. Even a mail in ballot isn’t fair. It should be, as it is in almost all voting exercises, a one day, go to the ballot box vote with the vote counted (with scrutineers present to ensure the result could be considered properly done) and the result released on the same day. The only listening done by your government is accepting a majority of the votes cast.

“If you are in favour of lower taxes and a 10 per cent HST, you should vote "NO" on your ballot. A lower 10 per cent tax would be better for families and means a lower burden for all families. At 10 per cent, every family at every income level would be better off than under a 12-per-cent PST plus GST. Voting "YES" is a vote for an administratively inefficient 12 per cent PST-plus-GST system.”

How can you say this with a straight face? Taxes are raised on over 70% of the food sales, eating out, food sales. Taxes are raised on children’s goods, clothing, etc etc. All the attempts to win favour for the HST by your government has to do with talk about your government reducing the tax. So obviously you all know this statement is a lie.

”This commitment by government to reduce the HST to 10 per cent by 2014 from 12 per cent has also been enshrined in law and confirmed by the Government of Canada.”

And here is the lie, it is likely three and a half years before your government has committed to lowering the tax to 10%. So a vote to keep it now is a vote for higher taxes. Most people are still confused whether to vote no or yes, they just want it gone.

”The Province would also provide a $175 per child HST transition payment for families and $175 for seniors earning up to $40,000 to help the transition until the rate drops. These changes are responsive and fair, and allow us to keep our commitment to balancing our budget so key government services are funded. Proposed changes to the HST, including transition payments, would only take effect should British Columbians vote "NO" to the referendum question and retain the HST.”

So this is now a bribe and a threat! Jeezes buddy, isn’t there a law against that! Here vote for us and we’ll give you money, after we take it from you. But if you don’t do what we say you get nothing. And so many British Columbians are so behind on their bills; you might even be successful with your bribe. Clark’s predecessor did that once before too.

”You should be receiving your ballot over the coming weeks. All ballots must be received by Elections BC or any Service BC office no later than Friday, July 22, 2011.”

I actually hope the Post Office stays on strike and or locked out, a small sacrifice by the workers to end this charade by your government.

”You must be registered as a British Columbia voter to receive a voting package. If you do not receive a voting package by Friday, June 24, 2011, call Elections BC at 1 800 661-8683 (toll-free) to register and request one. The deadline to request an HST Referendum Voting Package is midnight (local time) Friday, July 8, 2011.”

All of this would be unnecessary if your government just made it simple, a clear question and a clear one day vote. NO to HST or YES to HST – Voting day is July 8, 2011. How difficult was that – Really!

”I will be voting "NO" for lower taxes and a 10 per cent HST, but the decision is yours. I encourage all British Columbians to do their homework and visit, read the comprehensive voters guide, and ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. It's your choice.”

Yes of course you will, you have drunk from the same cup of Kool Aid that has been around since Campbell’s drunk driving charge. We wish you could step out of your box, look around and see the mess you have stirred up for all your fellow British Columbians. The confusion and dishonesty has many depressed and angry. This is no ones fault but yours and your compatriots. If BC wasn’t such a great place to be, to live and enjoy, I would move. All I can do now is spend all my time pointing out your governments’ failings, praying and pleading for my neighbours to stand up and fight your inadequate and foolish policies. It is a losing battle to be sure, but maybe this small piece of writing will change one persons mind, and that is good enough for me.

”Kevin Falcon
Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier”

End Note: I am sure you will be successful Mr. Minister and though I might wish to congratulate you, I won't. I learned in grade school how fear made most of my classmates tag along behind the bullies, male and female bullies. And that is just what your government is acting like. By threats and bribes. Although I know why you will be successful, I do not respect it. And, as I said, you should be ashamed.

2nd End Note: And you still haven't come clean and publically acknowledged the TDP, the real new tax your government implemented. Tax on Designated Property! This replaced the 7% tax on used cars, trucks and equipment. Your government quietly increased this tax by 5% to match the new HST and almost all British Columbians believe it is the new HST when it is your new secret tax, the TDP. Yes, most BC'rs are gullible, but we will do our best to expose you and yours.
Vote "YES" for integrity and "NO" for deceit.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 15th June 2011
From the 2011 budget speech comes this line, "Budget 2011 forecasts deficits of $925 million in 2011-12" That projection of $925 million is not going to be reached. So what does it mean now when Falcon says, "...and allow us to keep our commitment to balancing our budget."

It sounds like they need the cash desperately and if they get it, you can bet they will be shouting from the rooftops (and echoed by the media), how terrific they are at managing the economy.