HST referendum coming to B.C. next September - Macleans.ca

HST referendum coming to B.C. next September

Premier says he’ll scrap tax if majority votes against it


British Columbians will be called to the polls September 24, 2011, to vote in a referendum over the province’s controversial harmonized sales tax. And while the referendum isn’t legally binding, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell has already said he’ll scrap the tax if a majority votes against it. Campbell made the announcement shortly after a legislative committee voted to go ahead with the referendum after receiving a well-publicized anti-HST petition. Campbell says he’s confident B.C. voters will endorse the tax, the handling of which has led to calls for his resignation. But he’s open to shelving it if that’s what voters want. “If people decide they want to get rid of the HST next September, then I guess we’re going to get rid of the HST next September,” he said. “There’s no point in going to the people if you’re not going to listen to them.”

Vancouver Sun

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HST referendum coming to B.C. next September

  1. What a cunning and crafty move from an unpopular premier. Why not next month, why wait till next year? Is he hoping that people get used to paying HST, that opposition to it will fizzle out?

    • Isn't this in line with the referendum process though? I seem to remember hearing months and months ago that if there were to be a referendum on the subject, that it wouldn't be until Sept 2011.

      The referendum will fail because, as I understand it, it needs 50% of all eligible voters – not just 50% of the turnout – to be successful. What was the turnout of the last provincial election? 50 something percent? I can't see enough people turning out to get the votes needed to overturn the HST.

      • The anti HST campaign achieved that and more. But the only thing is that people by that time will have anti HST campaign fatigue. Quite smart actually for Gordie. It would probably save his party, but not him.

  2. Ah, but he won't put into writing his "promise" to accept the referendum results. Trust him? I don't think so.

  3. One has to look at the modernization of uniform tax collection and benefits of the HST in the long run, maybe a tax should have been applied to restaurant meals, haircuts etc. prior to the introduction of the HST. I would wonder if the once dismissed in shame, Zalm, would have ranted on about a Petition and Recalls over a tax on just hair cuts and restaurant meals and other paltry additional tax.

  4. It's too late Mr. Gordon Campbell. No one believes you any more. Recall ASAP!!!

  5. The BC Rail wasn't for sale either. Campbell is not a Liberal, he works for Harper. Campbell should have been thrown in prison, the minute he fraudulently sold the BC Rail. And, for sure when he got, his criminal DUI. Campbell whined and sniveled for forgiveness from the BC citizens. He then turned around, and kicked the people in the face, for doing so. But, because he has a criminal mind, and is a pathological liar, he is happy he and Hansen, lied, deceived and cheated to win the election. Just when you think, Campbell and Hansen, couldn't get any lower, they do. I had read, Campbell was going on vacation, Lara was going with him, there was no mention, that Nancy was going with him. If you look at the photo, when Campbell was begging the people to forgive him, his DUI, Nancey's look at Campbell, was pure venom. That poor women, has been humiliated, by her scum of a husband, so many times. However, the BC people understand her position, and have a lot of sympathy for her.

  6. Why wait a whole year to do what’s right? Do it now. Waiting a year just shows you’re not sincere.

    Why can’t this happen in Ontario to the hated hst?

    McGuinty are you listening? Get rid of the hatted hst now. Not next year.

  7. Good question, Greg. The reason British Columbia reacted with such an enormous passionate anger against the HST is because we've been bullied and abused for 9 years … the HST was not only the last straw, but it provided a legitimate outlet for that righteous anger.

    Horrible things have been done to this beautiful province. Everything we love about it, has been ripped apart or thrown away. It started with BCRail, then BC Hydro, then BC Ferries … the forests, rivers, oceans, salmon, weren't safe any longer … jobs were sent out of the country … too many issues for citizens to cope with … until the HST and, yes, Bill Vander Zalm came along.

    Credit where credit is due: British Columbia had reasons for its anger and they did a splendid job of expressing that anger with good results for the future. Well done, I say.

    Have courage, and stay the course, folks!

  8. they could easily just have a PST and apply it to everthing that GST is applied to .. the fight agains the HST doesn't make any sense to me, all that matters is that the government is cutting taxes overall …if we put the NDP in power taxes will go up much more

    • PST worked by taxing every level of sale with no credit to having paid PST to a supplier. It was a tax on a tax.

      In fact what you are asking for is exactly what happened. The HST taxes only things the GST already taxed.

  9. The HST is a good thing. The only mistake was lying to the voters about doing it.
    Most people have difficulty understanding they are paying "hidden" taxes like provincial sales taxes so when they see them directly on a bill they think taxes have gone up. Sure some things previous exempt from PST are up but the vast majority of things are not.
    The anti HST petition was politics, using anger not economics to succeed. Unfortunately Campbell has no credibility to now present the case for HST. Voters may cut off their noses to spite their face if HST is repealed. What should happen is the provincial portion of the HST should be reduced and the reduction in tax revenues covered off by reduced spending.

  10. So if the referendum on HST succeeds in toppling the tax, what are the Liberals going to bring in to make up for it? They aren't going to abolish the HST tax system completely because they can't afford to lose out on the revenue. Are they going to bring the PST back? Seriously?

    I hate the way the HST was brought in just as much as everyone else but the fact of the matter is that it is a smarter tax than the old PST and GST system, it's just too bad is wasn't explained that way in the first place.

  11. How about an honest discussion on the exorbitantly high cost of government requiring higher and higher taxes to feed the maggots.

  12. i would say keep the HST but make the combined amout 10% instead of 12% ..then we get a deal on what used to be 12% combined although we get burned a bit by paying 10% on what used to be 5%

  13. Recall is the only option left. Now it is too expensive to get out of the HST….but we can get rid of the Liberals. Voters can demand that a new government commit to lowering the provincial portion of the hst, and send out rebates asap to give taxpayers some relief. And that 30 million for a referendum? How about some classrooms in Surrey for kids stuck in boxes? Or a few more nurses?

  14. What is going on now?  The media is reporting that the HST is becoming more popular.  Should they actually be reporting unsubstantiated opinion, when no vote has been taken recently?  And is opinion swayed by the recent wave of government paid commercials with actors portraying business people endorsing this tax.  I notice that not one of them explains exactly how it is beneficial, just that they like it, and it creates jobs, and is good for B.C.