Federal budget 2008. Replacing remaining provincial retail sales taxes (RSTs) with value-added taxes harmonized with the GST is another area where provinces can contribute to strengthening Canada’s Tax Advantage … The Government recognizes the significant economic benefits to Canada from sales tax harmonization and is willing to work with the five provinces that still have RSTs to help facilitate the transition to provincial value-added sales taxes harmonized with the GST.
Federal budget 2009. Modernizing these harmful taxes by implementing a value-added tax structure harmonized with the GST is the single most important step that provinces with RSTs could take to stimulate new business investment, create jobs and improve Canada’s overall tax competitiveness.
Jim Flaherty, March 30. Last week, Ontario’s Liberal government, after objecting to the combined tax for years, decided to switch. Ottawa agreed to help Canada’s most populous province with that move by giving Ontario one-time compensation of $4.3 billion. “I think this is very good economic policy,” Flaherty told reporters in Ottawa Monday. “This is a massive tax cut, a $5 billion tax cut for businesses in the province of Ontario and that means job creation and investment in the province of Ontario. So, this is very good economic policy over time.”
Jim Flaherty, August 4. Ottawa is prepared to cut a cheque to three holdout provinces if they agree to merge their sales taxes with the federal GST, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Tuesday. “We’ll see what their governments decide to do,” he said. “But the same proposal – in terms of transition funding – that we made with the province of Ontario followed by the province of British Columbia is available to those provinces as well. The same formula.”
Dick Harris, August 10. Bringing a harmonized sales tax to B.C. isn’t the federal Conservatives idea, Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harris is emphasizing … Reached Monday for comment on the issue, Harris said the Conservatives are merely adhering to federal legislation passed by the old Chretien Liberal government that includes a formula to determine how much funding a provincial government should get for making the move … “The legislation is still there, of course, and even if we wanted to change it, the Liberals and the NDP and the Bloc would not vote to change it and we’re a minority government,” Harris contended. Asked what the Conservatives’ position is on harmonizing the provincial sales taxes with the federal goods and services tax, Harris said the party hasn’t really taken one saying it’s strictly a provincial government decision.
Larry Miller, August 11. “First, I want to make it clear that this was a change initiated by the province of Ontario and was not a decision made by the federal government in any way.”
James Lunney, August 20. As this was a decision of the BC provincial government, I encourage you to contact your MLA Ron Cantelon (firstname.lastname@example.org) to relay any concerns you may have.