Jim Flaherty’s permanent tax on everything (II)


Jim Flaherty, April 10, 2008. We’ve done our stimulus at the federal level but we really needed the province to do its part, and of course we’re also calling on the remaining provinces that have not harmonized their PST with the GST to work with us to accomplish that goal of harmonization. That would be a great tax burden relief for businesses in Ontario that’s certainly needed.

Jim Flaherty, Oct. 23, 2008. Being from Ontario, as you may have heard, I have a bit of a challenge with my provincial government and I’m gently nudging Premier McGuinty and the Government of Ontario and encouraging them in the direction of reducing the burden of business taxes in that province and, importantly, since that province and a few others are not harmonized, to harmonize the PST and the GST in those provinces, which would be the single most important step that could be done to help relieve the tax burden on business … we need harmonization of sales taxes in some provinces.

Dimitri Soudas, tonight“If any Ontarian is concerned about this provincial decision (on tax harmonization), they should contact his or her MPP … We said that we would accept the decision of any provincial government to proceed with the harmonization of the sales tax, but ultimately the decision is a decision that needs to be made by the provinces.”


Jim Flaherty’s permanent tax on everything (II)

  1. I would imagine those walking back from Flaherty's position on this are worried HST is going to be a huge ballot issue in an election.

    • The opposition parties will have to do a lot of work to make that anger stick to the federal Conservatives. The connection between the HST and the provincial governments in Ontario and BC is obvious; the federal connection, despite the multibillion-dollar payments, not so much.

      • You're probably right, however it looks like the electorate will get their shot at the federal MP before the Ontario election in 2011.

      • It isn't obvious only if you're stupid. Sales tax harmonization takes two to tango (Feds plus Province), and the Feds were pushing it right up until the point where they discovered it might not work out for them. Now they're running like rats. Who do you think won't notice the sudden change in behavior?

        (PS. I'm non-commital with respect to the HST in Ont. But the CPoC trying to bail on an issue they've pushed for years now is ludicrous.)

        • Beg pardon? You're talking to a populace that, after softwood, Fortier, arctic [strike]ice-breakers[/strike]patrol ship[strike]s[/strike], income trusts, fixed election act, and accountability act, gave him more MPs.

          Seriously, if the Canadian populace notices anything beyond the price of timbits and who won the Stanley Cup, I consider it a good day.

        • Beg pardon? You're talking to a populace that, after softwood, Fortier, arctic ice-breakerspatrol ships, income trusts, fixed election act, and accountability act, gave him more MPs.

          Seriously, if the Canadian populace notices anything beyond the price of timbits and who won the Stanley Cup, I consider it a good day.

      • Ah yes, but you know how average Canadians blame the Federal government when their library closes early, they can't get good ice time at the skating rink, they want their garbage day moved, etc.

      • As most British Columbians know, the Campbell government is closer, ideologically, to the federal CPC than to the Liberals. Given the considerable backlash that is taking place in BC against the proposed harmonisation (even from some businesses), it's not surprising that the federal Conservatives want to disassociate themselves from the whole issue. BC voters are notoriiously volatile.

  2. This is just like the Pride funding fiasco. Trying to speak out of both sides of their mouth to different constituents and hoping no one notices.

    • Ooopsie.

  3. Well, it does seem rather consistent. The Tories think every plan they ever conceived of was brilliant, right until it was implemented. Not taxing income trusts? Genius. Fixed election dates? Obviously. Openness and accountability? Fer sure. Recession? What recession? No, wait, I mean, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND we must combat the recession!!!

    The only thing the Tories are more passionate about then how much they love their plan of today is how silly they think their plan of yesterday was. Of course what they'll try and tell you after the fact is that their plan of yesterday was SOMEONE ELSE'S PLAN ALL TOGETHER.

  4. On balance I think harmonization is good. If we have to have consumption taxes to pay for public services, it’s better to harmonize.

    • I think you are right, but it will mean a tough adjusting period. Probably the length of an election cycle.

    • Much like it's better to lube up before you – never mind. Family blog.

  5. One thing for Dimitri he is consistent.
    That said I have an awfully hard time getting worked up wrt the HST. If the government is going to take my money, take it as efficiently as possible. The HST will save millions annually in collection costs.

  6. The Flaherty household must be reeling – both screwed by Hudak in full frontal attacks on this file – now Jim has to watch his own back from his own caucus…
    Y'know – I almost feel sorry for him…almost!
    But I do feel sorry for Dimitri – having to deliver this crap with a straight face!

  7. What concerns me about harmonization is that it is an erosion of provincial autonomy. I expected the Conservatives to decentralize/dismantle the federal government, but now they are doing the opposite. The feds should only take what it needs to fulfill its federally-mandated responsibilities under Section 91 of the Constitution, and then let the provinces raise THEIR OWN money directly to fund whatever services they want. Voters would get a better understanding of which level of government is responsible for what, and whether each government program is worth it for them.

    HST will become like the income tax collection system (outside of Québec)… all the money goes to the feds who then redistribute it to the provinces. It's no wonder why so many Canadians call their federal MP to complain about the local library, school or garbage collection (as Jenn pointed out). It's not transparent where their money is going to.

  8. Does every province besides Alberta have PST or HST?

    Now I'm curious as to what the actual tax rates (all taxes combined) are for each province and how much better off I am living in Calgary.

    • "how much better off I am living in Calgary…."

      There's a joke to be made there, but I can't bring myself to make it.

    • On the plus side: no PST. On the minus side: you live in Calgary.

      I kid! I kid!

  9. Hasn't Dimitri read the document that his Party is allegedy using to shape the Canadian Economy?
    "Advantage Canada" 23 November 2006 — Policy Commitment: "Strengthening the economic union by working with provinces and territories to enhance internal trade and labour mobility and create a common securities regulator, and by encouraging the provinces to move ahead with the harmonization of sales taxes with the GST."

  10. Encouraging (or gently nudging), is NOT deciding.

    So what is inconsistent about these quotes…. Nothing

    Just a Liberal hack (all due respect) trying to make the CPC look two-faced when they aren't (at least in this case)

    • Ummm. Encouraging and criticizing is inconsistent. You'd have to be a partisan zealot not to see that. It's like encouraging young mothers to get abortions while saying abortions are evil.

  11. Hah~! Those 'non-existent inconsistencies' are starting to gain steam, mostly coming from taxpayers ears as we head into the weekend. I guess you're just a CON hack (all due respect) trying to dodge responsibility and accountability. I know, I know, it's the Harper way!

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