Ottawa to pay Quebec $2.2 billion for HST

Agreement compensates province for two-decade old tax harmonization

The federal government has agreed to hand over $2.2 billion to Quebec as compensation for having harmonized its provincial sales tax with the federal GST more than 20 years ago. Quebec will receive the money in two lump sums: $733 million in 2013 and $1.4 billion in 2014. The Conservatives had promised the funds to Quebec during the last election campaign, pledging to get a deal in place by September 15. Quebec Premier Jean Charest says he will use the money to reduce the province’s deficit.

Canadian Press