In terms of the upcoming federal election I question why the media has ignored asking candidates about the HST? The HST is a federal tax. The federal government, under the Conservatives, dedicated $1.6 billion of Canadian taxpayers’ money to entice B.C. to adopt the HST. In terms of provincial politics there was a huge outcry, but I haven’t heard one word or question regarding the Canadian tax money spent on implementing the HST.
Before the opposition mounted, Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was a vocal supporter of the HST. Since then the federal government has been muted on discussing the merits of HST for B.C. Flaherty has stated it was up to B.C. to take the $1.6 billion or not; ignoring that not only was B.C. in deficit when the offer was made but so was Canada. Since then Flaherty has offered billions of dollars of tax money to other holdout provinces to entice them to join the HST.
Federal parties should be asked if they support billions of dollars being spent on harmonization. Is the money being spent on actually updating the tax system, or was it a bribe to B.C. taxpayers with their own federal money? As we are going towards a provincial referendum, where do the federal parties stand on the $1.6 billion committed to B.C.? Will this need to be paid back or will the federal government keep that money in B.C.? These are essential questions ignored by the media.