Will Rogers said, We are here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can, and having read Gerry Tafts letter about Harmonized Sales Tax in the March 18th edition I must admit I had a good chuckle.
The smile on my face did not come from the HST issue, but from an oversimplified, naive depiction of a significant provincial issue and how a new party born from a single-issue platform can promise to ride in and save the political day.
The letter indicated the people of British Columbia understand the HST perfectly fine, which is simply not the truth. There is not a B.C. Liberal in the province who will tell you that the introduction or explanation of HST. and its subsequent implementation was handled well by our former Premier, but they will agree that it is the responsibility of our new Premiers government to put in the corrections.
Putting the needs and wishes of British Columbians first, Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal party believe the HST issue is so important that the referendum has moved to June 2011 from September 2011.
In the days leading up to it you may come to know that the HST is a Value Added Tax found in over 140 countries in the world and that 80 percent of Canadians now have a tax system like the HST with the lowest rate in the country in B.C.
British Columbians may learn why economists firmly believe that the HST will make B.Cs economy more competitive potentially creating over 110,000 jobs and over $11 billion in new investments.
We will welcome the B.C. HST tax credit that will put money back into our pockets, especially for our seniors and low income earners. The definition of an input tax credit will come to the forefront explaining how our businesses can recover up to 100 percent of the HST paid on goods and services bought to operate the business, subsequently making us more competitive with provinces like Alberta.
The challenges associated with the HST will become clearer as will the solutions designed to address them, remembering that governance is not a static process but one that is reflexive and responsive to the ever-changing needs and conditions around the lives of British Columbians. As the June HST referendum approaches, British Columbians might be well served to reflect on the words of the Chinese proverb: Wise people make their own decisions; ignorant people follow public opinion.
President, Columbia River-Revelstoke B.C. Liberal Riding