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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Living in Harmony

Say what you'd like about Stephen Harper, and I've said some nasty things, he has an uncanny knack for tossing grenades into crowded rooms, and coming out unscathed

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's formal support for the Conservative government's HST bill could spark an open revolt among Liberal MPs who fear a voter backlash, the Star has learned.

Ignatieff told reporters Tuesday it will be a whipped vote, meaning even those MPs opposed to the harmonized sales tax for Ontario and British Columbia are to toe the party line.

The Grits nailed their colours to the mast on sales tax harmonization sometime back. Harper's deal with the Dalt, and BC's Gordon Campbell, over harmonization has made a theoretical policy position a concrete reality for the Liberals. While, in theory, harmonization makes a lot of sense, in practice it will be tax grab. Income tax rebate checks a short-term sop, not offsetting the long-term boost in revenues for provincial coffers. 

The trick with harmonization is that provincial sales taxes, which are riven with politically engineered exceptions, must be consolidated with the GST, whose remit is far more encompassing. You pay tax on things you didn't pay tax on before. The never popular GST is a raw nerve for many Canadians. Even if the technical details are not fully understood, the HST looks and feels like a tax grab. An administrative measure for the federal government, is a keenly divisive issue in two battleground provinces. Luckily for the federal Tories, both provinces are governed by parties with the Liberal brand name on the cover. Since it is up to the provinces to adopt the HST or not, the political cost is entirely on the shoulders of Queen's Park, Victoria and as splash over the Leader of the Opposition. This has backbenchers running for cover. Beneath the bad hair cut, the enormous brain plots.

Posted by Richard Anderson on December 10, 2009 | Permalink


Both provincial liberal governments are going out of their way to insure they will lose a lot of seats next election and are going to hurt the federal party on the way down. Glad to see it.

Posted by: peterj | 2009-12-12 12:01:16 PM

Does the HST auger in an NDP government in Ontario and BC with an even stronger Conservative federal government in Ottawa? Will the HST allow the federal government to lower federal taxes?

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2009-12-15 7:15:32 PM

Tax grabs are prominent in BC, and has put a lot of money in, Campbell's wallet. Iggy, and his threats, to his caucus, to support the HST, or else. Harper, bribing provinces to push the HST through. Harper, Iggy, Campbell and Hansen, should be kicked off the planet. They have no scruples and they are the scourge of our country. Idiot Campbell, had some gold Olympic coins made up with his name stamped on them, those coins cost$15.00 each. I, hear some of those coins were tossed. He doesn't get the fact that, he is, nothing but a joke, and citizens have, nothing but contempt for him. We, are going to have a criminal, hosting the Olympic Games. What next?????

Posted by: Lil | 2009-12-26 4:19:22 PM

"what next"?

inordinate amounts of commas in sentences. :)

Posted by: shel | 2009-12-27 7:40:46 AM

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