Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Bloggers give failing grade to HST

B.C. bloggers across the political spectrum are unhappy about the provincial government's new Harmonized Sales Tax, due next summer. is upset about the impact of the HST on e-commerce:

Businesses that had to only charge GST previously become less competitive now. There are numerous examples out there, but I’ll offer one more that I am quite familiar with: e-Commerce Services. This industry only had to charge GST since the very beginning. All this will change next July. They already compete with GST-free Alberta, not to mention other countries, like National Sales Tax-free America.

But this latest move will make B.C. and Ontario-based e-Commerce Services companies even more uncompetitive. ... With British Columbia and Ontario joining the HST mix, you can expect to see an exodus of e-Commerce firms, and they will all be heading to Alberta.

Chinese in Vancouver estimates the HST will add $28,000 to the cost of a new $800,000 house.

Vancouver realtor Larry Yatkowsky agrees:

From the look of things, this brilliant new tax will be pervasive in its extent. Judging by the cover it will affect all things ‘home’. A first view tells us, the new tax will add to your purchase price in ways previously exempt. It will extend from the initial hit on a Realtors service fee to the cost of interior finishing, renovations, contractors labour, appliances, fixtures, light bulbs, door knobs and almost anything else you can think of that is ‘home’ related. All these will be tax magnets that will in ‘harmony’ take more money from your pocket then ever before. You can presume in advance that the effect will be daunting.

JR at Just Right ("classical liberal with a conservative bent") laments: "Taxes, taxes, taxes. We're taxed on income. When we spend what's left we’re taxed again. When we try to save it we're also taxed. Time for a tax revolt."

Mark Hewitt, a Vancouver high school student blogging as Young Liberal, writes: "To announce this new tax in the middle of a recession shows how unconcerned the Conservatives and BC Liberals are by the more unfortunate members of Canadian society."

Lenny Diko at condemns the HST and then writes: "Also contact your local NDP party (I would say conservative but they don’t have a strong presence in British Columbia) and URGE them to oppose this new tax as much as possible."

Bruce Stewart, an entrepreneur blogging at Changes Galore, makes the point that the HST turns small businesses into tax collectors and then writes:

As for me, I'm going to find an ordinary job and draw a salary. I'm tired of being unpaid labour for governments. The market can bloody well do without whatever value I offered it. The less I make, the less I'll spend. Stick that, Mr. Premier & Mr. Prime Minister, in your GDP calculations and smoke it. Oh, and I'm leaving British Columbia. The province I go to will probably have an HST, but at least I won't have to put up with brain-dead fellow citizens and known lying manipulators in office.

And The Left Coast wonders if David Suzuki and Tzeporah Berman are still happy to have supported the B.C. Liberals in the May election:

Home renovations that increase the energy efficiency of the home (thereby reducing the consumption of heating oil, gas or electricity) will become seven percent more expensive. A bicycle will become seven percent more expensive. These are just two of the energy consumption-reduction efforts that will have a new tax added to their purchase price.

The B.C. Liberals are making it that much more expensive to reduce our carbon footprint. You have to wonder how the Suzuki Foundation and Tzeporah Berman feel about this new direction the B.C. Liberals are taking the province.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus