Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

BC finance minister Hansen introduces bill to prepare for HST

British Columbia Finance Minister Colin Hansen today introduced legislation to repeal the Provincial Sales Tax and start the transition to the Harmonized Sales Tax.

The 12 percent HST, which will replace both the PST and the federal GST, and will apply to a wide variety of purchases previously not covered by the PST, has been the subject of sustained protest since the tax was announced shortly after the provincial election last May.

“I don't think the HST will ever win a popularity contest. Nor will any tax,” said Hansen. “If you went out and did a survey and asked people, 'Would you support the provincial government totally eliminating the Provincial Sales Tax,' you'd probably getting a majority of people saying 'yes', and that's exactly what we're going to be doing.”

New Democratic Party leader Carole James said the NDP will stretch out debate on the 82-page bill as long as possible. The opposition MLAs, along with independent MLA Vicki Huntington, voted against first reading--normally a formality--of the bill.

Hansen said it needs to pass by May 1. The tax is scheduled go into effect on July 1.

“What was clear today once again was that the government isn't listening to the public in British Columbia,” James said. “The public has spoken loudly and clearly. They don't want the HST, it's not going to be good for the economy, it's going to slow down consumer confidence and once again we don't see the government listening.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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