They lied - in harmony - and now they've been caught.
British Columbia's illiberal premier, Gordo Campbell, and his finance minister, Colin Hansen, emphatically denied the Harmonized Sales Tax or HST was in the works prior to the last election, in May, 2009, even though they announced it shortly afterward.
These characters even used the same parlance to make their point. Both said it wasn't even on their "radar" during the spring of 2009.
Now documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that Campbell was being briefed by staff on the HST no later than January of that year. Discussions, possibly negotiations, between Victoria and Ottawa were underway by at least March, 2009, well prior to the May elections.
In the midst of the election campaign, Campbell's government repeatedly denied the HST was even under consideration.
As for the benefits of the HST, the Campbell government received an assessment from the CD Howe Institute that the HST would cause a drop in GST and trigger unemployment and that it could take five years to recover.
This could be the death knell sounding for the British Columbia "LINO" Liberals. The public was already angry at the way the HST had been sprung on them - without consultation, without warning and after having been denied in an election three months earlier. Now to learn the premier and his finance minister were lying through their teeth about it puts this straight over the top.
Campbell hasn't got many choices at this point. He and his finance minister can try to buy the government some time by resigning in disgrace. He can try to wait it out and be the first government to fall on BC's recall legislation. Or he can call an election and hand the keys over to the NDP's Carol James which, for her, would be a win by forfeiture.
Well Ottawa is completely boring these days so at least we have plenty of fireworks in Victoria to look forward to.