Thursday, September 02, 2010

BC Liberals' HST Talking Points Turn Into Bear Trap for Premier, FinMin

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.


double nickel said...

Sadly, people have almost come to expect their politicians to lie to them. In another era both politicians would have resigned by now.

The Mound of Sound said...

I think this one may be over the top. Folks were angry enough before at the high-handed way Campbell & Co. saddled us to the HST but now to learn they lied to our faces throughout the election is beyond the pale.

The provincial faux-liberal government's popularity was already in the bucket before these revelations. Some think their numbers are now well into the single digits. That flushing sound you hear is Campbell's chances of surviving this scandal.

Anonymous said...

Campbell wasn't selling the BC Rail either. Our rivers, were also sold. During Campbell's time in office, he has cost our mill workers, 30.000 job losses. Some of our mills were sent to China, along with our raw logs. There have been 51 mills shut down. Every time a mill was closed in BC, another mill opened in China.

I haven't saved one penny,because of the HST. Instead of prices going down, they were jacked up sky high. Supermarkets, just before the HST was applied, they raised their prices so high, many of us can't afford, to buy meat. One chicken, is now over $15.00. I buy through the underground, one chicken, is $5.50. Eggs $1.60 and so on. This province, is in utter ruin.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, I think the HST will introduce a lot of people to the underground economy. This is especially true for the building trades and the contractors soon feel the pinch.

There are welcome signs of unrest within the BC ilLiberal ranks. I do hope that Campbell and Hansen are, at the very least, forced out in disgrace.