Elections B.C. is being asked to rule on whether government advertising on the HST is “fraudulent” under provincial legislation.
Fight HST claims the advertising is misleading and the group criticizes how it highlights a promised cut to the HST if voters decide to keep the tax in the August 5 referendum.
Premier Christy Clark’s government has pledged to lower the HST to 10 percent from 12 percent by 2014 if British Columbians vote “no” to extinguishing the tax.
In a news release, Fight HST argues the B.C. government advertising is “deliberately misleading”.
The anti-HST group claims the advertising “does not indicate whatsoever” that the tax decrease would take three years to come into full effect.
The group also claims the advertising ignores the fact the tax cut hinges on whether the Liberal government stays in power and keeps its promise.
For its part, the B.C. government has committed in legislation to lowering the seven-percent provincial portion of the 12-percent HST.
The province’s HSTinBC.ca website says a 10-percent HST “is now law”. It also says a “no” vote in the referendum means the HST will stay in place and then drop to 10 percent by 2014.
Fight HST leader Bill Vander Zalm is asking Elections B.C. to investigate whether the government advertising is attempting to sway voters using what the B.C. Election Act calls “fraudulent means”.
Vander Zalm is also asking Elections B.C. to call for a stop to the government’s HST advertising while the complaint is under investigation.
The request to Elections B.C. follows an earlier complaint about government advertising Fight HST filed with the province’s ombudsperson.