Fight HST files complaint over B.C. government tax ads

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      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.

      Comments

      10 Comments

      Island Man

      Jul 15, 2011 at 1:18pm

      The government adds anount to little more than bribing people to vote for their position..."If you do this, We'll give you that" It is a bribe, pure and simple...altjough one that will likely never pay off when the rate goes up instead of down, as it has elsewhere in Canada and Europe. Don't be bought with your own money, Vote YES to Extinguish the hST and keep your money in your pocket.

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      judi sommer

      Jul 15, 2011 at 1:48pm

      The ads are misleading on a number of levels. Falcon has stated that he won't commit to dropping the 7% PST on items previously exempt if the YES side prevails, so we could ironically be back to where we are. Look at the government stick people web-site where we have 2 options-12 or 10%. This flies in the face of the wording of the ballot. "reistating" means going back to the way it was before the HST was imposed. This was made very clear by Craig James, Chief of Elections BC. The Liberals have said they will honour the will of the people should the YES side prevails but Falcon's comments be-lie the rhetoric.

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      judi sommer

      Jul 15, 2011 at 2:37pm

      In addition to these questionable ads, I was also dismayed to find out that Christy Clark has put a type of gag order on Freedom Of Information that does not apply in this tax battle. The Smart Tax Alliance, a coalition of powerful industry interest groups, do NOT have to disclose how much they are spending to fight the grassroots SAY YES to Extinguishing the HST, This creates a huge disadvantage for the YES side. This is truly a David and Goliath battle and speaks volumes about the morality (and perhaps anxiety?) of this Liberal Government. For more details, google Bill Tieleman's blog on July 5 2011.

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      Pat Crowe

      Jul 16, 2011 at 10:22am

      The taxpayer funded ads aren't fooling most people but I find it interesting that they do fear my retired mother and her friends fixed income friends. Threaten the old timers with less food on the table and a huge "supposed" debt to repay.
      I would also like to see what Pam Martin has done since her patronage appointment to justify her made up job title. That would be amusing.

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      Jim Van Rassel

      Jul 16, 2011 at 11:03am

      Pay Gordon Campbell if you have to. Jim Van Rassel is calling on Adrian Dix and the BC NDP to scrape up some dollars in order to purchase the services of former Premier Gordon Campbell in order to kill the HST simply by showing his face on any TV camera in BC.
      Jim Van Rassel
      Coquitlam BC

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      LostMyGlasses

      Jul 16, 2011 at 12:11pm

      I'm afraid I do not have much faith in ElectionsBC or the anything to do with the elections Act.

      The insiders sale of BC Rail, Kash Heed getting away with blatant overspending while the Liberals stage a 'no holds barred' referendum plus the stripping of third party oversight of BC Hydro has put B.C. in solid company with the other Banana Republics around the world.

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      John S.

      Jul 16, 2011 at 2:17pm

      We should abolish provincial tax completely. No HST. No PST. Provinces should just not get money from sales taxes.

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      Industry HST Ads Not Fair

      Jul 16, 2011 at 2:19pm

      It isn't right considering industries advertisements all end up as tax breaks so it is wrong considering it is tax payers that are picking up the tab. And who have no way of fighting back with misleading advertisements from Industry and government.
      The most low income receive for the added taxes they pay is $155 for the year for added GST and PST paid with HST which barely works out to $13 a month and that isn't paying back the low income for the additional taxes for HST low income now is it?
      Lets Gag the Liberals for good by voting them out. What is to miss but the misuse of public funds trying to sell the public on another Liberal scheme like BC Rail.

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      Genie

      Jul 17, 2011 at 12:05pm

      Can we as citizens of BC, to file a class action on the false advertisement as well?
      If yes, how?

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      glen p robbins

      Jul 17, 2011 at 5:32pm

      The word is - that if the HST vote fails - but is close and turnout is lower than provincial of 50% Christy will call snap election to avoid fulfilling obligation to voters (characterized as mandate). Concept is this: BC NDP don't want HST (politics) but if they win election will keep it - because of cost to return to PST/GST but will provide exemptions within the 5% allowed under the agreement with the Harper Government (featuring Canada on Tambourine).

      Christy Clark will take the loss - sit in Opposition and call BC NDP creeps for keeping the tax (much like a boxer in a corner turns his opponent into that corner-thus reversing positions) - and wait for next election - if she wins - Bob's your Uncle - but the arrangement between the BC Liberals and the BC NDP is its you or us - and no minority government.

      How it Works - glen p robbins

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