Monday, October 1, 2012

New BC Lieutenant-Governor Judy Guichon was a big Harmonized Sales Tax booster

Let's hope that BC's new Lieutenant-Governor Judy Guichon leaves her past politics behind in her new role, because she was an unabashed booster of the Harmonized Sales Tax!

And Guichon is on Elections BC records as principal officer for her Merritt ranch, which has made donations to the BC Liberal Party.

"The HST is making the B.C. agricultural industry more competitive. If food security is a goal in this province, we must be able to compete," Guichon said at a news conference organized by the Smart Tax Alliance, the big business-funded group that promoted the HST.

And here's a letter from Guichon to the Kamloops Daily News during the HST referendum campaign: 


Letter to the Editor

I have been ranching in B.C. for 40 years and the HST has been one of the best things to happen to my family-run ranch.

With our HST savings, we have been able to secure the jobs of our four employees and two seasonal workers.

Without the HST, we would not have been able to upgrade our equipment and buy two new trucks. The HST makes my bookkeeping simpler and saves me time.

The HST has put us in a much stronger position to continue ranching and supporting jobs in B.C.'s Nicola Valley.

JUDY GUICHON

Merritt

Editor's note: Judy Guichon is president of the B.C. Cattlemen's Association.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fight HST to respond to HST extinguishment legislation to be introduced today - Monday May 14


Media Advisory

Monday May 14, 2012

Fight HST will respond TODAY – to the introduction today by the BC Liberal government of legislation to extinguish the Harmonized Sales Tax and return to the Provincial Sales Tax.

Fight HST leader Bill Vander Zalm and Fight HST strategist Bill Tieleman will be at:

Date:               Monday May 14, 2012

Time:              3:30 p.m.

Location:       BC Supreme Court Plaza
(Corner of Nelson and Hornby Streets in Vancouver)



Friday, February 17, 2012

HST to stay till April 1, 2013 says BC Finance Minister Kevin Falcon!

Breaking news this afternoon - BC Finance Minister Kevin Falcon says the Harmonized Sales Tax will continue to be imposed until April 1, 2013!


Former Premier Gordon Campbell & current Finance Minister Kevin Falcon


That announcement came as Falcon introduced new "Transition Rules" for new home builders.


It means the HST will have been imposed for 19 months but implemented just 11 months after it was first announced!


Expect to hear more from Fight HST soon.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fight HST angry Facebook has wiped out NO BC HST protest page's 125,000 members





News Release
                                                                     
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Facebook “archives” NO BC HST – BC’s largest Facebook protest group, wiping out 125,000 membership despite strong requests not to do so

NO BC HST Facebook page founder Bill Tieleman started group in July 2009, went viral – adding 6,000 members a day – now has just 80 members due to Facebook archiving

VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s largest Facebook protest group – NO BC HST – has seen its membership wiped out by Facebook management, dropping from over 125,000 members to just 80.

Facebook has “archived” the group formed in July 2009 by Fight HST Strategist and political commentator Bill Tieleman to oppose the Harmonized Sales Tax – meaning almost all members have been removed from the group without any notice to them.

NO BC HST was also one of British Columbia’s largest Facebook groups overall, bigger than the BC Lions Facebook fan page [50,7380] or the Vancouver Giants [4,737], but behind the Vancouver Canucks [692,123].

“It’s ironic that the Harmonized Sales Tax will last longer than the NO BC HST Facebook group formed to fight it,” says Tieleman.  “Unfortunately this is another example of how Facebook management disrespects the members who made it into a multi-billion dollar corporation.”

Tieleman noted that Facebook also “archived” the national protest group Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament, which had over 210,000 members who joined to oppose the federal Conservative government move to suspend Parliament in 2010 to avoid a non-confidence vote. 

Facebook gave some groups an opportunity to transfer their membership to its new Page format but that option was never given to NO BC HST, Tieleman said, despite contacting Facebook and requesting it.

“While I still believe Facebook is a useful and powerful social media tool, the way Facebook management can arbitrarily and unfairly wipe out groups with hundreds of thousands of members without anyone’s permission is a strong warning to all,” Tieleman said.

“Facebook says it’s mission is about connecting people but the archiving of many other groups like these shows it is also about disconnecting people,” Tieleman said.

NO BC HST still exists on Facebook and Tieleman said he is encouraging people to re-join to send Facebook a message about its bad behaviour, as well as to push the BC Liberal government to extinguish the HST as required by the binding referendum passed in August 2011.

Tieleman wrote a column about Facebook threatening to “archive” NO BC HST last year – it can be found here: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-would-facebook-want-to-kill-no-bc.html

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fight HST FOI documents show BC Finance Minister Kevin Falcon dodged calls from federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on HST for 19 days!


News Release                                                                     Sunday, January 15, 2012
FOI INTERNAL DOCUMENTS SHOW BC FINANCE MINISTER KEVIN FALCON REPEATEDLY DELAYED TALKING TO FEDERAL FINANCE MINISTER JIM FLAHERTY ABOUT HST REPAYMENT FOR 19 DAYS, DESPITE FALCON CLAIMS OF “PROTRACTED TALKS” WITH OTTAWA

Falcon didn’t meet October 31 request from Flaherty to talk until at least November 18, FOI documents requested by Fight HST show – so much for urgency in ending HST


VANCOUVER – BC Liberal Finance Minister Kevin Falcon repeatedly delayed a request from federal Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to talk by phone about ending the Harmonized Sales Tax for at least 19 days, according to internal documents obtained by Fight HST through a Freedom Of Information request, says Fight HST leader Bill Vander Zalm.

The FOI of emails revealed that Flaherty requested a telephone discussion with Falcon about the HST on October 31, 2011 but that as of November 14 the call not only hadn’t happened but was repeatedly rescheduled, with the last date showing a call to take place on November 18, Vander Zalm said. He added that whether the discussion actually occurred even then isn’t known because the FOI request didn’t go past that date.

Falcon claimed Wednesday that BC and Ottawa had a “difficult, protracted negotiation” but didn’t reveal he couldn’t find time to return Flaherty’s call for nearly three weeks, Vander Zalm said.

“The outright deception from the BC government about how hard it was working to follow the will of the people following the August binding referendum is astonishing,” Vander Zalm says. “Minister Falcon told the public and the Legislature he was finding it incredibly difficult but the reality is that he avoided talking to Minister Flaherty repeatedly.”

“This once again confirms our suspicion that the BC Liberal government is deliberately delaying the extinguishment of the HST as democratically decided by voters in order to keep gouging BC consumers with this unfair and expensive tax,” Vander Zalm said. 

The FOI emails between Victoria and Ottawa reveal the following chronology of failure to communicate:

Flaherty’s office first requested a call with Falcon at 8:07 a.m. on October 31 by email to Falcon’s office.

Falcon’s office declined that day because “Minister Falcon is in Question Period.”

Flaherty’s office then asked for a call at 8 a.m. November 1 but Falcon’s staff replied negatively, saying: “Shoot! Sorry, Minister Falcon will be on a plane.”

Flaherty’s office offered to take a call in Berlin that weekend from Falcon but it did not happen.

Falcon’s office turned down another date and time proposed by Flaherty’s office on November 7, saying: “Unfortunately today will not work for Minister Falcon.”

After more delays – some from Flaherty – another call was scheduled for November 18, with Flaherty travelling in China and Japan.  It is unclear if this call happened as the FOI request period only went to November 15.

Vander Zalm says it’s unbelievable that Falcon would repeatedly not making himself available to talk to Flaherty when the $1.6 billion federal HST grant repayment and federal legislation need to extinguish the HST were at stake.

“These are grounds for Premier Christy Clark to fire Minister Falcon – a clearly documented case of repeatedly failing to act in British Columbia’s best interests in negotiating with the federal government over billions of dollars in taxes,” Vander Zalm said.

“BC’s Finance Minister can’t find time to call the federal Finance Minister for 19 days despite Ottawa’s repeated attempts to talk?  This is a ridiculous, embarrassing situation for the BC government that can only be explained by its need for more HST cash – nothing else makes sense,” Vander Zalm concluded.

A copy of the full FOI of emails is available to media by contacting Fight HST.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BC LIBERALS HST DEAL WITH OTTAWA A DISASTER FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA, SAYS FIGHT HST



News Release                                                                     Wednesday, January 11, 2012
BC LIBERALS HST DEAL WITH OTTAWA A DISASTER FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA, SAYS FIGHT HST; SHOULD HAVE NEGOTIATED EARLY END TO HST, PRO-RATED 60% REDUCTION IN GRANT REPAYMENT

Premier Clark, Finance Minister Falcon costing BC hundreds of millions with incompetence

VANCOUVER – The grassroots group Fight HST says the BC Liberal government deal with the federal Conservative government to repay the $1.6 billion Harmonized Sales Tax grant is a disaster.

Fight HST Leader and former Premier Bill Vander Zalm said Wednesday Ottawa had taken the BC Liberals to the cleaners with an embarrassing deal that will cost British Columbians hundreds of millions more than the already painful HST.

“Why on earth is BC agreeing to payback the full $1.6 billion grant from Ottawa when we will have fulfilled three years of imposing the HST of the five year agreement by the time it ends?” Vander Zalm asked.  “The grant repayment should have been pro-rated to account for the full period the HST was charged.”

“That means BC should only be repaying about 40% of the grant when the HST is gone in 2013 – not 100% - what incompetence,” Vander Zalm said.

“And why is there no agreement to wrap up the HST right now if we are paying back the money – the deal should have included an immediate end to the HST but Premier Christy Clark and Finance Minister Kevin Falcon still say it will be at least March 2013 before the HST is gone – simply ridiculous!” he said.

Vander Zalm says both governments are making so much money from taxpayers off the HST that neither wants it to end anytime soon.

“The federal Conservatives are also benefitting hugely from the HST, collecting hundreds of millions in additional corporate taxes now because the PST businesses used to pay is instead paid for by consumers,” Vander Zalm said.  “Both governments are sticking it to BC consumers for as long as possible, despite the referendum vote.”

Fight HST Strategist Bill Tieleman says the failure of the BC Liberal government to come to an agreement to end the HST quickly means Fight HST will make the tax a key issue in two provincial by-election that must be called this year – in Port Moody-Coquitlam and Chlliwack-Hope – following BC Liberal MLA resignations.

“Voters clearly said in August 2011 that they wanted the HST gone right away – not in March 2013,” Tieleman said. 

“Now with this agreement failing to end the HST promptly, Fight HST will make it an issue in upcoming by-elections,” Tieleman said.

Tieleman said that in Port Moody-Coquitlam 9,677 voters cast ballots to extinguish the HST and in Chilliwack-Hope 8,991 voters also opted to get rid of the tax.

“If in a lower turnout by-election we can mobilize a portion of those voters who wanted the HST gone last year, not next year, it could have a significant effect on the results,” Tieleman said.  “Any candidate who doesn’t support the immediate end of the HST will have an immediate problem on by-election voting day.”

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Friday, December 2, 2011

FIGHT HST SAYS BC LIBERALS BLOWING HST EXTINGUISHMENT NEGOTIATIONS WITH OTTAWA – WILL MAKE FAILURE TO END HST AN ISSUE IN UPCOMING BC BY-ELECTIONS

News Release                                                                     Friday, December 2, 2011
FIGHT HST SAYS BC LIBERALS BLOWING HST EXTINGUISHMENT NEGOTIATIONS WITH OTTAWA – WILL MAKE FAILURE TO END HST AN ISSUE IN UPCOMING BC BY-ELECTIONS
Premier Clark, Finance Minister Falcon costing BC hundreds of millions with incompetence
VANCOUVER – The grassroots group Fight HST says the BC Liberal government is blowing negotiations with the federal Conservative government to end the Harmonized Sales Tax, costing BC taxpayers hundreds of millions through incompetence.

And Fight HST, which initiated and won the binding referendum to get rid of the HST, says it will make the failure to promptly end the tax an issue in two by-elections in Port Moody-Coquitlam and Chilliwack-Hope that must be called by Premier Christy Clark in the next few months.

Fight HST Leader and former Premier Bill Vander Zalm says yesterday’s clear rejection by Ottawa of BC’s request to reduce the amount the province must pay back of the $1.6 billion one-time HST “implementation” grant shows costly provincial incompetence.

“Premier Christy Clark and Finance Minister Kevin Falcon repeatedly said during the HST referendum that BC had to pay back the full $1.6 billion as a scare tactic to frighten voters into keeping the HST,” Vander Zalm said.  “But Fight HST always said that repayment of the federal grant must be pro-rated to whatever length of time the HST was in place for in BC.”

“Premier Clark rejected our position then and now she is trying to get the federal Conservatives to accept that position – no wonder they’re saying no thanks,” Vander Zalm said. 

“And the federal government and provincial government have both collected hundreds of millions in extra taxes thanks to the HST – why would they hurry to get rid of it?” Vander Zalm asked.  “But they imposed the HST in just a few months – they could eliminate it just as quickly – and that’s what the legislation passed by the people requires.”

Fight HST Lead Organizer Chris Delaney points out that the BC Liberals have also contradicted their own negotiating position with Ottawa.

“Finance Minister Falcon said the BC Liberals wouldn’t negotiate ending the HST in public and now Premier Clark is doing exactly that, with predictably bad results,” Delaney said.  “They are playing amateur hour with hundreds of millions and the BC economy at stake.”

“Consumers are paying too much on hundreds of goods and services that were never subject to a 12% HST in the past – from new homes to renovations to restaurant food to hair cuts to domestic airline tickets,” he said. “The delay in ending the HST is hurting our economy.”

Fight HST Strategist Bill Tieleman says the Minister Falcon’s claims that reinstating the Provincial Sales Tax and federal Goods and Services Tax to replace the HST will take more than 18 months is ridiculous given that the HST was imposed in less than one year.

“Voters clearly said in August with the binding referendum results that they wanted the HST gone as soon as possible – not in 18 to 24 months,” Tieleman said. 

“If the government won’t live up to the direction voters gave them in the binding referendum, we will make failure to end the HST promptly an issue in upcoming by-elections in Port Moody-Coquitlam and Chilliwack-Hope,” Tieleman said.

“Let’s see if voters in those two ridings are satisfied with paying the HST for months longer than necessary and let all parties competing tell them what they will do to speed things up,” Tieleman concluded.

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