By David F. Rooney
If you’re ticked off about seemingly incessant tax grabs by government then Vanessa Smith has place for you at the rally she is organizing to protest the proposed Harmonized Sales Tax this Saturday.
“It’s a tax grab,” the feisty Grizzly Book & Serendipity Shop owner said. “If you don’t like it and you don’t speak out then don’t be surprised by what you get.”
The rally, which is scheduled to begin at noon in front of her Mackenzie Avenue book store, is bound to attract attention as it coincides with the all-day New Moon Over Mackenzie festival.
And public attention is the name of the game when it comes to political protest.
“This is all part of the strategy to defeat the HST,” Smith said.
Simultaneous protests have been organized by a group led by former premier Bill Vanderzalm called Fight HST, for at least a dozen other communities where people are concerned about the far-reaching effects of the proposal that will see the PST combined with the GST for a total 12 per cent tax that will be extended to many products that are not now taxed. The HST will be collected by the federal government — not the province. Ottawa will remit the seven per cent PST portion to Victoria on a regular basis.
While some sectors of the economy see advantages to a single-tax collection and filing system, restaurants and tourism-based firms stand to take a major hit from the HST and it is feared that imposition of the HST may make it even more difficult for resorts and other tourism-reliant firms and communities to compete with PST-free Alberta.
You can find out more about the protests at http://fighthst.com/ or just come down to the rally on Mackenzie Avenue this Saturday, Sept. 19, at noon. Be sure to bring a placard.