A damning report out of the BC Ministry of Finance, made available through the Freedom of Information Act, shows the BC government wanegotiating with the federal government regarding implementing the HST months before the provincial election in 2009.
Fight HST Leader Bill Vander Zalm says the report proves the BC government deliberately deceived the public during and after the 2009 election when they claimed they did not have plans to implement the HST until weeks after the election.
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“This document shows the premier and finance minister not only did not tell the truth during the election, but they repeated that deception over and over again afterward,” Vander Zalm said in a statement. “Now they’ve been caught red-handed, and they must resign”
Vander Zalm says the report also shows the government was made aware that the HST would have a negative impact on the economy of BC for at least five and perhaps up to ten years.
“They also told us the HST was the best thing they could do for the economy of BC. It turns out they were not telling the truth about that either, since they were fully aware of a C.D. Howe Institute study showing the exact opposite.”
Vander Zalm says the C.D. Howe Institute Report puts the lie to the argument that cancelling the HST will be too costly for BC. “This report shows that cancelling the HST would help BC’s economy and actually save our health care, education and social programs from cuts due to a shrinking tax base under the HST. Not cancelling it will result in business losses, higher unemployment and deep cuts to services.”
“The premier and finance minister’s credibility is shot,” he said. “How they thought they could get away with this is hard to imagine. It’s the sign of an arrogant, out of control government that believes it is above any code of ethics, morals or accountability of any kind.”