HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Re: HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Unread postby Bill Tieleman » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:37 pm

Secrets of the HST Referendum
What the BC gov't won't tell you about the tax and who's behind the campaign pushing it.


"Where secrecy or mystery begins, vice or roguery is not far off." -- Samuel Johnson

There are many things powerful people want to make sure you never know about the Harmonized Sales Tax binding referendum now underway.

What is the total budget of the pro-HST Smart Tax Alliance? $15 million?

They won't tell you. But it could be more than the $12 million the BC Liberals spent in the 2009 election. And over double the $6 million B.C.'s New Democrats spent.

That big business group is buying expensive television, print, radio and Internet advertising, paying for automated "robo" calls to millions of voters and hiring spin doctors galore.

That's on top of the more than $5 million the B.C. government is spending to promote the HST.

But you will never know what the Smart Tax Alliance spent -- because Premier Christy Clark made sure of it.

Believe it or not, there are no third party financial spending disclosure rules for this referendum. None.

You can read who spent how much in both the 2005 and 2009 electoral system referenda -- but you won't be able to on this one.

How much did the Coal Association of Canada donate to the Smart Tax Alliance? The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers? The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association? The Insurance Bureau of Canada? Other business groups?

And why?

They are all Smart Tax Alliance members, but you won't ever know unless they voluntarily decide to tell us -- fat chance, especially before voting takes place.

Nor are there rules requiring referendum advertising to identify who authorized it or how to contact them. The BC Liberal government chose not to demand it.

These regulations are essential parts of any B.C. election or referendum, but have gone missing this time.

So the Smart Tax Alliance can completely avoid voter scrutiny before and after the ballot.

That stinks. Badly.

Won't 'save us all money'

Did you know that the HST won't instantly become 10 per cent if you vote "No" to keep it?

It would only become 10 per cent if the BC Liberal government still exists in 2014 and keeps its promises, first to cut the HST to 11 per cent in July 2012, and then to 10 per cent in July 2014.

But government and Smart Tax Alliance ads don't mention that key fact.

"To lower the HST from 12 per cent to 10 per cent vote NO," a June 17 government print ad says -- with no reference to when or how.

A Smart Tax Alliance TV ad featuring cherry orchardist Christine Dendy boldly states: "And now the decrease in the HST from 12 per cent to 10 per cent saves us all money."

But there hasn't been a decrease. And no, it doesn't save us all money.

You still have to pay a full seven per cent more on hundreds of goods and services like restaurant food, basic telephone and cable, home repairs and maintenance, domestic air flights and much more that you never had to pay under the previous combined PST and GST.

Even if you believe the BC Liberal government, which broke its word over and over about the HST, will really reduce the rate to 11 per cent and then 10 per cent three years from now, you will still pay an extra five per cent on all those items that you never did before.

It won't "save us all money" -- unless business passes on 90 per cent of its savings to consumers -- which is what the government claims will happen.

And most big businesses in B.C. don't produce consumer goods you buy -- so their savings on exported aluminum, forest products, coal and copper will go to their pockets, not yours.

The HST also won't save you money, unless you don't have to ever repair your roof or do significant renovations. Or unless you don't spend much money going out for dinner and a show or travelling or on and on and on.

Did you also know that government ads saying the 10 per cent HST is "law" are completely misleading?

"We want people to know if they vote to keep the HST that the reduction will take place by law," Clark claimed last month.

But the "law" is simply a federal Order-In-Council approved by the federal Conservative cabinet, not a vote by Parliament.

And it could be just as easily rescinded with only a signature.

Besides, B.C. has a fixed election date law setting the next provincial election for May 14, 2013 -- but Christy Clark can easily change that law and has repeatedly talked about holding a vote long before then.

The BC Liberals also repealed their own "balanced budget" law when they went deeply into the red ink. This is a government with laws to be broken.

Inaccurate and unfair

The HST Referendum Voters Guide mailed to British Columbians with the views of both Fight HST and the Smart Tax Alliance, as well as the so-called "Independent Panel" of experts on the tax was sent out before the Clark government announced additional HST rebates and proposed a future reduced rate.

That means the expensive mailing was both inaccurate and unfair -- since the registered proponent opposing the HST had no way to respond in the one flyer going to every British Columbian.

But the government has spent more than $5 million on misleading "stick man" and other advertising to promote its position.

You can choose to disregard my views -- as a Fight HST founder, I've opposed this tax from the beginning.

But I'm not paid to do so, and I don't have a multi-million dollar ad campaign trying to mislead you. The other side does.

Before you vote on the HST, ask why there is no disclosure of spending despite a massive pro-HST campaign, why standard election financing rules were dropped, why there is no requirement for government or corporate advertising to be truthful or even authorized by an official agent.

Ask the business members of the Smart Tax Alliance how much money they are spending and who is giving it to them.

But you won't get an answer. Just more ads supporting the HST.
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Bill Tieleman

Re: HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Unread postby Standup and Speakout BC » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:59 am

HST the biggest scam in BC

This is going to be one of our last blogs on the infamous HST debate that is raging on in BC. So where do we start – the HST means downloading taxes from corporations to individual families.. Oh we know that business and the BC Liberal Government will claim that HST is good for BC. Lets take a breather here.

Do you want to pay more taxes – the HST will make you pay more taxes as $1.9 billion of your money will be rebated to big corporations so they can sell their goods overseas. The corporations will receive a $1.9 Billion tax rebate at the expense of us – yes the tax payer. Instead of paying taxes to health care, education, social services and public safety your money is used to subsidize the major corporations to export BC’s raw materials to Asian markets, who can now introduce goods (free on HST) to BC at the cost of our manufacturing industry. So much for claiming HST is good for business.

We read today several articles in the Vancouver Sun, specifically the “HST Cannot be Fixed”, and we advice you to read Jin Sinclair’s submission to the Vancouver Sun

Now what did Jim say? His article suggest the following:

1) BC Citizens have been lied to during the previous elections and we quote “incensed at being lied to and having their taxes increased to fund tax cuts for corporations”. We at Standup & Speakout BC, suggest we must stand up and vote YES to RELINQUISH the HST tax.

2) we, the people of British Columbia won the the petition vote to cancel the HST in every riding. What did our government do? Ignore it, and snow the good citizens of British Columbia by making sure that there was NO vote in the legislature.

3) The people who were opposed to the HST whet to court to make sure that government deal with the HST issues once and for all. We won the court case,. but the BC Liberals are plying with the court case outcome and said (instead of having a legislative debate) that they will put this whole HST question to referendum.

4) Gordy got defeated on the HST petition (even in his home riding) and resigned as Premier of BC. Ouch. Now we are into round 2 of the HST debate. Our government now allocated $5.0 Million to convince us that the HST is good and we should vote NO on the pending mail in ballot. Now lest do nome math $1.9 Billion in extra taxes as a result of the HST to be given as tax goodies to big corporations. Assuming that BC has 4.5 million residents that beans close to $1800 (for a family of four) to be given to the major (basically) resource driven corporations. Yes we can compete overseas but we pay more at home. Have you see your prices going down as a result of the HST (domestically?)

5) With the election of our Crispy Premier, we are now being bribed that the HST will go down from 12% to 10%. But lets not get fooled as this offer (using your money) will take effect after the 2014 elections. Now we all now that after an election a government in power can claim a new mandate and as such does not have to implement promises made in 2011, So the promise the reduce the HST is false.

6) Now we know that there is a debate on cancelling the HST and the cost to BC taxpayers. In other words live with your evil taxes as the alternative will be worse. We say this is nonsense. We like to comment that IF YOU VOTE YES TO RELINQUISH THE HST, the BC Government will receive “$6.4 B from the PST (2014-2015) broken down as follows from: corporations $2.6 Billion and citizens $3.8 Billion as reported in the Vancouver Sun. The corporations share in the tax. In contrast if you vote NO to Relinquish the HST our government will collect$5.3 Billion from the tax, and will create a shortfall and our corporations will pay nothing toward a sustainable provincial economy.

Throughout our previous blogs at StandupBC and our current blog, we agree with the Vancouver Sub that this is unfair. Our Crispy Premier is still downloading $1.4 Billion in taxes to BC citizens and this is wrong. Throughout the reign of the Lieberal Government, we have experienced corporate tax cuts and at the same time see a host of tax increases on the individuals ranging from user fees as well as medial service plan fee increases. Dis we get increased employment, accordingly to the Vancouver Sub we lost 28000 jobs since the beginning of the Lieberals Regime

It is time to VOTE NO – YES – when voting in the upcoming referendum and please do not get tainted by the various pro HST groups. Do your research, look up the WEB. VAT the HST equivalent caused job losses in Europe. And remember the HST is BC will not generate revenues for health care education, social services and public safety.

Get involved and vote and VOTE YES TO GET RID OFF THE HST
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Standup and Speakout BC

Re: HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Unread postby BC FED » Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:49 pm

Just Say Yes!: Getting Past the Government's HST Schtick

Vote YES to Scrap the HST


I’m Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour. HST ballots have started arriving, and I wanted to send a personal message to working people and their families that we need to stand together and vote YES to SCRAP the HST.

Today, we released a simple and clear video: Stickman Explains the HST Honestly
I encourage you to watch the video and share it as widely as possible.



From day one, the BC Liberal government has lied about everything about this regressive tax shift. Since becoming Premier, Ms. Clark has spent millions of public dollars on a partisan advertising campaign that repeats BC Liberal lies about the HST. I’m tired of her lies and very concerned about the future of our province for working families. We need to vote YES to scrap the HST.

We need to vote YES so that essential items like childrens’ clothing, safety products, veterinary bills, and home repairs don’t have hundreds of dollars of new taxes – more than $1,000 a year in new taxes for an average family.
We need to vote YES so that big corporations don’t walk away with an extra $2 billion every year, at your expense.
We need to vote YES so that our public services like health care and education aren’t left with a $1 billion shortfall.
We need to vote YES so our elected representatives learn that they can’t lie to voters and get away with it.
Between now and July 22, we have a very important job to do. Today, I am asking you to do a few simple things to ensure we succeed.

Visit http://hstinbcfacts.ca and sign the Yes to Scrap the HST Pledge
Share this email with your colleagues and friends, and encourage them to visit http://hstinbcfacts.ca for the real facts about the HST.
Organize a “bring your ballot to work day”.
Let’s work together and defeat this regressive tax shift. Let’s vote YES to scrap the HST.

Jim Sinclair,
BC Federation of Labour

p.s. Our parody ad campaign, taking on the stick men, has everyone talking.

You can see the videos at Stickman Explains the HST Honestly

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Re: HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Unread postby Harv Oberfeld » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:24 pm

HST Media Mouthpieces: Liars or Hypocrites?

Well, which is it? Do the HST supporters …and their media mouthpieces … think we’re all imbeciles? Do they believe we have attention spans and memories of gnats?

They told us over and over the HST was ” revenue neutral”: it would not in the end cost us any more. In fact, we’d all SAVE thanks to lower prices. They lied … or to be charitable … they were wrong.

Now, I can understand politicians and corporate leaders selling us thosesnake oil arguments until they were exposed. Who really expects anything else from them these days!

But the media should have known better …yet they didn’t. They parroted the lies over and over (hope they go their tasty treats!) and ridiculed Bill Vander Zalm and the anti-HST organizers right through the petition campaign. Until the referendum succeeded and they were exposed for their stupidity and gullibility and, yes, culpability …disgracing the professional standards and ethics that should go with their jobs.

And they learned nothing: their deceit continues.

When the independent panel revealed how UN-NEUTRAL the tax would be, BC …and many believe they even low-balled the extra costs piled on us mortal consumers … even the government backed off …said it will reduce the HST and substantially reduce the overcharge to the citizenry. So it won’t be a huge tax grab or fraudulent rip-off of taxpayers.

And yet, listening to the government’s media mouthpieces and their latest propaganda efforts …you now hear the most ridiculous fear tactic: questionning how, without the HST, will we ever pay for the Evergreen line, all kinds of hospital construction and rising treatment costs , big increases in education costs … and almost every other government project on the boards or even in the early planning stages?

Well, which is it? Is the “new, improved” HST a minimal tax shift to consumers and fairly small money maker … or is its till a HUGE cash cow that will raise BILLIONS EXTRA for transit, hospitals, education and every other government expansion plan?????

The government can’t have it both ways: and neither can their MEDIA voices.

The HST is not the be-all and end-all that their hysteria is trying to make us believe: taxes are raised in a whole variety of ways. But they make it sound like the “extra” revenues raised through even the reduced HST would raise a HUGE amount of money… the bulk of what we need to pay for almost every government project in the future.

That is simply not true …or the HST is even STILL a huge cash cow, on the backs of working British Columbians, beyond everything the government says. Even more reason to vote YES to get rid of it.

And, if BC needs so much more tax revenues, maybe start having corporations pay their fair share!

Harv Oberfeld
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Harv Oberfeld

Re: HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Unread postby Harv Oberfeld » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:11 am

HST: Vote YES For Your Own Self-Respect.

The most disheartening part of the entire HST debate is that the government, and their business backers, have learned NOTHING from the public’s anger and rejection of the haughty disrespect the Liberals have shown towards the voters throughout.

They talk of change and lessons learned … but in reality, they’re still shovelling out lies and hoping they will get away with it.

How about that LIE that, under the new HST rules, consumers will SAVE money. What a crock! Even under the best-possible scenario, the OVERCHARGE from this “revenue neutral” tax shift will drop to $230 a year from $350. Some saving! As I’ve written before, that’s like a mugger hitting you over the head for $350 every year, then saying, starting a couple of years down the road, he’ll only keep $230 of the $350 he steals from you!

Or there’s the LIE that prices will come down, thanks to all those corporate savings. How much have YOU saved so far?

How can people who look voters in the eye and say such things sleep at night or look at themselves in the mirror each morning!

And Premier Christy Clark has made it all worse … and shown her arrogance and disrespect for the voters … by refusing to debate this supposedly CRITICAL tax with the Opposition Leader. Is this the change she promised? Clearly she shows the same disdain for the voters that led to Gordon Campbell’s disgraceful exit from politics.

But the biggest farce HST supporters …and their media mouthpieces …are now using to persuade voters to overtax themselves, at the benefit of big business, is that we should all forgive and forget the insults, lies, deceit of the past … and vote on the HST on the basis of what’s best for the province.


Since when has that become part of Canada’s or BC’s political reality???

Ever since Confederation, EVERY government … federal and provincial… has handed out political powers, political appointments, government contracts, general government spending, located government projects, headquarters and even approved private developments WITHOUT regard for “doing what is best” for the nation or the province.

Now, all of a sudden, they want the voters …who have been screwed Royally (forgive me Will and Kate) by the HST to do what government and politicians NEVER do: make decisions totally independent of any self-interest. Even if it means your family will suffer.

How dare they!

They have NEVER set this example, but now tell us we should.

But if you care at all about your own self-respect and the integrity of our political process, you should NOT fall for that: to do so will ultimately inflict great harm on not only your bank account, but more importantly the very integrity of our democratic system.

Make no mistake: if the HST is approved, no matter how grudgingly, Clark, Campbell and their Corporate co-conspirators will all be high-fiving each other … laughing at how gullible and how stupid the voters are.

They will have gotten away, despite all the voters’ huffing and puffing, with an amazing accomplishment: convincing lower and middle class taxpayers that they should vote to bear an even greater tax burden, so the rich can enjoy even greater incomes, profits and tax relief.

Absolutely ludicrous and seemingly incredible … but a lot of big money has gone into convincing you that’s what you should do “for the good of the province”.

Even I will have to admire them if they succeed!

However, what scares me is that, if they get away with this one …and the voters show such disrespect for themselves as to vote in favour of their own mistreatmentand sacrifice (that politicians never make themselves) the damage to our democracy will be severe.

Send them a message: they can’t lie and deceive us anymore, and expect us to approve such disrespect.

Vote YES to end the HST ..and let the government know we really DEMAND HONESTY and changes in the way they operate.

Harv Oberfeld
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Harv Oberfeld

Re: HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Unread postby Goodwell » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:11 pm

Vander Zalm asks Ombudsperson to intervene over BC government deceiving voters on HST rates

VANCOUVER – (Tuesday, July 5, 2011) – Fight HST is asking the British Columbia Ombudsperson to intervene to stop misleading and deceptive BC government advertising promoting the Harmonized Sales Tax.

In a complaint filed today, Bill Vander Zalm, former BC Premier and Fight HST leader, ask Ombudsperson Kim Carter to launch an immediate investigation into BC government advertising that falsely claims voting “NO” in the HST binding referendum will result in a 10% HST tax rate.

Vander Zalm’s complaint states that government advertising is deliberately misleading because it does not indicate whatsoever that the “10%” rate would not take effect for three years and is entirely dependent on the current government being re-elected and keeping its promises far into the future without regard for potential changes in BC’s economy or finances.

“The BC government is broadcasting and publishing misleading advertising – pure and simple – and neither citizens nor Fight HST have any way to stop them other than an intervention by the Ombudsperson,” Vander Zalm says. “It’s extremely frustrating that this government can spend more than $5 million in taxpayer dollars to deliberately misinform them about a $2 billion tax shift they will end up paying for.”

Vander Zalm notes that the BC government exempted the HST referendum advertising from Elections BC regulations or scrutiny, making it nearly impossible to file an effective complaint on the content.

“Going to the BC Ombudsperson is truly a last resort to force some honesty on the BC government HST advertising as people vote,” Vander Zalm said. “Fortunately the Ombudsperson has broad powers and is independent of this government, so it is our best hope.”

Fight HST strategist Bill Tieleman says were the BC government HST ads subject to Advertising Standards Canada’s Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, they would have to be pulled off the air.

“These ads do not tell voters any of the relevant details of the proposed future HST rate change – that’s clearly misleading and any company selling any product would have to remove their ad – but not the BC government,” Tieleman said, noting that ASC has already said it will not investigate the government ads.

Tieleman said the relevant sections of the Code include: “Advertisements must not omit relevant information in a manner that, in the result, is deceptive. All pertinent details of an advertised offer must be clearly and understandably stated.”

Vander Zalm said Fight HST has asked the Ombudsperson to act as quickly as possible because the HST Referendum voting is underway and government advertising continues to be broadcast and published.

Vander Zalm says the Ombudsperson’s own website makes clear her office has appropriate jurisdiction, noting that it states the Ombudsperson exists: “To uphold the democratic principles of openness, transparency and accountability; to ensure that every person in British Columbia is treated fairly in the provision of public services; to promote and foster fairness in public administration.”

“We believe that the Ombudsperson has every right and responsibility to deal immediately with this government’s clear violation of these principles in its misleading HST ad campaign,” he said.

Complaint Letter to Ombudsman in PDF Format

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Re: HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Unread postby VoxPop » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:11 pm

Does anyone believe a bunch of accountants (or are they just actors?) on TV promoting the ‘benefits’ of the HST? According to the phony “independent” panel (picked by the BC Liberals) this will cost us only $350 per family per year or about $2 each per week. Total BS!! We all know by looking at our daily receipts what this tax is costing us. This is all part of the worldwide corporate agenda to impoverish the middle-class; everyone should be furious.
Show this group of privileged thieves that we are not buying their lies – VOTE YES when you get your ballot.
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Re: HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Unread postby Jenna Kunz » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:56 pm

i agree Dino... they only allow pro HST commercials and no anti HST commercials... unfair campaign... i will definitely be voting to extinguish the HST, but it is very sad that most people will fall for the lies in the pro HST commercials.
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Jenna Kunz

Re: HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Unread postby Dino PriceJack » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:54 pm

Where are all the anti HST commercials?? I thought this was supposed to be a fair campaign. Sure they say they will reduce from 12% to 10%. whose to say they won't jack it back up after this vote? $120 for a family extra per year? so let me... see, that's an extra 10 bucks a month...or two extra boxes of Kraft mac n' cheese per week...big WHOOP! They lied when they brought this tax in, this tax needs to be voted out, if only for just on principle. But I feel British Columbian's are stupid and will eat these campaign commercials up and yet again, believe the lies we're spoon fed. Pathetic!
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Dino PriceJack

Re: HST - Vote "Yes" to Extinguish

Unread postby Jenna Kunz » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:48 pm

that is very true Shauna... i feel the same way, but some people dont think about that... even a lot of people with families are voting yes to keep the HST because the government is giving $175 per kid to each family with kids under 18... they are buying votes from the people with kids... even high income families that vote to keep the HST will get that reward as well... but single people with no kids who are struggling to get by get nothing!! it doesnt make sense... this whole thing makes me furious!
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Jenna Kunz


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