Lower HST rate means more savings

British Columbians are facing what I predict will be the most important referendum in our history. The people will decide what happens to the HST. They will decide whether to say “yes” to a PST plus GST at 12 per cent or say “no” and keep the HST at 10 per cent.

Editor: British Columbians are facing what I predict will be the most important referendum in our history. The people will decide what happens to the HST. They will decide whether to say “yes” to a PST plus GST at 12 per cent or say “no” and keep the HST at 10 per cent.

I am very concerned, as are many of my Langley constituents, that some people will vote based on misinformation and/or anger at the way the tax was introduced.

We know we did a terrible job bringing in the HST. When people signed the petition it was because they wanted us to listen to them. Our new premier, Christy Clark, made sure we did.

More than 275,000 people took part in our tele-town halls. They spoke directly to the Finance Minister and other cabinet ministers and told us what they wanted us to do. We listened, and we’ve done what they’ve asked.

We are dropping the HST rate to 10 per cent and we are giving cheques to families and seniors to cover their added HST in the meantime.  We’re also raising corporate tax rates to make sure everyone pays their fair share.

As expected, those changes don’t satisfy everyone. Bill Vander Zalm (the same man who brought in the Property Transfer Tax when he was premier) is still selling his anti-HST message with false and misleading information. He claims that by ending the HST, the average family will save money. That’s just not true.

Now that we’ve changed it, the average family will save about $120 a year with HST compared to the old GST plus PST system. That’s on top of the $175 families will receive for each child under 18.

Vander Zalm and his Fight HST folks don’t want you to know about what will happen if we return to the old 12 per cent GST plus PST system. First, it would cost us roughly $3 billion. Government will have to raise that money somewhere or else cut services. Second, low income families and seniors would no longer receive their $230 HST rebate cheques.

Vander Zalm and Fight HST can’t explain why a 12 per cent GST plus PST is better for British Columbians than a 10 per cent HST. In their ‘April Truth Report’ they actually admit that the PST “may not be the best tax.”

Let’s be clear, this is not a choice between a 10 per cent HST or nothing. This is a choice between a 10 per cent HST or a 12 per cent PST plus GST. That new HST rate is guaranteed because it has now been set in law by both the provincial and federal governments. Vander Zalm doesn’t want you to know that.

When the ballots arrive, I hope people will give a lot of thought to the consequences of their vote. I hope they will put aside their anger and make an informed decision.

If you’re confused by the referendum question, you may want to take it up with Fight HST. The wording was taken from their petition.

Mary Polak, MLA,

Langley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

A hand-drawn ‘stairway to heaven’ was part of an memorial left for a cyclist who died from a medical emergency near 206 Street and 66 Avenue on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Children leave memorial for cyclist who died in Langley

‘Hope you make it to heaven’ the note reads

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks to reporters from B.C. legislature. (B.C. government/Special to The Star)
Ryan’s Regards: You’re not a lesser person

Premier Horgan’s simple words about the virus are necessary for all to hear

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Most Read