"The harmonized sales tax proposal is a regressive scheme that will nickel and dime families at a time when they can least afford it...This is nothing but a sales tax grab that will nickel and dime families that are already feeling the squeeze." That's what the New Democrats have said about the HST...in Ontario. But, in British Columbia, the New Democrats' first day response to that tax didn't have any fire and brimstone. Instead, in a wet noodle and tapioca news release, finance critic Bruce Ralston demanded the Campbell administration "answer questions about what this new tax will mean in terms of increased costs for British Columbia" because "too many families are already struggling to make ends meet, and any further hit to their pocketbooks couldn't come at a worse time."
I can just hear the Liberals quaking in the West Annex right now. "Oh no, the New Democrats are demanding answers...to questions!"
The Globe and Mail's Pat Brethour described that response as muted. I describe it as another example of New Democrat equivocation, proving once again this party, in the main, seems incapable of lighting its hair on fire - even when given kerosene and a blow torch.
The New Democrats simply don't seem to have what it takes to be British Columbia's opposition. And, if the party can't do that, it certainly doesn't have what it takes to be British Columbia's government.