"Over the coming weeks and months we will look forward to working with stakeholders around British Columbia on the implementation of this new HST." That's what Finance Minister Colin Hansen told reporters on July 23, as he announced the Campbell administration's decision to introduce a harmonized sales tax. But a PowerPoint presentation delivered to cabinet on June 16 suggests the government may have been considering a more robust consultation process. According to a slide from that presentation, which was obtained by Public Eye via a freedom of information request, announcing the tax would allow the province to "openly participate in harmonization negotiations, consult with stakeholders (municipalities and others) and reduces risk of a leak." The following is a complete copy of that slide.
February 24, 2010