HST fix promoted using taxpayer-funded info campaign

The government is proposing to cut the harmonized sales tax and temporarily hike the corporate income tax - if British Columbians vote in favour of keeping the HST. But no information about that fix will be included in the voters' guide being mailed out to British Columbians as part of the upcoming referendum on harmonization.

Speaking with reporters this morning, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon also confirmed the referendum's official yes and no sides won't have an opportunity to update the arguments they submitted for inclusion in that guide.

But the government will be featuring that fix - which would postpone a planned small business tax reduction and provide one-time transitional payments to families with children and low and modest income seniors - on its HSTinBC.ca Website.

That Website is being promoted with a taxpayer-funded $5 million advertising campaign, which Mr. Falcon earlier said would be an "information campaign" not a "persuasion campaign."

Indeed, Mr. Falcon rejected a suggestion that campaign is now essentially being used to convince British Columbians to support the harmonized sales tax, stating, "I make no apology for making sure the public has the facts in front of them."


Dep. Premier Kevin Falcon is right in updating the facts. Certainly we share the same fear of people grousing about checks stopping because of veto of HST. But going from facts to persuasive case on taxpayer-funded website is kinda bad idea with taxdollar$ being used.

Look guys I didn't want him Premier but he literally is saving the bacon of the Clark Administration from meltdown. Good man and then some.

Also have to say the reaction of BC's Top Thatcherite Philip Hochstein - probably taught NOT to tweet or blog - will be priceless. Quite literally.

Falcon comes across as about the most shift used car salesman one might meet. Believing anything he says is just plain silly

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