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General News · 16th April 2010
Claire Trevena
The planned implementation of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) will hurt individuals and communities across the North Island and the rest of B.C., MLA Claire Trevena said in the Legislature on Tuesday (April 13, 2010).

Speaking against Bill 9 which will allow for the repeal of the PST and make way for the introduction of the HST, Trevena attacked the government’s blatant tax grab.

“The HST is a regressive, flat, tax. That means the burden falls on consumers and it falls unfairly. No matter what you earn you are paying that extra 7 percent for gym membership, for newspapers, for vitamins, for a massage, for classes, to take your cat to the vet, for a bicycle, for a haircut, for a restaurant meal.

“It is unfair and it will disproportionally affect thousands of people who will be poorer and will do without many things they may need because of it.”

Countering government claims that it will help the forestry industry, mills and value-added wood production, Trevena said, “We keep hearing BC Liberal propaganda that the forest industry will benefit from the introduction of this tax. But if that was really the case, why didn’t they introduce it years ago when our forest industry first went into a tailspin? What’s really happened is this government has walked away from one of the main resources in our province, abandoned value added production, and allowed an increase in log exports at the cost of local jobs.

“This government’s inaction on our forests has left the North Island reeling with mills closed and hundreds of people who had well paid jobs in the industry out of work. Those workers and their families won’t get any benefits from this misguided tax.”

The NDP has steadfastly opposed the HST which was announced by the BC Liberals without any warning just weeks after the last election.