Friday, August 26, 2011

New NDP Policy: You get $1.6 billion! You get $1.6 billion! Everyone gets $1.6 billion!!!

Honestly, there is no excuse for how stupid of an idea this is. I get that voters rejected the HST in BC; that's fine, that's democracy, even if it will cause more hassle than its worth. But don't dress up the referendum result as an excuse for well over a billion dollars to be kept by the province when they're not doing what the money was intended for.

Honestly, it might tickle some voters out in BC but the rest of Canada is going to look at that and wonder where their $1.6 billion is. I mean, if the NDP is going up to bat for BC on this kind of matter, where are they when Ontario cancels an infrastructure project? I mean, if the feds invest money into it, why can't Ontario keep it, despite the project being cancelled? That'd only make sense, right?

Maybe I'm wrong - maybe it's a vote-getter in BC. But it is horrible policy from any sensible, non-politics-driven viewpoint. BC doesn't get to keep $1.6 billion of the fed's money for something they didn't do. I hope to hell that the Liberals don't offer up such stupid ideas.


  1. Excuse me, but Ontario is a have not province. We in BC subsidize you folks and maybe we should start calling for our money back?

    Also, come on! Are you seriously trying to compare infrastructure projects with a political bribe? That's all the 1.6 billion dollar payment was, especially considering that not all provinces who implemented HST got that sort of money (Quebec for instance). It was only given to us because of the referendum and Ontario because it would've been to grossly political to avoid giving it to you folks while we had a referendum on this issue. Maybe you've been smoking a little too much of our number one export to not see this?

    And since when do federal taxes paid by British Columbian tax payers all the sudden belong to "the rest of the country" but not British Columbians?

  2. Excuse me, but Ontario is a have not province. We in BC subsidize you folks and maybe we should start calling for our money back?

    Ontario contributes $450 per person to equalization. It will get back $76 per person in equalization payments. Ontario still pays into the system. It just receives something back whereas it received nothing previously.

    That's all the 1.6 billion dollar payment was, especially considering that not all provinces who implemented HST got that sort of money (Quebec for instance).

    There are a number of reason Quebec didn't receive any money. Provinces like Ontario and B.C. gave the federal government control of their sales tax program. Quebec still manages the QST and GST. They also get paid by the federal government for this as well as getting some extra revenue from the QST being applied to the GST (check out the page - the Québec sales tax (QST), which is calculated at a rate of 8.5% on the sale price plus GST). (This isn't how the HST is organized in the other provinces.)

  3. Rejecting the HST was dumb. The opposition to the HST has nothing to do with the HST, it has to do with the exemptions being lifted from various items. If I was Clark, I'd bring back the PST, with all the current and short HST exemption list still intact.

  4. David C. You need to do your research. Ontario pays more, per capita, in federal taxes than BC does. Only Alberta pays more, per capita, than Ontario in terms of taxes. In fact, prior to the recession, we paid 45% of federal taxes and received 35% of federal spending. It's no wonder we became have-not. It's even worse for the GTA vs the rest of the province. If the GTA were a country on it's own we'd have remained in surplus throughout the entire recession.

  5. I don't even have to do anything to refute commenters anymore! I love this blog.

    Anyways, Teddy and Sharon, you're so hilariously correct on all counts. The fact is, Ontario may be "have not" but we've been getting the short end of the stick for quite a bit, for no fault of our own either. And Ontario has complained about this for DECADES without much action.

    Yet when BC, formerly a "have not" province just a few years ago just fyi, asks to keep $1.6B in funds for something they're no longer doing anymore - and Ontario is, I might add - this is somehow justified. Right.

  6. I agree B.C shouldn't keep the 1.6 billion, but here's something to think about would the 1.6 billion be in better hands with the Liberals or NDP in BC or would it be better with Harper.

    Anyways I am sad BC said no to the HST they lost out on not only 1.6 billion dollars but also on 113,000 jobs over ten years. what I am surprised is that it was much closer than I thought 55% voted to repeal the tax versus the almost 3/4 just a year ago saying they hated it.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Excuse me geniuses, but BC's economy hasn't gotten red hot since the introduction of the HST, nor has Ontario's so I'm not entirely sure why you've decided to buy into the propaganda coming from the BC Business Council, the BC government and the BC Liberal party that introducing the HST = economic genius and getting rid of it = Armageddon. If that were true, then surely the BC Liberals could've campaigned on it in 2009 as opposed to lying blatently then saying a few hours after re-election that they actually were going to introduce the HST (okay not literally a few hours, but pretty much - and they obviously had to be considering it before the election considering how quick the announcement was made).

    But then again seeing as you support (I assume and only know with certainty that's true for the owner of this blog) a party that's had it's worst election result in history I shouldn't be surprised at your collective political tone deafness.

    ridingBYriding, as for whether or not Ontario would be better off if it only consisted of the GTA and not economically depressed portions of the province... my only response is huh? So what! If I had an XX chromosome pairing and a vagina instead of an XY pairing and a penis I'd be a woman. What's the point of your inane observation?

    As for per capita taxes and Ontario paying more, that probably has something to do with the fact that more of BC's revenues come from natural resources than Ontario and luckily only 50% of those are taxed. I'm not saying we're the next Alberta paying truck loads of money into the system and not getting anything back but this high and mighty "the 1.6 billion dollars is ours and you don't pay federal taxes" nonsense coming from you Ontarians is really tiresome.

    Oh and Sharon, come on? You posted an op ed from a high ranking Ontario Liberal cabinet minister. Seriously, come on. How about posting the raw numbers of who receives equalization payments and who does not instead of a fancy political argument.