NEWS ~ NDP TO CONTINUE FIGHT ON HST

OTTAWA – Local Members of Parliament Peter Julian, MP (Burnaby-New Westminster), Bill Siksay (Burnaby Douglas), Fin Donnelly (New Westminster-Coquitlam-Port Moody) and their NDP colleagues are pledging to continue the fight on the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) after the Conservative/Liberal closure motion shut down debate on the HST Bill going through Parliament.

“The Conservatives introduced a closure motion in an effort to stop the burgeoning grassroots revolt in BC against this unjust tax shift. It won’t work”, said Peter Julian, “Their goal is to circumvent a public process. The public in British Columbia is reacting strongly.”

“Parliament should have been conducting public hearings to provide meaningful democratic input. Instead of listening to the 82% of British Colombians who oppose this tax grab, the Liberals have shamefully decided to join the Conservatives to bring closure to the debate”, said Bill Siksay.

“Constituents in New Westminster, Coquitlam and Port Moody overwhelmingly rejected the HST”, said Fin Donnelly. Donnelly’s first question in the House of Commons was on the negative impact the tax would have on students, seniors, working people and small businesses in his community.

The HST, spearheaded by the Conservative government, will take a minimum of $500 a year out of the pockets of every British Columbian, about $2000 for the average family of four.

The harmonization of the GST and the PST removes a whole variety of current tax exemptions on family essentials such as haircuts, basic groceries, prescription drugs, vitamins, funerals, mortgage interest costs, and restaurant meals. BC premier Gordon Campbell promised in the last election that he was not going to bring in the HST in the provincial election held earlier this year and then he introduced the new tax a few weeks later.

A wide variety of organizations oppose the HST, including the BC section of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, Canadian Mortgage Brokers and the BC Federation of Labour and the Union of BC Municipalities.

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For more information, please contact:

Office of Peter Julian: 604.315.3115
Office of Bill Siksay: 604.291.8863
To arrange an interview with Fin Donnelly, contact Jesse Brady at NDP Caucus Communications: 613.720.6400