Thursday, May 5, 2011

Your money used to convince you that HST is good for you

BC Liberals are combining millions in taxpayer funds with major funding from business. Advertising, advertorials and editorials will inundate the province to protect the multi-billion dollar shift of taxation from corporations to consumers. The parties who gain financially from imposition of HST will invest only a portion of their receipts buying coverage to dominate public discourse about the tax measure. As a result,  consumers and taxpayers burdened by HST will actually pay to continue that privilege.

Indoctrination has been going on since March 2009 and a well planned adverting campaign is beginning, along with coordinated press releases from the kennel of economic "experts" paid to convince citizens that the pain will be good for everyone in the long run. That is because whatever is good for big business is good for ordinary people, allegedly.

Whether it is imposing HST on consumers, eliminating corporate income taxes, privatizing public assets, stripping the gears of parliament or corrupting the judicial system, who speaks for ordinary citizens? Traditional media serves its owners and advertisers. Tax exempt foundations of billionaires use ambitious people to sell the stories. Money greases the wheels and those wheels turn to reward the people at the controls. Corrupt politicians are a dime a dozen, changed like dirty socks by agents paid to keep ready a trunk full of fresh ones.

Who speaks for ordinary citizens? Plainly, it is the journalistic outliers: the independents, the online analysts, the bloggers. The people with journalistic courage and persistence, willing to confront conventional wisdom and official deception. In Amy Goodman's words,
“Real journalism is telling a story somebody doesn't want told. Anything else is advertising."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Information is the currency of democracy - Thomas Jefferson

It has come to our attention, that a few individuals have voiced concerns that there is a direct link between this blog, and the FIGHT HST group, or the NDP - there is not.

We at Honestly Shared Taxation have never stated,nor implied in manner, that we are associated with either of the above named groups, or acting on behalf of them, because quite simply we are not.

We would like to reinforce that this site is aimed at supplying information about the associations and organizations behind the anti-HST legal challenge and their membership. By providing this information and the tools to research,readers can then make informed consumer choices when doing business in the market place.

The views,opinions, positions and stategies expressed on this site are our own, and those of our readers who comment as such. We have stressed time and time again that boycott is a personal choice, and not one to be acted on without research and education, to avoid hurting small retailers and businesses who were caught in the crossfire of the "big business" coalition that launched the legal challenge.

Personally, I have made the choice to withdraw my support from several businesses, for several reasons,and will continue to do so as long as I feel it is merited.

It has been mentioned to me that it is not fair to single out,or boycott any business or organization simply because they donate to a particular party, because it is their right to do so,and as such,they should not be penalized for exercising that right.

I agree it is fair to say that anyone can donate to any party - surely this is one of our democratic rights! In fact, often a business will choose to donate equally to both major parties to appear non-partisan - a wise and strategic move to fend off people like myself.

However, just as it is any individual's or businesses right to contribute to a party, it is also my right to consider such things as partisan,political contributions when considering who to do business with, and who to do business without.

I feel strongly that I cannot in good faith support the BC Liberal party in any manner,not even indirectly by supporting a business that supports the BC Liberal through one-sided political contributions - that is my personal position and conviction - not the FIGHT HST groups, or the NDP.

“When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BC Liberals adopted HST - despite warnings of negative impact on jobs, wages and productivity

Jonathan Fowlie of the Vancouver Sun has breaking news this September 1st,2010. Here is an excerpt:

FOI documents: B.C. government adopted HST despite warnings of negative impact on the economy
13 months after Freedom of Information request, heavily censored documents reveal discussion surrounding harmonized sales tax

VICTORIA — The B.C. Liberal government pushed ahead with a harmonized sales tax despite warnings at the highest levels that such a move could lead to at least five years of increased unemployment, lower wages and depressed productivity.

“While the long-term economic gain [of the HST] is relatively clear, harmonization will cause a short-term loss in GDP and unemployment,” says a briefing note prepared by the top official in the B.C.’s tax policy branch for Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

“[A C.D. Howe] study suggests that it may take five or more years before the impact on GDP is positive and even longer for real wages and job numbers to recover,” the note said.

“Given current economic conditions, this could be a concern.”

The revelation came Wednesday in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Those documents also reveal that top bureaucrats in Victoria were discussing a possible move to the HST as early as March 2009 — a month and a half before the provincial election and far earlier than the Liberal government has ever acknowledged.

Campbell and Hansen have repeatedly said the HST was not on the government’s “radar screen” until after the May 12, 2009 provincial election.

Read more:

The Sun has posted those documents online here:

What more can I say? How about this:

If this were any other country,people would be flooding the streets in anger.There would be a general strike. There would be mayhem and people would storm government offices. Think Greece, Italy.

But this is British Columbia,and as much as I feel actions like those would certainly allow anger to be voiced, what else would it accomplish?

We must demand Honestly Shared Taxation.

The government knew it might take up to and over 5 years to recover from the job loss, the wage loss and the productivity loss the implementation of the HST would create,and they still felt giving big business priority over the people who elected them was the answer.

Let me tell you, they were wrong. Dead wrong and we must all send a message the only way we can.

You can use your buying power wisely, and think carefully about where to spend your hard earned dollars...

As a thoughtful and consiencious consumer, I think hard about where my money is going when I spend it. Following the launch of the legal challenge by the big business coalition,I made the personal choice to boycott the following businesses.

Canadian Tire - member of the Western Convenience Stores association,one of the 6 associations behind the legal challenge that fully supports the HST.

7-11 - member of the Western Convenience Stores Association

Kal Tire - member of the BC Chamber of Commerce

Shato Holdings Ltd.( White Spot) - Member of the BC Chamber of Commerce

All Pacific Western Brewing Beers - A member of the BC Chamber of Commerce

Political donations are public information and anyone can search through this database:

I can not stress enough how important it is to notify each company you are boycotting as to why you will no longer be supporting their business. If you do not,you have wasted the power you have.

Friday, August 27, 2010

" The HST and the NDP"

It has been a busier week than usual for both Norman and I, thus the lack of posts. Norman is taking a bit of a hiatus to concentrate on a new project and some interesting endeavors, so I will be pulling double duty for a while.

I've received more emails from people around BC who have chosen to follow suit in boycotting the businesses from my personal boycott list, and to be honest, it is taking a long time to answer them all! Rest assured that we are astounded to hear from so many people who agree with our opinions on the HST, and how to fight back those who are in support of it.

On this Friday, I would like to make a reading suggestion to you: Ian Reid of The Real Story, has a great post today about " The HST and the NDP", that spells out concisely the issues the NDP could face if the hand of power suddenly changes...

Check it out here: " The HST and the NDP"

And remember, if you are looking for information on a business in particular to see if they support the HST, or the BC Liberals, check out the different posts here on the site- but most of all,don't forget to simply ask!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Link to Elections BC Search

Financial Reports and Political Contributions System

Use this link to examine the data base of political contributors. For example, follow the link above, enter the name "TOIGO" and the system will show contributions, 2005-2009, associated with brothers Ron and Peter Toigo and companies with them shown as principal officers.  A search August 24 shows a total of $75,975.00 donated to the BC Liberal Party and $0.00 donated to other BC political parties by the Toigos and their companies which include White Spot Restaurants.

These amounts should be taken as minimum contributions since some contributors use corporations and proxies to protect their privacy. Revealing information but only a small part of the story behind political party financing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Honestly Shared Taxation guests on Public Eye Radio Sunday morning

Listen in as we join Sean Holman on Public Eye Radio to talk about Honestly Shared Taxation,at 8:45 am this morning:

Public Eye Radio - August 22, 2010
August 22, 2010
Sunday morning, on Public Eye Radio, would-be federal Green leadership candidate Sylvie Lemieux discusses her effort to replace Elizabeth May. United Steelworkers District Three director Steve Hunt talks about bringing the Blue-Green Alliance to British Columbia. Norman Farrell and Laila Yuile share their plan to put pressure on the business groups that tried to legally derail the anti-harmonized sales tax petition. And our rabble-rousing panel - Don Anderson, Eleanor Gregory, Bob Russell and Allan Warnke - debate the week that was in provincial and federal politics. You can listen to Public Eye Radio outside of Victoria by logging into CFAX 1070 between 8:00 and 10:00. If you have a question for one of our guests, you can email us or leave a comment below.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gordon Campbell, can you hear us now?

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak is counsel in the International Trade Law, the Business Law and the Tax Law (Commodity Tax and Commodity Tax Litigation) and the Environment, Energy & Emissions Trading Groups in Lang Michener's Toronto office.

Cyndee is a lawyer and an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and she writes The HST Blog. The recent article A History Lesson Regarding a Failed HST Attempt concluded:
If one considers the Saskatchewan experience and then looks at the anti-HST movement in British Columbia, one should be able to see more clearly how the people can have a strong voice.

Initiative to end HST official results, by riding


Select Standing Committee on Legislative Initiatives

The politicians who next deal with the citizens' initiative regarding HST

Clerk to the Committee: Kate Ryan-Lloyd 
Clerk Assistant and Acting Clerk of Committees

Friday, August 20, 2010

The battle is won but not the war

Congratulations to the many organizers and canvassers of FightHST. This week's victory in court was a slam dunk against anti-democratic influence peddlers. We can still punish the groups that exercise influence against us.

I agree with Laila that each person should consider their own course of action in continuing a fight against unfair taxation. HST is only part of the cost of living dilemma faced by ordinary people.

At the expense of consumers, HST delivers billions to multinational corporations including ones that follow world pricing regardless of production costs. The price of copper, molybdenum, silver and gold didn't decrease because Cominco suddenly pays far less tax to Victoria. Nor will the cost of the shoes you buy for your family decrease because foreign manufacturers have no savings to pass on.

Compare the prices of clothing, electronics and other consumer products in Canada and the USA. Despite similar manufacturing and distribution costs, prices are substantially higher in Canada because this country has the weakest laws among all developed nations promoting marketplace competition. The laws were made even weaker by the Harper Government's amendments in 2009.

This week, the Auditor General pointed out the BC Liberal Government has been failing to report payments to the oil and gas industry, instead netting these grants against revenue so they are not separately disclosed and government revenues appear lower than actual. They take money from community volunteer groups and give it to multinational energy corporations.

We've known for some time that BC Liberals are giving special treatment to oil and gas companies operating in BC. Government funds were flowing to "encourage exploration" but were actually paid to companies that had already located reserves but wanted improved profitability in production. As an additional aid to profits, the provincial government reduced environmental oversight, cutting both staff and budgets of environmental protection offices.

The Auditor General this week gave detailed evidence of how the BC government is misreporting deficits and falsely stating taxpayer supported debt by more than $500 million. BC Hydro is being to forced to make agreements to purchase high cost privately generated power, take-or-pay, without regard to the ultimate retail value of power in the marketplace. The BC Liberal policy determines that all business risk of new power generation is carried by the public while selected private businesses earn profits with almost no risk.

Billions of dollars of road and bridge construction work has been contracted without open tendering. Freedom of information laws are subverted and now the Campbell government is aiming at reducing the power of independent officers of the legislature, commissioners who do not report through ministries: the Auditor General, Information and Privacy, Ombudsman, Elections BC, Police Complaints, Conflict of Interest and for Children and Youth.

Connections between wealth and power flourish in secret in Gordon Campbell's British Columbia. We as common citizens must demand reform of political party financing and and require that HST be replaced by Honestly Shared Taxation.