House of Commons
September 29, 2009
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC) :
The leader of the NDP is obviously very confused. The decision of whether to harmonize a provincial sales tax with a federal sales tax is a decision made by the province. On the contrary, this government lowered the GST, the federal sales tax, twice. The NDP voted against it and argued against it both times.
Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
Right Hon. Stephen Harper: Mr. Speaker, they cheer. That is why nobody thinks they have any credibility on talking about sales taxes.
Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, there is no confusion on this side. We know where this tax started. It started with that government in their budget and now they are trying to hide from it.
In my province of British Columbia, hard-working families are being hit with this surprise tax hike on everything from haircuts to home heating. We know about the $1.6 billion bribe that is being paid to the provincial Liberals. However, we do not know when negotiations started or why the government is now trying to duck the issue.
The people of B.C. have the right to know the truth. Can the Minister of Finance tell the House here and now when he began negotiating—(the HST with B.C.)
Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC) : Mr. Speaker, the decision whether or not to harmonize was of course made by those provinces that have not yet harmonized. The discussions that I had with the province of British Columbia began after the provincial election in British Columbia.