How kind (desperate?) of Dalton McGuinty to share the parentage of his pathetic HST tax with anyone in sight. Too bad he didn't have the courtesy to try this concept out on voters before hoisting it on them.....in perpetuity.
McGuinty says Ignatieff would support HST plan
Tue Sep. 15 2009
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says he has the support of federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to pass the Harmonized Sales Tax in the event the Grits win an election.
McGuinty broke the news to reporters at Queen's Park on Tuesday. A spokesperson for his office said that there have been several conversations with the federal opposition leader about his support for the HST plan and that his support has indeed been confirmed.
The Conservative government has already promised McGuinty it would provide the province with $4.3 billion to help give Ontarians $15 billion worth of tax cuts to make up for the increase in costs the HST would impose.
Provincial Finance Minister Dwight Duncan confirmed to reporters after Question Period that Ignatieff has also promised to match the Conservatives' financial contribution if the Liberals win the next federal election.
"I remind you we have a signed agreement with the feds and I would expect that governments would live up to signed undertakings by other governments," he said.
A call to Ignatieff's office went unanswered.
Ignatieff has said he has some concerns about merging the 8 per cent provincial tax with the 5 per cent goods and services tax.
Ignatieff, who has vowed to bring down the Conservative government by forcing a fall federal election, said he'd like to see more items exempted from the HST to help struggling Ontarians.
Critics have slammed McGuinty for the Liberal tax reform plan. Though merging the taxes will help businesses prosper, it will also raise the cost of daily items such as coffee and gasoline.
"How can the premier possibly argue that harmonizing the HST is good for ordinary Ontarians when it makes life more expensive," asked NDP MPP Michael Prue in legislature Tuesday.
McGuinty retorted that there is an "overwhelming consensus" among business leaders and economists that the plan is "the right thing to do" for Ontario.
He reminded the House that the HST has been supported by poverty groups and food banks.
Meanwhile, Tim Hudak, the leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservative party, took a shot at the Liberal government's handling of a spending scandal at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
Yesterday, McGuinty outlined a set of new measures aimed at improving accountability after it was revealed that executives at the OLG filed questionable expenses.
Two weeks ago, the premier announced that the province's integrity commissioner must now approve any expense claims filed by Ontario agencies.
Hudak sent out a news release Tuesday questioning how a staff of nine people at the integrity commissioner's office could review expense reports of 80,000 public servants.
Hudak asked McGuinty to reveal details of his accountability plan. He said his staff had called the commissioner's office for details but they were told that officials are "waiting for direction" from the Premier's office.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Posted by Fillibluster at 6:33 PM