Friday, December 11, 2009

BC MPs wimped out on HST vote

My MP, Keith Martin, has made a lot of noise against the HST in BC where there is huge public opposition to the tax. But when it came time to vote, instead of voting against it he says he "boycotted" the vote. He explains his position in this article in The Province. Two other BC MPs also made a big public show of opposing the HST - Consevative Dona Cadman and Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh. Cadman abstained and Dosanjh voted for it!

... The HST is opposed by an overwhelming 82 per cent of British Columbians, according to a new Canwest News Service poll.

But it now appears the only way the HST will be stopped is if eight Liberal MLAs in Gordon Campbell's provincial government break ranks in Victoria.

After this week's show of political "bravery" in Ottawa, I wouldn't hold my breath.

More here:

... By a vote of 192 to 32, the House of Commons voted to approve a ways-and-means motion that clears the way for the government to introduce legislation as early as Friday that enables Ontario and B.C. to harmonize their provincial sales taxes with the federal goods-and-services tax.

... The Liberal leader has said that votes on the matter will be "whipped," meaning Liberal MPs will be expected to vote with the party.

However, 27 of the 77 Liberal MPs did not show up. The absentees included B.C. MPs Hedy Fry, Keith Martin and Joyce Murray, as well as such Ontario MPs as Mark Holland, Jim Karygiannis, Dan McTeague, Paul Szabo and David McGuinty, brother of Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.

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