Anti-HST Rally Staged in Vancouver


VANCOUVER – It didn’t quite generate the support that organizers were hoping, but hundreds of people showed up in downtown Vancouver on Saturday to protest the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), which some lobbyists are calling the “biggest tax grab in B.C.’s history”.

Thousands — rather than hundreds — were expected, but the protest was still the biggest of 20 province-wide rallies against the proposed HST. Many critics of the tax feel that it’s going to significantly hamper tourism and hospitality industry businesses in the province.

The rally was led by former B.C. premier Bill Vander Zalm and NDP leader Carole James. “It takes from the people, the consumers, particularly those who are packing the lunch bucket, the seniors, the students, the people that can least afford to pay yet another tax and it’s giving it to the big corporations,” Vander Zalm was quoted as saying in a Canadian Press report. Vander Zalm believes that the 12 per cent HST tax can be stopped if the public puts enough pressure on Premier Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government.

Ontario is also facing an introduction to HST; both provinces are expected to introduce the new tax next July. The change will constitute a 13 per cent tax in Ontario.

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