The Quiet Advance of the HST


THUNDER BAY – With the HST set to come into force this summer in British Columbia and Ontario, Northern Ontario New Democrats Bruce Hyer and Carol Hughes are reminding Ontarians that the first phase of HST taxation actually begins this weekend for many items.

Most people figure that the new blended sales tax, in Ontario the HST comes into effect on July 1st.  However for purchases made starting on May 1st for use after July 1st, the tax starts now.

“Most people in Ontario are under the impression the tax will only come into force on July 1st,” stated Carol Hughes (Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing) New Democrat National Revenue Critic.  “It will come as a bit of a surprise that the HST will be charged on items and services purchased starting tomorrow if those purchases are for use after Canada Day.”

Hughes gave the example of an airline ticket that will be used in July to illustrate the kinds of purchases that will be subject to the 13% tax as of Saturday May, 1st.

“This new tax is like insidious plague that is spreading quietly, without warning” said MP Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay–Superior North). “After suspending debate and ramming the tax through Parliament in only 4 days, the federal government has been as quiet as the provincial government on the HST. The result is that the public isn’t really well-educated about the largest tax hike in Ontario history. Lots of unsuspecting people are going to be in for a nasty surprise.”

The first phase of the HST will be applied to a broad range of goods and services; things like magazine subscriptions, gym memberships, maintenance agreements, and tickets for travel or entertainment that will take place after July 1st.

“It’s pretty much any tax-eligible purchase that will be used after Canada Day,” added Hughes.  “People are going to be blindsided when they have to shell out more money for these purchases than it would have cost them just a day earlier, it’s not going to go over very well.”


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