Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack residents align around common goal: defeating the HST
On two small tables located close to the intersection of McMillan and Old Yale Road, you’ll find the anti-HST petition sheets for Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack. A group meets there each Saturday and Sunday between 1 and 5pm. A team leader stands with a picket sign, a slash against Gordon Campbell’s HST and a goal of defeating its inception in six weeks, which is quickly becoming a real possibility.
“Yes, we’re very happy with the results so far. But, our goal is 15 percent per riding. At this moment we’re over the 10 percent required but we’re heading for the 15 percent,” says Glen Sasyniuk, chief area captain for the Abbotsford South riding.
They have been told that 15 percent is approximately 5,000 signatures in the Abbotsford area. Mission is not quite at that mark yet.
When commenting on the most challenging aspect of achieving success with only 6 more weeks to go Glen says there is no challenge.
“Everywhere we go people are positive about this [Fight HST citizen initiative petition, Bill Vander Zalm's popular campaign to scrap the HST]. People don’t want the extra tax and they are upset that Gordon Campbell had said that there wasn’t going to be any HST and then he brings it in.”
On the few who are pro-HST, “I imagine that the corporate people are pro but most people who are consumers are against it.”
“People are busy. Some can’t pull over to sign a petition. So, when we’re going door to door in central sites, I get almost every single house to sign.”
Glen and his team’s efforts may not be able to get every car that passes by, but at this point, their projection is very positive.
What exactly are the things affected by HST? Previous items that were PST-exempt will now have an extra seven percent added to them. On Friday, Finance Minister Colin Hansen released a 12-page list of HST affected items. Among the few: going bowling, dining out, symphony and concert tickets, taxi rides, and phone and cable service.
Here's what's taxable and what's not.
Here is the GST/HST info sheet for point of sale rebate on books, as of May 2010
But, on the minor plus side: BC provincial tax for alcoholic beverages drops from 10 percent to 7 percent.