Yes Mr. Hansen, but . . . ( A rerun to keep our memories fresh)

Colin Hansen made a May 31 appearance on a question and answer forum conducted by the Globe and Mail. Hansen again complained that opponents were spreading misinformation about HST and Hansen then proceeded to spread more. Here are examples, taken from the transcript:

Colin Hansen:
“There will still be fewer things subject to the 7% BC HST than the GST.”

  • Yes, Mr. Hansen, but more things are subject to 7% BC HST than were subject to PST.

Colin Hansen:
“HST will be a big benefit for virtually all small businesses. Everything they now pay PST on will be 7% cheaper for almost all small businesses.”

  • Yes, Mr. Hansen, but it will not be a “big” benefit for most because they don’t now pay PST on goods resold or on production machinery. However, the net amount they charge customers will rise if the product does not now attract PST. In reality, most of the $2 billion in business tax savings are realized by the very largest corporations, particularly exporters such as those in forestry, mining, oil and gas, whose customers pay no HST.

Colin Hansen:
“A glass of wine or a beer at a restaurant or other licenced est should be less as the tax on your markup goes from 10% to 7%.”

  • Yes, Mr. Hansen, but the province’s liquor mark-up is rising by the same amount gathered by the extra 3% liquor tax, so the wine or beer at a restaurant will not cost less.

Colin Hansen:
“We has great communications staff. Our hands are a bit tied because of the Elections BC ruling. The Anti-HST groups are getting away with spreading a lot of misinformation.”

  • Yes, Mr. Hansen, but Elections BC only clarified a law for which you have had responsibility for a decade. You could have registered as an opponent of the HST petition. And, by the way, Liberals are the ones spreading misinformation as you are doing today.

Colin Hansen:
“The anti-hst voices are certainly played up more than those supporting the hst. One surprise I have is how unquestioning many people are when they get information via the internet and blogosphere.”

  • Yes, Mr. Hansen, but 80% of BC residents oppose HST. Is it surprising that their voices register more than the 20% who agree with you? In reality, questioning drives the opposition, that’s why the official position of the government and big business groups has not succeeded. Ordinary folks understand the impact when you said, “The tax is revenue neutral but business saves $1.9 billion in the first year.”

Colin Hansen:
“I have never said it will be revenue neutral _ another on [one] of the myths! I have pointed out that we will collect about the same $ under HST as we collect under PST.”

  • Yes, Mr. Hansen, but revenue neutral would mean that you collect about the same under HST as you collect under PST. Perhaps, you want to try that answer again if you want to dispel a “myth.”

Colin Hansen:
“This info [full details and dates of correspondence between BC and Feds] has already come out thro FOI. There are some who are frustrated that FOI did not produce evidence of communications prior to mid May. That because there was none.”

  • Yes, Mr. Hansen, but most of the requested emails are blanked out, along with most of the rest of the 817 pages Access to Information officials identified in connection with the request.

Colin Hansen:
“For small business in border communities, hst is a big benefit as they can compete on a level playing field. (ie. no consumption tax that has to be built into their prices). HST means we will be able to attract job creating investment on the same basis as Alta.”

  • Yes, Mr. Hansen, but those BC residents who live near the Alberta border will do their shopping in Alberta and avoid the HST. That is where BC’s wine collectors stock their cellars already but that is because of Alberta having no PST and much lower mark-ups on liquor.

By the end of this, I concluded that Hansen, if that really was him at the keyboard, should submit his resignation as Minister of Finance. His defense was so weak that he is obviously not equipped to serve in this important ministry. The most telling point was his claim that all the communications between Victoria and Ottawa regarding HST had been released publicly. That is simply untrue. When the lie was pointed out, Hansen’s response was, “I will take a look at it.”

Categories: HST, Truthiness

4 replies »

  1. Watching and listening to Colin Hansen is like tuning into some alternate reality. The following is particularly perplexing.

    Colin Hansen:
    For small business in border communities, hst is a big benefit as they can compete on a level playing field.

    I can only assume the “small businesses” he claims will benefit are those in Bellingham or Sandpoint Idaho, for example. Why the finance minister for British Columbia would want to be so helpful to businesses in Washington State and Idaho is puzzling. But then why would our government want to give a large chunk of BC Hydro jobs to a rogue outfit (banned from doing business with the state of California) based in Bermuda – namely Accenture.

    None of the policies of this rogue government make sense, unless you are one of them or one of their “friends.” Everybody else loses!

    Yet the fairy tale that “unions” are the bad guys continues to get these thieves re-elected, or has up to now. It is beginning to appear that their days are numbered in government and I feel that for some of them their days of not being incarcerated should be coming to an end as well.


  2. “. His defense was so weak that he is obviously not equipped to serve in this important ministry”
    Maybe we are being a little too hasty here Norman.
    One can't dispute that he did a fairly acceptable job running his Mother's Flag Shop in Victoria…………

    Cheers, Gary L.


  3. Thanks for this refresher on Colin Hansen's incredibly lame responses in defence of HST Implementation.
    I get a refresher every time I look at HST amounts on all my bills. It's a shocker!! Prices for everything seem to be going up (not down, as Colin Hansen would have us believe).
    I live near the U.S. border — Washington state tax 5%, plus much lower food and clothing prices — and an almost par $$. People a lining up at the border this post-Xmas week.


  4. Thanks for this great posting on Mr. Hanson. The BS and bafflegab is getting deeper each day with this band of rogues – time for a real change in BC politics. A tsunami of voters need to get it together and wash these guys out like the tide.

    Where is the 3rd party in BC politics?


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