This week, a mainstream media pundit, while defending imposition of HST, referred to a report by “The Independent Panel.” That, would be the BC government creation noted in a January News Release from the Finance Ministry:
“A newly appointed independent panel will report to British Columbians on a fact-based analysis of the implications of keeping the HST or returning to the PST and GST sales tax system, Parliamentary Secretary for HST Information John Les and Finance Minister Colin Hansen announced today. . .”
Independent, eh? Well, how does the dictionary deal with the word INDEPENDENT:
“not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, not subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction, not dependent; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence, operation, etc.”
The Globe and Mail’s Robert Matas was clearly sceptical about matters of independence when he wrote,
“. . . reports this week of confidential contracts for consultants with links to the Liberal government raise questions about the panel’s independence.
“. . . hiring consultants linked to the government muddied the waters. . . ”
Sean Holman at Public Eye also reported on partisan Liberal connections to the HST Information Office and the “Independent Panel.”
Pretence that the HST Information Office and the Independent Panel are indeed independent and not influenced by the Liberal Government is wrong. It can only be attributed to bias or stupidity and I would never suggest that a scribbler like Vaughn Palmer is stupid.