HST Revolt

Before the last provincial election, Gordon Campbell’s Liberals promised they would not impose a harmonized sales tax. Not long after being reelected, they announced that they would. Whatever the economic pros and cons of the tax, people are incensed in a way rarely seen in this province. No wonder they’ve signed petitions, demanded that MLAs be recalled, and resurrected Bill Vander Zalm, a nearly extinct political dinosaur, to lead the revolt. By the end of May, well over half a million British Columbians had signed a petition demanding that the tax be rescinded. Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen say they’re sticking to their guns, and on July 1, 2010—amid cries that it will kill countless small businesses and smother the real estate market—the HST takes effect. It’s a date we may look back on as a turning point in our political history.