The first full day of campaigning seemed to focus on campaigns getting up and running, except in B.C. where it was all about the harmonized sales tax. The New Westminster-Coquitlam race could quickly focus on the HST, the combined tax of the GST and PST that the provincial government brings into force next July.
The NDP’s Fin Donnelly and the Liberals’ Ken Beck Lee came out firing against the HST on the first full day, trying to tie the tax to the Harper Conservatives rather than the Campbell Liberals. The move to the HST was the province’s decision, although there was a federal incentive for B.C. to opt into the reconfigured tax. Conservative Diana Dilworth has yet to point out that several of Lee’s Liberal colleagues have expressed their support for the HST or its Ontario counterpart.
Media commentator L. Ian MacDonald also seemed fixated on the HST issue. He was not alone as The Province cover story was on former B.C. Premier Bill Vander Zalm’s campaign for a ballot initiative against the tax.