Jack Layton is going on the offensive in Tory ridings in British Columbia as his first campaign priority, and his biggest point of attack, the HST. What Jack did not mention in his fiery speech is that the Prime Minister gave Gordon Campbell the option of not adding 7% tax to goods that were not previously taxed provincially. The soon to be unemployed Premier made the personal decision to add tax to goods that were not previously taxed. People were not mad at the harmonization, they were mad because a large basket of goods and services became more expensive. In a place like Vancouver with such a high cost of living, a lot of people are already living pay cheque to pay cheque.
Had Gordon Campbell taken the offer by the PM to charge different rates for different goods and services, nobody in BC would have been pissed off about the HST. The move was tantamount to announcing that a whole bunch of new items would be 7% more expensive, instead of no prices changing. For Layton to attack the federal Tories on the basis of the HST is ridiculous because Gordon Campbell had the choice not to do the very thing that pissed people off. The pox of the HST in BC is on Gordo, not Harper. The HST passed the House of Commons with support from the Ignatieff regime.