When I am exposed to advertising urging voters to keep the HST, I am reminded of the quote: "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." (Apologies to the author if I got it wrong.)
The pro-HST ads would have us vote for 10 per cent HST instead of reverting to the 12 per cent PST and GST.
This presumes voters don't know the current HST is 12 per cent, and that it applies to most consumable items and services.
The GST applied to some services and to some purchases (most foods were excluded). The PST applied to many, but not all, purchases. For further information, visit the Fight HST website.
I have also heard pro-HST ads claim the reduction to 11 per cent next year and to 10 per cent in 2014 is guaranteed by federal legislation. This is not true.
The Canada Gazette (available online) has an order-in-council, dated June 9, 2011, indicating that if the HST is retained, then it will reduce to 11 per cent in 2012 and to 10 per cent in 2014.
An order-in-council is not legislation. It conveys an administrative decision by cabinet, and can be changed without the necessity of passing changes through Parliament and the Senate.
Further, this particular order does not establish any particular dates other than the years 2012 and 2014.
Anita den Dikken