OTTAWA -- Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Tuesday his party will support legislation enabling Ontario and British Columbia to harmonize their sales taxes with the federal GST.
Its the right thing not necessarily because Harmonization is the right thing--I am still of two minds over that--but because it would be irresponsible for a federal opposition party to throw a monkey wrench into a process so thoroughly underway in two of Canada's largest provinces, where the local business communities are already deeply involved in making ready for the new tax regime. Let the political battles over this be fought at the provincial level, and let those on the contra side of the issue be honest about what they will do about the HST if they are elected. Here in Ontario at least, the Hudak Tories have been reluctant to answer that question, preferring instead to bang on desks and have their party look like a gang of poo flinging monkeys.
And I agree entirely with Iggy when he says:
"Let me just observe that Stephen Harper's walked away from this issue, not taking any responsibility for it, trying to pretend he has nothing to do with it," Mr. Ignatieff said. "This is initiated by Mr. Harper, and leadership means taking responsibility for your decisions. I've done so today. I wonder why he has not."
Let's be clear: there is absolutely no need for this vote. The Tories could advance this legislation through an order in council, but have instead decided to palm off the responsibility for moving government legislation through parliament onto the opposition parties, which is to say that the so-called"party of small business" seems willing to sacrifice its allies for a cheap political stunt.
A bit of courage from Iggy. Nice to see that, whatever the issue might be. And a lotta of cowardice from the Harper Tories.