Friday, July 02, 2010

Harmonized Sales Tax Scofflaws...How Much Did They Pay?



Update: Friday July 2nd....The Tax is online, and so are our readers!....My numbers below are actually way, way, way low....See the comments for the real totals....They are in the millions...Thanks everybody!...On the road today, will update later......


Leaving aside the legalities within the legalities of this silly business about a call for a 'judicial review' by the soon to be (even bigger than ever) corporate tax scofflaws for the moment.

And let's not even bother discussing the real motivations behind the well-calculated attempt at innoculatory spike spin timed just prior to the delivery of the petition right now.

Instead, let's just focus on the actual 'initiative' and its signatories for a second.


First here's a breakdown of the 'Initiative/Press Release/Codswallop itself....


Statement re launch of Judicial Review of HST initiative

Business Groups Seek Certainty on Validity of HST Extinguishment Act

Vancouver (June 29, 2010) - In a June 4, 2010 article in the Vancouver Sun, former BC Attorney General Geoff Plant questions the constitutional validity of the draft bill at the heart of the anti-HST initiative – the so-called “HST Extinguishment Act.”

Mr. Plant’s argument is rooted neither in the politics nor in the substantive merits of the HST itself. Rather, he focuses on blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.....

The vast majority of B.C. business organizations support.....blah, blah, blah, blah....Democracy breeds uncertainty which will kill us all!

Concerned about this uncertainty, a number of business associations have today filed for Judicial Review ......blah, blah, blah, blah.....Unconstitutional! Run for the hills!!!

We are hopeful that the Judicial Review we have requested can be completed expeditiously, providing.....blah, blah, blah, blah.....Legalities! Lawyers!! Litigation!!!

Seeking judicial review at this juncture will avoid the considerable legal confusion that would result if the initiative process were to proceed unchecked on its current course. There should be no hesitation whatsoever in taking the necessary steps to ensure that British Columbians....blah, blah, blah, blah.........Don't come to see themselves as agents of real change....blah, blah, blah.....You're all Dupes!!!!
- 30 -

Now, as for the signatories to the codswallop themselves....

Shall we have a look at the (all exclusive) donations to the BC Liberal Party since 1005 to ensure that said party and could Dupe the Dupees for now and forever more (and twice on retroactive Sunday drives; with all numbers taken from here)?

John Allan, President & CEO, Council of Forest Industries ($25,215)
Pierre Gratton, President & CEO, Mining Association of BC ($13,180)
Philip Hochstein, President, Independent Contractors & Businesses Assoc. ($60,160)
Wayne Hoskins, President, Western Convenience Stores Association ($500 worth of penny candy)
Rick Jeffery, President & CEO, Coast Forest Products Association ($62,300, combined)
John Winter, President & CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce (nada, on the face of it, at least)

Grand (just scratching the surface as it doesn't include all the companies associated with those 'associations') Total = $161,355.

Which is almost David McLean, Peter Armstrong and/or CIBC money.


On the brightside, so far these fine folks are screwing us with their own money, unlike the actual government of Gordon Campbell that uses our money to do the drilling.....
Mr. Willcocks has a good, snark-free take on the potential public backlash from all of this here...



Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me smile first thing in the morning. We all need that every so often. I'm still chuckling on your line " Wayne Hoskins, President, Western Convenience Stores Association ( $500 worth of PENNY CANDY )

Guy in Victoria

RossK said...


No doubt they will soon be touting the good Mr. Hoskins as the voice of reason for all 'small business' owners who can't wait to see their penny candy business fall through the floor when a kid doesn't have the extra six cents to buy that fist-full of sugar-coated faux gummy bears.

Or some such thing.

(my real guess on what's next....more economists and maybe even a pol or two from outside flown in to the five sails for a pro-Scofflaw photo-op or seven.


Kim said...

Really? Since 1005? ;) I had Mr. Hochstein down for $65,548. And Coast Forest Products for $61,700. A slightly longer search on Hochstein shows the man is a strong believer in non union, preferably mexican temp workers (orsomesuchthing) Paul's article was a good one, yours too.

Ian said...

An even longer search on Mr. Hochstein shows that his association paid for the anti-ndp ads that ran for months prior to the election - so put him down for something closer to half a million.

Ian said...

I should have looked first: $612,000 in 2005 and $267,900 in 2009 for a total of about a million in anti-ndp, pro-liberal advertising from 05 to 09.

cfvua said...

Don't worry folks. With this brain trust burning up the courts it will serve to fuel the anti-liberal anger that is ever so present right now. As a business owner and employer of about 50 people, I want it to be clear that none of these people or the organizations that have them hired represents any of my companies and now, never will. There are dirt slinging files on every one of these organizations that range from wanting to lower minimum wage to negative ad campaigns to making every effort to make sure that every dollar from forestry ends up in licensee pockets instead of harvesters pockets. Most have done nothing to improve the lot of BC residents and working families, whom they all need to make profits and the HST is one more example.

Gary E said...

Kim, in the regular unions Hochstein is known as "King Rat". Head of the "Rat Unions". You know, the ones that give away members rights and TELL them to sign. Instead of asking what they want and negotiating for the members.
Those "unions" charge big money for the membership and they give their members nothing. They are company based.
It doesn't surprise me in the least that they have a million to give Campbell and nothing for the NDP. Except derogatory ads on them.

Kim said...

Corrupt. To the core.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to cause a
little dribble down his leg contact the head cheese at the Chamber of Commerce and ask him for a list of the members so they can be posted on line as businesses to boycott because of their support of the HST.

The consumer has more power than the Government and business combined.

Change comes from the bottom up not the top down!


Anonymous said...

Mr. Brown
Mr. Campbell
Mr. Hansen

BC Liberals in general

"I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy" - Samuel Butler

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

shaw communications inc, new owner of the Vancouver Sun and others, are not on your list of contributors to the BC Liberals.

Anonymous said...

more porn at 5:49 am, you can tell by all of the commas........

Anonymous said...

I mean periods. every one of those little suckers is a link to a different site

RossK said...

Hmmm....Wonder which 'keyword' brought the pornBots here this time.

('cause I'm pretty sure it wasn't scofflaw....ha!)


Anonymous said...

short decaf americano and a capilano cookie cost me $4.06 yesterday, TODAY the bill was $4.31!!!!!

twenty five cents for what

kootcoot said...

"twenty five cents for what?"

Twenty five cents that Gordo and Colon's corporate piggies don't have to come up with, that's what for!

Leah said...

Hi Ross, great article! It made me question the meager amounts donated I spent some time playing this afternoon, and tagged it onto the ends of your figures. (Hope that is alright with you, I'm a bit under the weather so wasn't as energetic as usual.)

John Allan, President & CEO, Council of Forest Industries ($25,215)...however, member companies of the Council of Forest Industries contributed in the neighbourhood of...$957,000.00 on top of the COFI contribution to the Libs.

Pierre Gratton, President & CEO, Mining Association of BC ($13,180)...again, member companies of the Mining Association of BC (and I'm sure I've missed some) contributed approximately $912,900.00 to the Liberal Party of BC.

Philip Hochstein, President, Independent Contractors & Businesses Assoc. ($60,160)...this one I've not dug deep enough yet. I have such an aversion to the man's ethics I find it difficult to dig deeper.

Wayne Hoskins, President, Western Convenience Stores Association ($500 worth of penny candy)...nope,nope! I'm sure Mac's and 7-Eleven would be members of this association, and between them they donated $47,320.00 to the Libs.

Rick Jeffery, President & CEO, Coast Forest Products Association ($62,300, combined)..but!...members of the Coast Forest Products least those that I could find...donated in the neighbourhood of $1,148,100.00 to the Libs.

John Winter, President & CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce (nada, on the face of it, at least)
They didn't kick a lot into the coffers, but they did muster $1,080.00...I'll keep looking.

Grand (just scratching the surface as it doesn't include all the companies associated with those 'associations') Total = $161,355.
Or......counting the associations and their member company contributions, the number is a tad larger: $3,164,955.00...and counting.

SO! If they can dig that deep...buying would think they should be able to ante up their share of taxes. Especially for the goodies they're pulling out of the province. With this kind of money pouring out of corporations to politicians, I find it difficult to believe they weren't planning to bring in the HST as early as the 2005 election.

Ian said...

Coalition of BC Business, 2009
$142,000 in anti-ndp, pro-liberal advertising
Chairman: John Winter

RossK said...

Fantastic everyone....

Crowd sourcing to the maximum...

Am on road today, but will try and update for super-duper Megatronic HST weekend.



cfvua said...

JUst got a report from a source in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Already a major beneficiary community due to their tax-haven status and close proximity to BC. Primary location for natural gas service providers and most producers as they can work in BC and not pay any tax here. Sort of a have your cake and eat it too scenario. Anyway JR FM 93.1 is saying that GP retailers will benefit from the imposition of the HST in BC as residents purchase more goods there. What a great "best single thing that we could do" indicator. Might as well gas up over there too no carbon tax either. IF this is support for the regional economy, please stop.
Recall can't come soon enough.

BC Mary said...

Hi RossK,

I've been watching your pages and discoveries ... tidings of comfort and joy, to me, as I'm on the road (sorta), too, until July 12, but would like to share a thought.

Madam MacK. is declaring a summer holiday from the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial from July 7 to September. Her courtroom will go dark for approx. 2 months ... a time in which we the people could be doing something ...

My own specific goals in tracking the BC Rail Case are simple: I want to hear the facts of what happened to BC Rail as provided under oath. I want to understand what happened.

I share the feeling with others, that there's something we ought to be doing right now. There are things going wrong in the trial, and nothing's being done about that. And Big Media seems to be hiding behind the publication ban, not saying much. This doesn't serve the public interest at all.

Many of us (myself included) have suggested challenging the ban ... that is, reporting news which is forbidden by the ban. But on second thought, I believe this could delay the trial.

I dread the thought of doing anything to cause further delays.

But it does occur to me that we could apply to the court to have that cockeyed publication ban lifted.

Lifting that ban would allow a freer flow of information, for the benefit of all.

This might even be done during that 2-month summer recess.

I'll leave this thought with everyone, hoping to hear from others.

RossK said...

Interesting idea Mary.

I think even seeking a clarification of what the ban means re: 'rulings' vs. 'allegations' would be most useful.

I'd also like to spend the summer doing a little crowd sourcing on various chunks of documentary 'evidence' so that we are ready with fulsome pushback when the codswallop comes.....An example of this would be for us to be fully ready whenever a witness uses the 'fairness report' to sweep any and all matters under history's rug...I think this kind of thing would be great value-added for folks who want the real story they won't get from the daily stenography reports.


Norm Farrell said...

Is there anyone left in the province still breathing who believes the BC Rail sale was not corrupt? Even Liberal supporters know it was dirty business but they are OK with that and hope they can get their own share of any available swag.

BC Mary said...


A simple request for clarification sounds so reasonable ... and one which could reasonably be answered by the presiding judge if she felt so inclined.

But I think Madam MacK. isn't so inclined ... and we need to send our request to someone who can activate the request as well as answer the request. Who would that be ... ?


Those (what you describe) seem to be the necessary conditions under which we must put forward a request for clarification.

I well remember the tactics used by Leonard Krog, Opposition Justice Critic, when invited to ask the question "Show us the Deal" on July 14, 2009. He simply ignored all requests for his input until the day before the 5th anniversary of the BCR-CN deal (which triggered further gifts to CN) and then, in a form letter, he wrote to us all saying he could do nothing.

I suppose a request could be sent to Krog, if only to test his willingness to use his well-paid position in a way which would benefit the public interest. But I'd suggest proceeding as if he didn't exist because, in rational terms, he doesn't.

It's critical to select someone who understands the need to lift the publication ban ... and who can act (or at least take a step forward) on lifting the ban in the public interest.

Nobody's trying to mess with the system, or to influence the trial process. The goal, as I understand it, is to clarify (shed some light on) the trial process so that the public can understand what happened to BC Rail.

There must be an officer of the court ... somebody to whom this basic question may be addressed with some reasonable expectation of (a) a reply, and (b) some action?

I hope to be home again by July 13 and hope to be able to dig a bit more on this. But help is needed:


Anonymous said...

Before you delete the PORN comment above, why not copy the profile number of the writer to BLOGGER under the rules of engagement of REPORT ABUSE?

North Van's Grumps said...

and now Vander Zalm is using ammunition from Joy MacPhail from way back in 2004:

"Let me remind the minister again that the Constitution Act says that the Legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to direct taxation. The Constitution Act doesn't say: "An arrogant and desperate government bent on hiding its taxation agenda on budget day can make laws in relation to taxes." It says the Legislature exclusively. Does the minister have a learned authority that trumps the Constitution Act? If not, will he apologize to this House today and return the collected taxes that he's already got in his pocket — and that he's done so without authority?"


" *Point of Privilege*

* J. MacPhail: *Mr. Speaker, you will recall that yesterday I rose and reserved the right to raise three matters of privilege. I would like to address the first one now.

* Mr. Speaker: *Please proceed.

* J. MacPhail:* I would like to present to you what I believe to be a prima facie case for the argument that the Minister of Finance has acted in contempt of this Legislature and its primacy by violating the fundamental principle that a tax cannot be increased or implemented before it has been presented to the House.

I would like to first refer you to a press release dated December 19, 2003, that was issued by the Minister of Finance. It is titled /Province Increases Tobacco Tax/. Within this news release the Minister of Finance announced that the tax would increase by 1.9 cents per cigarette. The increase went into effect at midnight that evening, and to date this government has collected about $6 million in that tax — that new tax.

I want to make it clear that I am not raising issue with the merit of the tax or the increase, so the heckling of other members can stop on that issue. Instead, I would argue that the minister…


* Mr. Speaker: *Order, please. Order.

* J. MacPhail:* …violated the primacy of this House by unilaterally enacting such a change without legislative authority. The tax increase was simply announced. There was no legislation, no cabinet order, no motion to the Public Accounts Committee. The minister acted without any authority.

For your consideration, I would refer you to the Tobacco Tax Act itself, an act that establishes that this is a tax. Section 2 of the statute clearly sets out the tax rate for cigarettes and tobacco. The rate of tax is not set by regulation. It exists as law in the Tobacco Tax Act.

To date, the Minister of Finance has not brought this change before the House. Indeed, yesterday he didn't do it. Today he didn't do it, and he's collecting millions of dollars. He has changed a statute without support from the Legislature."

North Van's Grumps said...

It's the method that the BC Liberals have implemented the HST, which is no different on how they introduced a tax on tobacco

Hon. G. Collins: The fact of the matter is that the tax is not a new tax. It is a tax that's been existing previously. It continues to exist. What we stated in December was that it was the government's intention to introduce legislation in this session this spring that would amend the rate for the tobacco tax, and that it would be retroactive to December 19. Governments frequently raise taxes retroactively.

J. MacPhail:

Let me remind the minister again that the Constitution Act says that the Legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to direct taxation. The Constitution Act doesn't say: "An arrogant and desperate government bent on hiding its taxation agenda on budget day can make laws in relation to taxes." It says the Legislature exclusively. Does the minister have a learned authority that trumps the Constitution Act? If not, will he apologize to this House today and return the collected taxes that he's already got in his pocket — and that he's done so without authority?

And the BC Liberals introduced legislation to abolish the PST but never introduced the HST for the Legislature to vote on. Why? They won the 2009 election, why stoop to bring in taxation without representation.

North Van's Grumps said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Norm Farrell said...

I'm not sure if he has been named before but Robert H. Lee donated $39,700 to BC Liberals in the three months ended March 25, 2009. Mr. Lee's company Prospero has donated over $50,000 since 2005 to BC Liberals.

Lee is involved with numerous corporations. One of those, Wall Financial, donated $21,850 to BC Liberals since 2005.

What other company has Mr. Lee been involved with? He was a Director of CN Rail when it acquired BC Rail from the BC Liberals.

Quid Pro Quo: something for something; one thing for another.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RossK said...

Thanks Norman.

Looks like CN's circle of friends and uncles with influence is widening.

Which just goes to prove that Mr. Felt is as right now as he was then.

Because we do, indeed, need to follow the money.