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NEWS RELEASE · 23rd June 2010
Ministry of Finance
Business people from around British Columbia are joining the growing number of people who recognize the harmonized sales tax is key to B.C.'s long term economic prosperity.

Small business owners, farmers, ranchers, and leaders in the hospitality, construction, mining and manufacturing sectors are speaking out in support of the HST through videos posted on the government website, Jobs and the Economy: Facts About the HST.

Here's what some of these HST advocates have to say:

"With the HST, (exemptions) will be very simple... and it will be a big benefit to our industry," says Nicola Valley rancher Judy Guichon, president of the B.C. Cattlemen's Association.

"When the HST comes in, the room tax will be reduced to seven per cent... so it will be a benefit to consumers, and business customers will have a rebate of 12 per cent," says Alnoor Tejpar, general manager of the Hampton Inn and Suites in Surrey.

"With the HST... our mines will be able to operate at lower costs. We'll be able to expand our industry and hire more workers," says Pierre Gratton, president of the B.C. Mining Association.

"I don't know why we didn't do it ages ago. It's much simpler. It makes us a little more profitable which is something that all of agriculture could do with right now," says Christine Dendy of Dendy Orchards in Kelowna.

You can find view the videos hst.blog.gov.bc.ca/2010/03/31/view-all-videos/ [HERE]

Last week, 33 members of the Economic Club of Canada joined the list of leading experts supporting the HST. The signatories include economists from the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, four of Canada's leading banks and the Conference Board of Canada.

"We strongly support implementation of the HST as we believe it will promote investment, jobs, and higher wages," the economists wrote in an open letter to Ontarians and British Columbians. "Lower business costs will ultimately allow price reductions on many consumer purchases, including big ticket items, such as automobiles and computers."

The existing Provincial Sales Tax (PST) will be eliminated on July 1, and a seven-per cent provincial tax rate will be added to the five-per cent GST, for a combined rate of 12 per cent. At 12 per cent, the HST in B.C. will be the lowest in Canada.