Keep Tax Powers Local

Today's First Nation’s anti-HST rally at Queen’s Park highlights the GPO’s concerns on the handover of provincial tax power to the federal government.Turning control of Ontario's tax policy over to the federal government will diminish Ontario’s ability to build a prosperous green economy and create jobs. It limits Ontario’s ability to enact tax reforms to encourage green job creation and promote healthy communities.

The HST is not only bad for the province in general but it also appears to violate tax exemptions granted in First Nations treaty rights. A report commissioned by the Chiefs of Ontario suggests that it would cost First Nations between $85 million and $120 million in the first year of the HST and that the cost would increase each year.

Premier McGuinty says that he supports an HST exemption for First Nations, but his hands are tied because HST implementation is controlled by the federal government.

Yet another reason the GPO does not support handing tax policy over to the Harper government.