By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Friday April 20, 2012
Ontario NDP drops push to cut HST
The Ontario NDP is withdrawing a push to exempt home heating bills from the harmonized sales tax, in a significant concession that ratchets up the pressure on the governing Liberals ahead of a budget vote that could trigger a provincial election.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said in a Thursday morning news conference that it’s become clear in recent days that Premier Dalton McGuinty “strongly disagrees” with an HST exemption for home heating.
“Now, I hope that over the term of this minority government, I can convince the premier that he’s wrong. But I have to be frank. I just don’t think that that’s going to happen within the next couple of days,” she said.
“And for that reason, I am letting it be known today that we don’t expect the HST to come off home heating in this budget.”
Horwath said that a number of other NDP demands tabled in the leadup to the vote on the provincial budget next Tuesday — including a tax increase for the wealthiest in the province — remain in play.
The ball is now in McGuinty’s court, she said.
“Mr. McGuinty has to make a choice. Is he going to stand with the mom that needs a child-care space for her son or daughter? Or is he going to stand with the millionaire? Is he going to stand with health care improvements, or with millionaires?”
She criticized both the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives for being inflexible when it comes to the budget. The Progressive Conservatives announced before the budget was tabled that they would not be supporting it. (Source: CBC News)