Today’s Poll

HST information campaign reaches out to voters

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
May 13th, 2011

Let the hype begin.

The provincial government is spending $5 million to convince people the HST is a good thing.

The information campaign announced by Finance Minister Kevin Falcon Thursday says it will correct misunderstandings about the HST, in the lead-up to the referendum this summer.

Using print, TV and online ads, the campaign will feature a stickman meant to embody the confusion surrounding the 12 per cent sales tax.

The character promotes discussion and prompts viewers to seek out information at, to help inform voters of their forthcoming decision to keep the HST or go back to the two-tax system of the PST and GST.

All ballots in the mail-in referendum must be received by Elections B.C. or Service B.C. by July 22.

Current research posted at indicates a great deal of misunderstanding about the HST, as well as a desire by British Columbians to learn more about it.

For example:

• 61 per cent of respondents think basic groceries have gone up under the HST – not true.

• About half believe gas prices have gone up due to the HST. In reality, government spends $270 million to keep the tax component the same as before the HST was introduced.

• 48 per cent of respondents think electronics, such as your iPod, have increased after the HST. In reality tax is exactly the same.

• 34 per cent of people think Prescription drugs have increased – not true.

Quick facts

• This information campaign will run from mid-May to early July 2011.

• The information campaign is available at:

• The cost of the HST information campaign will not exceed $5 million.

• All ballots must be received by Elections BC or Service BC by July 22, 2011.

Learn more

For more information about the HST information campaign, visit:

Other funding

The information campaign is in addition to a $1.7-million funding package announced by the Province in April — including $500,000 to be split equally to fund the Yes and No sides’ campaigns.

Another half a million dollars will fund several forums at universities about the tax, and the government will spend $700,000 more to create a mail-out Voter’s Guide that outlines both sides of the debate and includes findings from an independent panel asked to look into the HST.

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