The following eight Liberal MLAs are the most vulnerable to a recall, according to the strength of the anti-HST campaigns in their ridings. With one notable exception, they've all defended the HST in the legislature.
John Slater, MLA, Boundary-Similkameen
"The agriculture industry has asked for a simplified tax exemption for our farmers. The HST accomplishes that. The BC Agriculture Council estimates that the HST could save B.C.'s agriculture industry over $15-million a year."
Donna Barnett, MLA, Cariboo-Chilcotin
"In rural B.C., by providing the harmonized sales tax to the forest industry, the forest industry can cut their costs, which is so important to keep people working in our resource sector. That is what the harmonized sales tax will provide - jobs so that people can go and buy that cup of coffee and that ice cream cone for their families, jobs so people can live in warm shelters and jobs so our social programs can move forward."
Barry Penner, Minister of Environment
"In 1991 I had the opportunity to spend some time working in one of the Asian Tiger countries, working at a law firm in Bangkok, Thailand. During the 1990s, that country too made a difficult choice. They decided to move to a value-added tax. I can tell members here that it wasn't a popular thing to do in Thailand either, but … ever since then you've seen very significant and strong and consistent economic growth in Thailand."
Terry Lake, MLA, Kamloops-North Thompson
"Adopting an HST is the most important step we are taking to improve the productivity and competitiveness of our economy. The HST will dramatically reduce taxes on business investment by as much as $1.9-billion and remove over $2-billion of the cost of doing business in B.C."
Bill Bennett, Minister of Community and Rural Development
"This government does believe wholeheartedly that reducing the taxes of business will encourage business to reinvest in their businesses - large, medium-sized and small - and will encourage them to hire more people. This is a defining difference between the NDP and this government."
Pat Pimm, MLA, Peace River North
"If I didn't believe, in my own mind, that it was going to be an extremely valuable move to help strengthen our economy, I wouldn't vote for it. That, however, is not the case, and I can honestly say that I don't see all the negative that people are talking about. I know that nearly all of the businesses in British Columbia are coming out in support of HST, with a few exceptions, of course."
Blair Lekstrom, Former Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
"My first priority is to represent the people that elect me and I understand their concern. Without question we didn't do nearly the job we needed to do in communicating the HST... As far as consumer taxes go it is probably the best tax to go to, but it doesn't matter how good your idea is if you don't bring the public you represent along with that idea."
George Abbott, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
"There's a reason why virtually every nation across the world has adopted the value-added sales tax. It's to keep their products competitive and try to ensure that their industries are competitive nationally and internationally. They don't have a penalty against the bottom line that is currently in the form, in British Columbia, of a retail sales tax we call the provincial sales tax."Report Typo/Error