I’ve been told about a movement in British Columbia to at least stall the imminent kick-in of the Harmonized Sales Tax there, but I haven’t heard of anything like that here in Ontario, where it is also due to come into effect on July 1.
I don’t know if a revolt across the country against the HST could happen. We tend to be more passive. Remember when the GST was about to come in and there was supposed to be a revolt, but within a couple of months, everybody just forgot about it?
What I feel bad about with the HST is that it’s the consumer who gets hit hard.
If you’re a restaurant or manufacturer or golf course, there are certain components of the HST that actually help us. There’s some good in day-to-day operations, but it still comes down to the consumer.
That consumer, on June 30, will be paying X amount of dollars for their golf or meal and one day later, nothing’s changed except for the fact that consumers are suddenly paying more. At the public courses, all of a sudden, it kicks in automatically.
Think about it. If you have a $175 or $200 green fee and you add eight per cent to it in Ontario, that hurts.
I think there will be a short sticker shock with the HST, but I think it will be like gas going up. How long can you go without gas?
I really think that it’s sad, but what’s going to happen is that consumers are going to get used to it after a while.