Remove HST from all foods

March 16, 2017   ·   0 Comments

It has now been more than 20 years since both Federal and Provincial sales taxes began being charged on some of the foods we eat.

Those two food taxes got their start together around 1990, because of the Canada-U.S. Free-Trade Agreement (CUSFTA). Here’s how, when and why.

The Goods and Service Tax (GST) replaced  the manufacturing Federal Sales Tax (FST)  Ottawa was collecting from factories in Canada, before Brian Mulroney won the 1988 federal election by misleading the low- and middle-class Canadian voters with his cunning/manipulative  speeches on ‘free’-trading with the U.S.  It was never to be ‘free’. It has cost Canada, and almost every Canadian-born citizen, their financial independence and freedom from debt.

Before that 1988 federal election, the general public was pre-warned that most of the U.S.-owned factories and plants in Canada would start closing up here, and move back to the U.S. if the Canada-U.S. Free-Trade Agreement was ever enacted.  And Canadians would lose most of their factory jobs, and lose all the federal tax that those U.S.-owned factories were paying when those plants were still operating in Canada.

Ottawa was collecting a 13% manufacturers’ tax on the wholesale prices being sold to the stores. Yet Brian Mulroney skilfully denied that he knew it would happen, and deceived the voters to  foolishly believe him. And they voted him in as their prime minister to bring in the CUSFTA .

As was expected by the mature and business-wise; when CUSFTA became legal, most of the factories and manufacturers started closing up in Canada to move back to the U.S. for higher profits.  And all those factory jobs here were lost, along with all the federal manufacturing tax those plants had been remitting to Ottawa.

That’s why the GST was introduced and put on Canadian taxpayers,  to replace the lost ‘factory’ federal tax.

Another big difference for Canadian taxpayers was that now they had to pay a ‘substitute’ Federal and Provincial tax on almost everything, with only some exemptions on medical fees / prescriptions, and on basic raw foods at the grocery store.     

Provincial Sales Tax started being charged on almost everything, including our basic foods.  And to keep the general public quiet about it, a small exemption was allowed for food orders of $3.99 or less. But once the total bill reached $4.00 and over, the 8% PST would kick in for the full amount.

Restaurants have been charging only the 5% GST on food bills $3.99 or less.  But since early 1990, when that exemption number  was set, the cost of living, wages, and especially food prices, have dramatically increased. To be fair  and honest with food, the $3.99 tax exemption should have also been raised accordingly to  about $15.00, to match today’s 2017 era of comparable inflated values and prices.  But that base exemption was never adjusted.

And then, to confuse the general public even more, so they would also lose track of what was really happening in governments’ tax-grabs strategy/circles; the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) was then introduced and charged.  It is just another name for the combined rates of both taxes 5% and 8%, totalling 13%. in Ontario.    

Two ‘wrongs’ will never make a ‘right’. And, It’s never too late to make anything right again.  It is time taxpayers stop ignoring this food tax any longer; or we will all regret not doing something to stop it, when we still had a chance.

Are there any other Canadians who will take a stand now, and contact your Governments’ leaders to request an end to all taxes on food?   I would really like to hear from you. Please send your responses to this newspaper.

Gordon C. Snell

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