Tensions over harmonized sales taxes in Ontario were on display at the provincial legislature on Monday, where the Progressive Conservatives staged a protest by walking out of Question Period.
Tory caucus members marched out of the chamber en masse just minutes into the one-hour debate after Premier Dalton McGuinty refused to hold public hearings on the government's plans to merge the 8-per-cent provincial sales tax with the 5-per-cent federal goods and services tax.
“This government has become trapped in a bubble of special interests and completely cut itself off from the vulnerable Ontario families who will be hurt the most by the HST,” Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said outside the chamber. “We cannot, in good conscience, legitimize their attempt to escape accountability.”
Opposition members have stepped up their attack since the government introduced legislation last week that would leave consumers paying a single, blended consumption tax of 13 per cent as of July 1.
But with the governing Liberals' strong majority – they have 72 of the province's 107 seats – all opposition members can do is protest the passage into law of the new harmonized sales tax.
Last week, the Tories incessantly rang the bells meant to call MPPs into the legislature. On Monday, they resorted to a new tactic, one that was criticized by both the Liberals and the New Democrats. Source.