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article imageOntario government to spend $1.6 million for HST ad campaign

By Andrew Moran     Feb 9, 2010 in Politics
Toronto - The government of Ontario has announced that it will launch a $1.6 million ad campaign that will explain the Harmonized Sales Tax set to begin July 1 of this year.
After Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty approved the controversial Harmonized Sales Tax that will see the cost of most items increase, the provincial Liberal government is set to launch a $1.6 million advertising campaign on Thursday, which will urge Ontarians to educate themselves and “take a closer look” at the upcoming HST this summer, according to 580 CFRA.
The HST will combine the 8 per cent provincial sales tax and the five per cent General Sales Tax.
Revenue Minister John Wilkinson explained that the advertisements are a way to clear up misinformation that is currently being thrown regarding the new tax and tax reform, which has been called by opposition parties as a tax grab by the Liberals.
“This is the largest tax reform in the last 40 years. There is some misinformation that is out there, not put out by the government. We've been working very closely with his office to ensure that the ads meet both the intent and the spirit of the laws, and so we're very proud of them.” said Wilkinson, reports The Canadian Press. The Minister added that the ads were approved by the auditor general Jim McCarter.
One advertisement tells the viewer to visit Ontario.ca/taxchange to see how the income tax changes affect Ontarians, “And find out more about all of the tax changes including the harmonized sales tax (HST).”
According to the Toronto Star, some members of the provincial parliament are not happy about the Premier’s ad campaign, such as Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod who was surprised about the $1.6 million campaign.
“He is spending our tax dollars to tell us he wants to raise our taxes,” said MacLeod. She added that the Premier broke both promises of not raising the province’s taxes and to ban partisan advertising.
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