BRITISH Columbians will have an earlier vote on the HST than previously scheduled and it will be conducted under the authority of the Referendum Act, Attorney General Barry Penner announced today.
The Referendum Act ensures a simple majority vote will determine the outcome of the referendum. Further details on the referendum will be finalized by an order-in-council, but the government is working toward a date of June 24.
The original voting date was Sept. 24.
The question will not change: “Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) and reinstating the PST (Provincial Sales Tax) in conjunction with the GST (Goods and Services Tax)? Yes/No.”
Voting will be by mail-in ballot. Moving to a mail-in ballot is expected to save $18 million and address potential voter fatigue now that there will be a federal election. It will be undertaken by Elections BC in a neutral fashion.
Money will be provided to proponents and opponents of the controversial tax to promote their particular viewpoints.