Monday, July 05, 2010

Fight HST launches legal action to kill the Harmonized Sales Tax - no taxation without representation

Noted lawyer Joe Arvay meets with Bill Tieleman, Bill Vander Zalm and Chris Delaney Monday prior to filing a Petition in BC Supreme Court to have the HST ruled unconstitutional.


This morning Fight HST launched a legal action to have the Harmonized Sales Tax ruled unconstitutional by the BC Supreme Court.

The Petition to the Court was filed by noted lawyer Joe Arvay - who many will know was the lead lawyer in the successful court action launched by the Hospital Employees Union after the BC Liberals' Bill 29 ripped up legally binding collective agreements in order to privatize health care services.

In that case the BC government was ordered to pay $75 million in compensation and retraining to affected employees.

The full Fight HST news release is below.

Please note that the "Petition" referred to is not the citizens Initiative petition but a legal term.

* * * * *

News Release

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vander Zalm launches legal challenge to HST in BC

VANCOUVER – In what might be described as the second of a one-two punch, former BC premier Bill Vander Zalm today filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the HST in B.C.

The Petition filed in the B.C. Supreme Court seeks an order quashing the OIC that authorized the government to enter the Agreement with the government of Canada that purports to impose the HST in B.C. and a declaration that such Agreement is a nullity and of no force and effect.

The essence of the Petition is that the provincial Cabinet has unlawfully imposed a tax on the citizens of B.C. without legislative authority.

If the lawsuit is successful the HST will not apply in British Columbia.
Vander Zalm explained, “It’s a simple argument that relies on the basic principle that there can be no taxation without representation or without the consent of the people. And that representation and consent can only come from having the HST debated and voted on in the provincial Legislature, and that has not happened in B.C.

”Fight HST lead organizer Chris Delaney says the lawsuit represents the second of a three phase strategy to repeal the HST in BC, which includes the Initiative petition that garnered over 700,000 signatures and was filed with Elections BC last week, as well as potential Recalls starting in November.

"What is at issue in both the petition and the lawsuit is the democratic process," said Vander Zalm. "Gordon Campbell mocked the democratic process when he deceived voters in the last election by promising not to bring in an HST and then immediately reversed course after the election.”

“Then Campbell and BC Finance Minister Colin Hansen avoided the democratic process altogether by entering into a secret deal with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to create the HST without legislative approval,” Vander Zalm said.

Vander Zalm has retained Joseph Arvay Q.C., of Arvay Finlay Barristers to handle the case.

"That the Crown cannot tax its people without the express authorization of the Legislature is something that has been established for centuries and traces its roots to the English Bill of Rights of 1689 and is reaffirmed in the Constitution Act 1867," said Arvay.

Arvay said that he hopes the Court will hear the challenge as soon as possible this summer.

Delaney says he expects the Vander Zalm challenge to be heard and decided before the lawsuit that was filed last week by the various business associations who are trying to stop the Initiative petition.

“We had hoped that the resort to the court would not have been necessary had the Initiative process been allowed to run its course and the legislature repealed the HST.

But once the pro-HST ‘business association’ decided to use the courts to attack us, then it only made sense for the court to now hear the fundamental question of whether the HST can be constitutionally imposed by the Province,” said Delaney.Vander Zalm described the lawsuit as “the showstopper”.

“If we win here it is all over for Campbell’s HST. One way or the other the government will have to face the music for having imposed the HST in B.C.," Vander Zalm concluded.

To view the legal documents filed today in the BC Supreme Court see: http://www.arvayfinlay.com/ and http://www.fighthst.com/
Vander Zalm Statement

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21 comments:

Stan Mortensen said...

Now it will be interesting to see how the Liberals try to counter spin this and the wave of BC Liberal party trolls that will roll through with their comments.

Anonymous said...

THis is interesting. Who is putting up the court and legal costs?

Atlantic Canada has had the HST, and not sure if it was part of any pre-set election party on part of the provincial goverments back there.

Is this for show?

The "taxation without representation" line is interesting.

We've had taxation with representation since the first sales tax was brought in, and even taxes that were slapped on us from VanderZalm and later on, Harcourt, not to mention this HST thing with the Lieberals.

More of a show than anything else.

Will VanderZalm stand with the decision of the court or will he appeal?

Then there's the whiney people who constantly complain about how court is operated.

pip said...

this is great news bill et al...keep up the good fight!

kootcoot said...

Sorry to hear about your wreck Bill, glad you weren't seriously hurt.

Anon at 3:55 seems to be particularly retarded.

He/she/it asks:

"Who is putting up the court and legal costs?"

Who cares, btw, guess who is putting up the court and legal costs for ALL sides of the Basi-Virk farce? You........and me - IS IT FOR SHOW? Sure seems like it!

Then you say:

"The "taxation without representation" line is interesting."

Then how does "We've had taxation WITH representation..." logically follow or relate to that.

"Then there's the whiney people who constantly complain about how court is operated"

You sound like THE whiney person, throwing out meaningless things you seem to think are critical of something or other and you don't even make sense. Perhaps you should take a course in critical thinking or even logic, if you think you could handle it!

More of a blowhard than anything else - but not a very effective one! Of course it is difficult to defend the indefensible - that's why Colin Hansen and Gordon Campbell sound so retarded and have to flat out lie all the time too.......But hey, you're almost PAB quality, hang in there, if there's no work with the Gordo gang (as they'll be unemployed themselves soon) in your future there's always North Korea or Burma! But you need to pick up your game.

Anonymous said...

"Now it will be interesting to see how the Liberals try to counter spin this and the wave of BC Liberal party trolls that will roll through with their comments."

Well forget them, the more interesting part will be to see how this plays out in court.

Don't expect an automatic win or a quick ending.

It is rather unusal, since there are precedents for taxes being imposed without clear consent from the masses from all political parties. Including VanderZalm's.

gobi said...

What about the fact that it places provincial taxation powers in the hands of the federal gov't? Isn't that unconstituttional?

Crankypants said...

Bill Vander Zalm was on Christy Clark's show today discussing this legal challenge, and from what I heard there may be a good chance of success. Of course, Christy being the good BC Liberal shill immediately got into the questioning of Bill about financing. Bill explained that the FIGHTHST group raised $60,000 selling NOHST buttons at rallies etc. and they had also received donations from interested organizations. She asked if the NDP had donated any money. Answer-no. She then asked about union donations to which Bill replied that the largest donation of $10,000 came from the funeral home association plus $2500 from a couple of union organizations and the home builders association.

What I was surprised to hear is that the restaurant association was not a major donor. Bill, you had an article you published a while back praising the fact that the restaurant association was basically ready to wage all-out war against the HST. I also believe that you intimated that this association, who have backed the Gordon Campbell led BC Liberal Party in every election he was in, were on the side of the lowly taxpayer. I commented that they only opposed the HST because it will negatively impact their business and income, and they could care less about the impact to the individual taxpayer. I assume by the fact that Mr. Vander Zalm did not mention them as a contributor of any significance, they played you.

Finally, I heard through the media today that BC Hydro and BC Ferries were among the group of business types that brought forth the legal challenge to the "NOHST Initiative". To me this sounds as if the government is involved with their challenge and not just a ploy brought forth by big business.

It's getting to the point that one cannot identify the players without a programme.

I saw your posting about your accident enroute to the Basi-Virk-Basi trial and wish you a speedy recovery. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Arvay's legal argument makes sense! Will be interesting to see what Campbell comes up with as legal defense.

Will BC and Canada refund an unconstitutionally imposed tax? Are we all suppose to save our receipts until this is resolved?

If Campbell has any idea at all he will try to fix this big embarrassment of evidence of his undemocratic government acting unconstitutionally! Immediately either drop the HST or have a summer sitting of BC legislature....

In the meantime - who is paying HST?

BC Mary said...

I read all the legal documents provided here -- thank you for that, Bill --

and couldn't help wondering where was Carole James or Leonard Krog of the well-salaried Loyal Opposition, while this HST issue was developing?

Or are they in favour of the new HST?
.

Anonymous said...

Vaughn Palmer writes in today's (6.JUN.10) Vancouver Sun: "...the Arvay brief has raised the stakes. Along with the Liberals' earlier fumbling and stumbling on the HST, they now stand accused of having sidestepped the legislature and imposed the tax by executive fiat."

But here's an interesting thought experiment - first a little more Palmer from earlier in the same article: "...lawyer Joe Arvay, an expert in constitutional, aboriginal and human-rights law..."

Now let us suppose - for the sake of discussion - that provincial and national aboriginal groups decide to 'piggyback' on the Zalm's "nullity" petition [.PDF / 11 pages] and join that court action?

The natives leaders could say that they were never consulted on a fundamental shift in aboriginal tax policy, Indian Affairs was asleep at the switch (or too conflicted to be relied on), why tax natives now if they weren't being taxed before etc.

The next 21 days could prove very interesting for Campbell & Co.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a winning legal argument!

So in the meantime will everyone just keep paying HST? Or do we keep our receipts in hope government will reimburse us if tax unconstitutional?

kootcoot said...

"So in the meantime will everyone just keep paying HST? Or do we keep our receipts in hope government will reimburse us if tax unconstitutional?"

Just don't buy anything un-necessary that is subject to the tax....especially from any companies who are backing the HST and the court challenge to the antiHST petition. And if you have to buy stuff, especially big ticket stuff that is subject to the HST - that's what Alberta and Washington, Oregon (no sales tax AT ALL), Idaho, Montana and Alaska are for.

You certainly don't want to buy a new home (over $525,000 - as if you could get one for less in the lower Vainland) in BC unless we can delete this government, because it isn't going to be a place worth living in by the time they're done turning it into a depleted gravel pit with dead and poisoned streams and a bunch of stumps remaining from raw logs shipped to China.

Anonymous said...

Who is putting up the court and legal costs?"

"Who cares, btw, guess who is putting up the court and legal costs for ALL sides of the Basi-Virk farce? You........and me - IS IT FOR SHOW? Sure seems like it!"

It is an interesting question. Is VanderZalm? Is Deleany? The lawyer is not cheap, and don't be so sensitive.

There are costs borne by the Petitioners.


Then you say:

"The "taxation without representation" line is interesting."

"Then how does "We've had taxation WITH representation..." logically follow or relate to that."

What to review all governments that have imposed taxes? We'll begin with the BC Liberals, rewind through the NDP, Social Credit, etc. etc.


"Then there's the whiney people who constantly complain about how court is operated"

"You sound like THE whiney person, throwing out meaningless things you seem to think are critical of something or other and you don't even make sense."

Do you? I've read people complaining about delays in court procedings, so go complain to them.

The court is not there for the entertainment of Bill's Bloggers.

"Perhaps you should take a course in critical thinking or even logic, if you think you could handle it!"

Obviously this poster can't. Too sensitive.

"More of a blowhard than anything else - but not a very effective one! Of course it is difficult to defend the indefensible - that's why Colin Hansen and Gordon Campbell sound so retarded and have to flat out lie all the time too.......But hey, you're almost PAB quality, hang in there, if there's no work with the Gordo gang (as they'll be unemployed themselves soon) in your future there's always North Korea or Burma! But you need to pick up your game."

Speak for only yourself.

Have a nice summer.

or try to.

As for North Korea, go there and tell us what you think. I'll set my own travels based on your own field recommendations provided when you get back.

Anonymous said...

"Just don't buy anything un-necessary that is subject to the tax....especially from any companies who are backing the HST and the court challenge to the antiHST petition."

That would mean leaving out alot.

Guess a start would be Telus or Shaw internet service.

And if you have to buy stuff, especially big ticket stuff that is subject to the HST - that's what Alberta and Washington, Oregon (no sales tax AT ALL),

Oregon is five hours from here,
and unless you're on a two week trip, it's not all that economical unless you're buying something that
isn't available up here.

"Idaho, Montana and Alaska are for. "

Alaska is 3 days by ferry and a week by road.

Next ferry to Alaska is on Friday, leaving at 6 PM. Be at the ferry dock at 2 PM.



You certainly don't want to buy a new home (over $525,000 - as if you could get one for less in the lower Vainland) in BC unless we can delete this government, because it isn't going to be a place worth living in by the time they're done turning it into a depleted gravel pit with dead and poisoned streams and a bunch of stumps remaining from raw logs shipped to China."

a bit over the top nonsense, but nothing new.

We'll wait for the outcome of the HST petition and court case, ignoring the political crap.

Anonymous said...

"Bill Vander Zalm was on Christy Clark's show today discussing this legal challenge, and from what I heard there may be a good chance of success. Of course, Christy being the good BC Liberal shill immediately got into the questioning of Bill about financing."

So what's exactly wrong with finding out how this taxpayer court time is being financed?

It is a public court case.


"Bill explained that the FIGHTHST group raised $60,000 selling NOHST buttons at rallies etc. and they had also received donations from interested organizations. She asked if the NDP had donated any money. Answer-no. She then asked about union donations to which Bill replied that the largest donation of $10,000 came from the funeral home association plus $2500 from a couple of union organizations and the home builders association."

Good. Nothing wrong with disclosure. Be open, since there are costs to the taxpayer on the court case. $60,000 won't buy much lawyer time in a case like this, and the lawyer is very expensive.

Remember, VanderZalm and his group are leading the way, it will be up to them to ensure that the battle is kept honest and open.

Remember when VanderZalm messed up as Premier and when he mixed his own business affairs with political office.

Don't want to see that again, ever.

and there's no sense in getting into paranoia.

If the HST fails, it fails, and we move on to Cancuks hockey season.

kootcoot said...

Anons at 5:44 and 5:49 who if not the same person or clones must be sharing notes:

Well you used up a lot of pixels but you still didn't make any sense. The irrelevance of who is paying for it is that Bill and Chris are not our dickTater government and are not reaching into hour pockets to fund this challenge - unlike Colin and Gordo who have today launched their propaganda campaign at our, (amount unknown to them - according to Colin not so Handsome)expense, against the will of at least 700,000+ of us.

BTW, if you can find me a new home in the Lower Vainland for less than $525,000 let me know and I'll snap it up and flip it.

"Do you? I've read people complaining about delays in court procedings, so go complain to them.
"

Typical example of your lack of logic - why should I complain to those that are unhappy about the pace of this trial - I'm complaining to the court and fully hope and expect that (in)Justice Mack and seldom seen Wild Bill and the crooked bosses read my complaints.

"The court is not there for the entertainment of Bill's Bloggers."

It's also not there to serve the interests of Gordo Campbell and his "friends."

"Oregon is five hours from here,
and unless you're on a two week trip, it's not all that economical unless you're buying something that
isn't available up here.

"Idaho, Montana and Alaska are for. "

Alaska is 3 days by ferry and a week by road


Everybody doesn't live where ever YOU live. I have friends and family in Oregon and when I go there I'm usually there long enough to bring back duty exempt goods, so why wouldn't I? And guess what they never have had a sales tax in Oregon - every government that even suggests it finds themselves unemployed.

As to how far it is to Alaska, years ago I lived just outside of Masset on Haida Gwaii and went across the Dixon Entrance to Hyder, Alaska and purchased a Fender Stratocaster, it didn't take me three days to get there, indeed you can see Prince of Wales Island (Alaska) from Tow Hill on a clear day - though you can't see
either Sarah Palins or Putin's house from the north end of Graham Island.


As to:

"The "taxation without representation" line is interesting."

"Then how does "We've had taxation WITH representation..." logically follow or relate to that.
"

Are you even reading what you write? If you don't notice a difference between taxation "WITH" representation and taxation "WITHOUT" representation, then you're hardly worth the space you take up in pixels.

I'm done shooting fish in this barrel for now, thanks for the fun Bill, and hope you're getting over your accident. I'm gonna enjoy the summer and look forward to the fall, the season and the fall of the creeps in Victoria!

Anonymous said...

The HST is the greatest thing to ever happen to British Columbia! Long live Campbell!

THE GREAT SATAN

Anonymous said...

"The HST is the greatest thing to ever happen to British Columbia! Long live Campbell!"

Indeed. Yup. Just as the National Energy Program, Six and Five, War Measures Act and Just Society were the best thing to happen here in BC during the Trudeau years.

THE GREAT SATAN

BC's finest devilled ham.

Anonymous said...

How HST will permanently boost prices in B.C., Ontario
by Michael Babad, The Globe and Mail

-----

Jim Flaherty on economists: ‘Predictive power is limited’
by Michael Babad, The Globe and Mail

-----

BC Liberal Government kicks off HST campaign with radio spots - What will this cost us?
by Jonathan.Fowlie, The Vancouver Sun

-----

"The Liberals placed themselves on the road to ruin, by doublecrossing the electorate on the HST." - Vaughn Palmer, The Vancouver Sun

Anonymous said...

B.C. Liberals refuse to disclose cost of HST ads

Ian Bailey, The Globe and Mail

B.C.’s embattled Liberal government has launched radio advertising to explain the unpopular harmonized sales tax, but the Finance Minister said Wednesday he is not prepared to say how much the campaign costs.

Anonymous said...

We all know about the drag out of the, corrupt sale of the BC Rail, over 6 years, did someone say? And, Martyn Brown being brain dead, has kept us all entertained. Campbell obviously controls the Judicial system. I expect a court hearing for the illegal HST, will be dragged out as long as Campbell, can drag it. No doubt, the Liberals will produce more brain dead witnesses, to pass along the blame to. Possibly, Hansen will take the heat. Don't forget, Campbell lied deceived and cheated, to win his re-election, and nothing has changed in that respect. He will cut Hansen's throat, to save his own neck, in a New York minute.