Crying wolf

Section: 
Editorial

For your information, the new Harmonized sales tax (HST) that comes into effect July 1 will not include newspapers or subscriptions. However, the federal portion of the tax (5%) will remain.

 

Advertising, which has been exempt from PST, will now be hit by the HST (5% GST and 8% PST) on July 1.

That’s some of what I learned last week in a ministry of finance seminar organized by the  Ontario Community Newspapers Association.

 

I’m not a fan of the new HST – it will just mean more work while the accounting program is upgraded.

However, the assistant deputy minister who gave the seminar didn’t make it sound all that bad.

 

The HST will make Ontario more competitive – 140 countries already have such a tax. Over 10 years, it will create 591,000 jobs, provide higher annual incomes and lead to lower income taxes. And as business costs decrease, prices will go down.

 

But you’ll hear all the pros and cons as we get closer to July 1.

 

**

 

It’s nice to see the provincial Tory leader, Tim Hudak, travelling beyond the GTA to get the views of people who live in the hinterland.

 

What I can’t figure is why he would be meeting with the Friends of the Kincardine Hospital on Monday of last week.

 

If my memory is correct, it was the Tories ( Mike Harris and crew) that foisted hospital, municipal and school board amalgamations across the province.

 

Since the provincial government has told the Municipality of Kincardine that de-amalgamation of the hospital (or I’m sure any other board or municipality in the province) is not an option, one can only wonder why the Tory leader would be meeting with this group.

 

Something called votes likely.

 

**

 

And still on the Friends, common sense suggests they get their differences with the hospital board patched up – the sooner the better.

 

Getting an addition to the Kincardine hospital is a long and costly process; politics also plays a role. Having a group continually bickering over the operation of the hospital board is not going to make getting the addition any easier.

 

**

 

From the ho hum department.

 

Newfoundland premier Danny Williams was under attack last week because he had heart surgery in the U.S.A.

 

According to the Toronto Star, American right wing bloggers used William’s hospital visit to mock Canadian health care.

 

Who cares? How many people (besides reporters) actually read political blogs? I bet the numbers are few.

As for Danny boy, I could care less where he had his operation and I wish him a speedy recovery.

 

**

In the last few weeks, a few people have told me they have seen gray foxes and wolves in town.

 

I’d never heard of the gray fox but it was once the most common fox in eastern North America and ranges from southern Canada to northern Venezuela.

 

It is the only member of the Canidae family in North America that can climb trees, which allows it to escape predators such as the domestic dog or the coyote. The gray fox is nocturnal and  enjoys cotton tails – no wonder there are some in town.

 

One of the foxes was spotted in Geddes Park and another running along the beach in front of Connaught Park.

 

Another resident recently took a photo of a wolf in town in the Penetangore River valley. Fortunately, there have been no reports of the werewolf, a mythical being who at times changes from a person to a wolf. Nor have there been reports of the wolf whistle. But with Valentine’s Day just a few days away, keep your ears and eyes open.

 

Fortunately we are far from Ottawa where I imagine one of the biggest dangers around the House of Commons is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.

 

And if you want to hear someone cry “wolf”, sit in the House of Commons some day when the politicians finally decide to go back to work.