Although Guardian editor Gary MacDougall took the Ghiz government to task ('Restrictions not needed, Mr. Sheridan', The Guardian, June 23, 2012) over the attempt to mute the media at the recent government HST 'public' meeting, I sometimes wonder about the arm's-length relationship between his paper and said government.
In glaring headlines in last Friday's paper (about four times the usual font size for our newspaper) rang out the not-so-surprising news 'Businesses give HST thumbs up at meeting' beside a photo of our smiling finance minister. Island businesses are for the HST and say "most people in business put that back in their business [to] create a new job or upgrade equipment". We'll see.
Yet, in Saturday's paper, hidden away in a single column on page A5, was a short article on the other side of HST ('Residential construction forum to discuss negative impact of HST'). The P.E.I. Residential Construction Sector Council announced it was partnering with the Canadian Home Builders Association-P.E.I. to hold a forum to discuss the negative effect of HST on new home construction (no thumbs up here?).
They say "The new homebuyer will be faced with deal breaking tax increases that will translate into fewer homes being built and greater job losses in the market. Increased taxes and related fees will drive the underground economy."
What? No cost savings passed down to consumers? Job losses, not increases? How can that be? The government that watches over us and invests our tax dollars so wisely says the opposite. How do you answer that, Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Ghiz?
And Mr. MacDougall, if I were the editor, I would have put that story in glaring headlines and the thumbs up story on page 5. But it is your newspaper.