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RSR ROBBINS Research - British Columbia Politics July 2, 2011
  Jul 02, 2011

Question #1
Do you want British Columbia to keep the H.S.T. or return to the PST/GST?
Keep the H.S.T    49 %
Return to the PST/GST    51 %
Undecided    5 %
Question #2
There is much discussion from the current BC Liberal government and media of the significant cost, trouble and time to return to the PST/GST brought in by THEN B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell who did not raise the matter of the H.S.T. during the May 2009 provincial general election nor discuss it with his Cabinet/Executive. Would you support criminal breach of trust charges being brought against Gordon Campbell?
Yes    28 %
No    67 %
Commentary
It’s a dead heat between the H.S.T. and PST/GST people. The two opposing consumption tax proposals are locked in a major struggle to see which will prevail.
The H.S.T has come from behind on the strength of its growing popularity in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia - including: Vancouver, Burnaby, West and North Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, Tri-City, Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster- at (52%) support, while support to return to the PST/GST is at (48%). (3%) of respondents are Undecided.
Other regions of the Province of British Columbia are less supportive of keeping the H.S.T. The Fraser Valley region including: Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, and Aldergrove supports the H.S.T. (decided) (41%) with (59%) wanting to return to the PST/GST. In the Okanagan/Interior (Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon) plus Prince George support for the H.S.T. is (38%) while support for the PST/GST is (52%). On Vancouver Island support for the H.S.T. is (36%) while support for the PST/GST is (52%).
Although smaller towns were not surveyed in this ROBBINS poll - we estimate that support for the H.S.T. is lower than it is for larger cities and municipalities - which might bring down H.S.T. support by one-half to one percentage point overall.
There isn’t a majority of public support for criminal breach of trust charges being brought against former B.C. Premier Campbell however (28%) reflects pretty significant angst - with (16%) of H.S.T. supporters - supporting criminal charges being brought over the H.S.T. Moreover, this number might have been significantly higher except for the fact that many respondents did not believe “anything would come of it” an expression of a lack of confidence in the system generally or believed it would be “a waste of more money by the government” this latter anecdote as familiar to either side of the tax debate.
Respondents in the Lower Mainland support bringing criminal breach of trust charges relating to the H.S.T. against Gordon Campbell (23%), Fraser Valley (29%), Okanagan plus Prince George (51%) and Vancouver Island (34%).
Gordon Campbell’s selection to High Commissioner to the United Kingdom is a pretty cynical choice by Prime Minister Stephen Harper all things considered - however the decision may have served as a sufficient distraction to B.C. respondents as it indirectly related to the matter of the H.S.T. with those opposed to the tax - most inclined to see the former B.C. Premier in a contemptible light anyhow.
If I were the Attorney General of BC I would proceed with criminal charges against BC’s former Premier - the H.S.T. involves money - a significant change of taxation on the people - to bring it is without consultation with the people is bad enough - to do so without the full knowledge of Cabinet - Executive ought to be a criminal offense or as one respondent said “The whole BC Liberal Cabinet should be charged.”
Methodology - A random sample of 652 British Columbians - "Old enough to vote" between June 28-29 and July 1, 2011. The Margin of Error (M.O.E. is 3.84% plus or minus, 19 times out of 20 @ 95% confidence.

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