Frank Klees

Press Release


For Immediate Release       Video                                                                                  December 3, 2009


                              MPP Reports on HST Hearings


(Queen’s Park) Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees made the following opening statement at the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs today:


"For the record, I just want to say how disappointed I am that there has not been more opportunity for public consultation.  I would like to speak to the fact that, repeatedly, over the last number of weeks we have heard from the Premier and from the Minister of Finance, and others who are defending the government’s position, stating that meetings have been held around the province on the HST.  I have attended some of those meetings and it was clear that they were not public consultations.  They were lectures, many by the Minister of Revenue, and were essentially a promotion of the government’s position with little, if any, opportunity for public response from stakeholders to challenge the government and for ordinary Ontarians to put forward recommendations and questions.  Those are not consultations.  What we are about to engage in here are public consultations which allow stakeholders to bring forward their concerns and the potential impact of this tax.  I am extremely disappointed that we are so limited.”


Klees participated in the hearings which were limited to only eleven hours, and was on hand to hear retired York Region Police officer Paul Bailey, challenge the McGuinty government's claims that the HST will not hurt seniors.


"Committee members, with respect, we don't believe a word of it,” said Bailey.  "This new tax will take more money out of our pockets than we can afford. You know that, and so do the seniors of this province."  Bailey appeared as a witness before the committee in his capacity as President of the Police Pensioners Association of Ontario.


"What was confirmed by Mr. Bailey and many witnesses today, is that the government has failed to take into consideration the real cost of the HST to the average family and especially seniors and people on fixed incomes," said Klees. "The HST is a massive tax grab that couldn't come at a worse time. When families and businesses are already struggling to cope in these tough economic times, the last thing they need is to be hit with more taxes.”


"This is just one more example of how out of touch the McGuinty government is with hard- working Ontarians."          



Frank Klees MPP