OTTAWA — The federal government is reportedly set to give aboriginals a major concession on Ontario’s new harmonized sales tax.
The Globe and Mail says the move comes amid threats that protesters will “shut down the country” during the upcoming G8 and G20 summits.
Until this month, Ottawa had ignored natives’ pleas for a provincewide point-of-sale exemption from the HST after it takes effect on July 1.
For 30 years, natives in Ontario have not had to pay provincial sales tax when making purchases anywhere in the province.
By contrast, they receive exemptions from the federal GST for most goods bought off-reserve only after filing their income tax returns.
But sources say under the new deal, it’s expected the eight per cent provincial portion of the tax will again be exempted at point of sale.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has repeatedly called for its inclusion, and his government entered a memorandum of understanding with native leaders to that effect.
Last month, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan wrote to his federal counterpart, Jim Flaherty, calling it a matter “of great importance to both of our governments and Ontario First Nations.” (Globe and Mail)