This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
On Friday, Quebec promised to spend the $2.2 billion HST compensation it accepted from Ottawa in the way to cut its deficit and balance its budget. PM Stephen Harper made the announcement in Quebec City along with Premier Jean Charest.
Since two decades, Quebec is insisting Ottawa to be compensated for balancing its provincial sales tax with the federal GST in 1992. Canada’s federal administration assured during the spring election campaign to come up with an ultimate agreement with Quebec by Sept. 15, but the arrangement was at last finalized by Harper and Charest on Friday.
Charest said: “I thank Mr. Harper for keeping his commitment to reach a satisfactory agreement with Quebec. Quebec wanted a harmonization agreement, we worked together to make it happen, and it is now in place.”
According to Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand, the deal will allow businesses to become more competitive. Every province that has balanced its sales tax was presented with lump sums for doing so: from $4.3 billion for Ontario to $364 million for New Brunswick.
The agreement permits the province to uphold control of the federal sales tax on top of its own provincial sales tax.
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