Controversial HST bill passed in Ontario

Legislation to create a single 13 per cent sales tax in Ontario passed third and final reading Wednesday despite strong objections and delaying tactics by the Opposition.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told the legislature that blending the five per cent goods and services tax with the provincial tax will lower costs for businesses, allowing them to cut prices for consumers and hire more staff.

"Doing nothing is not an option [and] the status quo is just absolutely the wrong thing," Duncan said in third-reading debate.

"This package will create jobs."

The government estimates the harmonized sales tax (HST) will help create almost 600,000 jobs in Ontario over the next decade.

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