News Release Archive



The Nova Scotia Department of Finance has released the details of
consultations with the public over the past six months, including
the results of a poll conducted in late August on the subject of
tax included pricing for consumers.

Finance Minister Bill Gillis said: "This public opinion poll
shows consumers in this province have an overwhelming preference
for having prices displayed with the sales tax included."
Seventy-three percent of those polled in Nova Scotia chose tax
included pricing, once harmonization comes into effect next

Those choosing this option said they preferred taxes to be
included so that they would know exactly what they will pay in
advance. Simplicity was another significant benefit mentioned by

The poll was conducted by Corporate Research Associates as part
of their Omnibus Survey this summer. The responses have a margin
of error of plus/minus 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Dr. Gillis said the details of the government's response on this
and other harmonization issues will be contained in a technical
paper to be released tomorrow. 

Dr. Gillis also released details of the government's
consultations on the subject of harmonization since the agreement
was signed in principle last spring. Dr. Gillis said the
government was committed to the principle of harmonization at
that time, but wanted to consult with people to make sure the
principles were implemented correctly.

Since the agreement in principle has been reached, Dr. Gillis
said more than 80 separate meetings have been held between
various groups and Department of Finance officials. Dr. Gillis
said the department has been able  to meet, sometimes several
times, with virtually all groups that asked for a meeting. The
consultations ranged from the Consumers Association of Canada to
13 cash register dealers from around the province. The full list
of groups who were consulted is available from the department.

In addition, the minister said 478 letters from the public on the
subject came into the department on the subject. Of these, the
largest number (78) dealt with the subject of taxing books. The
second largest topic was tax-included pricing at 73. The next
largest category was general letters of support for the policy of
harmonization, numbering 55. The remaining letters dealt with
general concerns and questions about how the tax system will

Finally, the department received well over 700 calls on the 1-800
line. Every call has had a response from the department.

The government plans to increase consultation and answer
capabilities following the release of the technical paper. Calls
can be addressed to a joint line with Revenue Canada at
1-800-959-3384, fax questions can be sent to 902-424-0590, policy
questions to 1-800-731-7707. People with access to E-Mail may
contact: or may want to get answers directly from
the website after 4:30 p.m. Wednesday:

Dr. Gillis said once the technical paper is released, businesses
and the public will have another chance to offer advice. The
minister said, " It is particularly important that we make sure
there are no unintended consequences flowing from harmonization.
The next few weeks will allow us to make any final changes needed
before legislation is introduced in Parliament and the provincial


Contact: Bruce Cameron 424-8787