‘Race Based Taxation in Ontario’

The fiscally-challenged Ontario government has for some time provided an OFF-RESERVE (anywhere in the province) provincial sales tax exemption for anyone with an aboriginal ‘status’ card and, needless to say, it’s being used a lot (No figures are available on what this annually costs the Ontario government and taxpayers). ERBLRaceBasedTaxationInOntario800x800From an Ontario Ministry of Finance page:

‘Ontario ‘First Nations’ Point-of-Sale Exemptions’

“The Ministry of Finance is experiencing an increase in the number and size of refund applications related to the Ontario HST Refund for ‘First Nations’. Processing of these refund applications is taking longer than the ministry’s service standard of 40 business days. Thank you for your patience as we continue to process these claims in an expedient manner.”

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/guides/hst/80.html  Status Card“APTN asked the ‘Union of Ontario Indians’ to write this guest column”:

‘Ontario tax exemption: Your rights as a ‘First Nation’ citizen’  

“As a ‘First Nation’ citizen, you have many rights, some of which are affirmed by the federal and provincial governments through the issuance of a status card. One of them is the ‘right’ to tax exemption within the province of Ontario {First of all, this is simply an Ontario government policy – a privilege, NOT any kind of “right”. It is a gift to only one race/ethnicity – and only those with certified ‘status’ — that has absolutely NOTHING to do with any Treaty or Constitutional ‘right’. In addition, unlike the federal tax it is not confined to reserve purchases/deliveries}, but how exactly does this ‘right’ work?

“The government of Ontario has guaranteed the ‘right’ {No, it’s a ‘PRIVILEGE’ or ‘GIFT’…} to tax exemption to all status ‘First Nations’ people on certain goods and services, regardless of location of residence. This means that if you have a federal-issued status card, purchases that you make may be entitled to an exemption from the 8% provincial sales tax (PST) portion of the harmonized sales tax (HST).

“There are two possible ways to obtain this exemption. The first is what is called the point of sale exemption, which requires the purchaser/status card holder to present their original status card at the time of purchase for the retailer to visually confirm the card, document the registration number and process the transaction without including the 8% portion of the HST. It is important for status card holders to know that no other identification or information is required except their government issued status card.

“In addition, the government does not require retailers to submit copies of status cards, so photocopying the card is not necessary. The collection of this unnecessary data violates privacy rights, even if it is store policy.

“The second method is to complete and submit an application by registered mail, with original receipts, to the Ministry of Finance for a refund on the tax paid. Due to the refund being given through the mail, the Ministry of Finance does require that a photocopy of the status card (both sides) accompany the application for their visual confirmation.

“As seen with the…‘Morris Home Hardware’ incident in Ottawa {see story below}, some retailers choose not to honour the PST exemption and, unfortunately, DUE TO THE WORDING IN THE LEGISLATION, IT’S NOT LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE by the Ministry of Revenue.

“In most cases, problems at the register can be blamed on training issues, where a cashier is simply unaware that ‘First Nations’ are ‘entitled’ to the tax exemption, or does not know the procedure to provide the exemption. In the interest of customer service, it makes sense for a retailer to ‘honour the exemption’ and encourage the return business of their ‘First Nation’ customers. The Morris Home Hardware store owner has since issued an apology {see below} and is now honouring the tax exemption for ‘First Nations’ {Such is the power of the bullying that is applied..}.

“Retailers are not allowed make any price adjustments concerning status ‘First Nations’ customers in order to compensate for the exemption, as this constitutes a ‘human rights violation’ {!} on the grounds of discrimination {Actually, it would just level the playing field against a discriminatory tax…} and is against the law, even if it is store policy.

“The Ontario Ministry of Finance has implemented a hotline service at 1-866-ONT-TAXS (1-866-668-8297) that will accept calls from citizens to report retailers that:

    “refuse to provide the tax exemption for ‘First Nation’ customers upon presentation of a valid status card;
    insist on the collection of unnecessary personal information (such as taking a photocopy of a status card, address, phone number, email, signature etc.) as a requirement before providing the exemption;
    raise the price on purchased items that qualify for exemption;
    insist that you pay the full tax at the time of purchase and submit your receipt to the Ministry of Finance for refund;
    are unsure about how to process tax exempt transactions; or
    are confused or are under the wrong understanding about the rules for ‘First Nations’ tax exemption.”

Calling the Ministry of Finance hotline to file a report regarding a retailer will help to:

    educate the retail community at large about tax exemption for ‘First Nations’;
    allow for policy and perspective changes of retailers and facilitate easier tax exemption processing in the future; and
    protect and exercise your ‘First Nation’ right to tax exemption.

{And allow you to bully a retailer for being non-discriminatory…
And allow you to help entrench segregated treatment in Ontario…}

“The Ministry of Revenue continues to work with the Anishinabek ‘Nation’ to ensure that their hotline operators are trained to handle these calls effectively. Any issues experienced with the hotline may be reported to Kevin Restoule at the ‘Union of Ontario Indians’ {‘Indians’ and unions? That’s ‘assimilation’…} toll free at 1-800-702-5200. 

“Off-reserve customers of telecommunications such as cable, satellite, telephone, cell phone and internet may establish a monthly exemption through their service provider, or mail in monthly billing statements to the Ministry of Revenue for a refund on the PST portion paid.

“Take-out and delivery food off-reserve over $4 is also PST exempt; however, fast food establishments in Ontario may not be equipped to provide the exemption, so retain your receipts for mail-in refund.

“As a consumer, it is your right to decide which retailers you wish to do business with. If you do not agree with store policy, you have the right to go elsewhere.
{That cuts both ways: PEOPLE OF ONTARIO, TAKE NOTE — YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO BUSINESS WITH FIRMS THAT OFFER RACE-BASED TAX EXEMPTIONS…}

“For more information on goods and services that qualify for the exemption, refund forms and further tax exemption information in Ontario, visit http://www.anishinabek.ca/notax/.”

–‘Ontario tax exemption: Your rights as a ‘First Nation’ ‘citizen’,
Union of Ontario Indians, APTN,  01. Oct, 2014 {CAPS added}

http://aptn.ca/news/2014/10/01/ontario-tax-exemption-rights-first-nation-citizen/

https://www.ontario.ca/government/indian-status-and-identification-cards

“In June 2010, all provincial parties supported a motion in the Ontario legislature calling on the federal government to maintain the current point of sale exemption.”

“I am thrilled and our people will be relieved that the point of sale exemption for ‘First Nations’ will be continued within the HST framework. ‘First Nations’ have worked tirelessly with Ontario and the federal government to make this a reality. The ability to achieve this reflects the great potential of the ‘government-to-government’ relationship between Ontario and ‘First Nations’.”
–Angus Toulous, Ontario Regional Chief

http://www.ictinc.ca/blog/myth-status-indians-exempt-from-federal-or-provincial-taxes-2 tax-free-630x630“The Government of Ontario has guaranteed the ‘right’ to tax exemption to all status ‘First Nations’ people on certain goods and services, regardless of location of residence. This means that if you have a federal-issued ‘status card’, purchases that you make may be entitled to an exemption from the 8% PST portion of the HST. 

“Effective September 1, 2010, Status Indians may claim an exemption from paying the eight per cent Ontario component of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on qualifying property or services at the point of sale. Qualifying property and services are described in Guide 80 — “Ontario ‘First Nations’ Point-of-Sale Exemptions”. To receive the exemption, the Status Indian must present their “Certificate of Indian Status” identity card at the time of making a purchase.”

“Retailers are not allowed make any price adjustments concerning status ‘First Nations’ customers in order to compensate for the exemption as this constitutes a human rights violation on the grounds of discrimination {It’s discriminating against discrimination!} and is against the law, even if it is store policy. “

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/taxtips/rst/02.html

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/publication/hst-first-nations-point-of-sale-exemptions-brief-en.pdf 196619_415301888518533_1279963553_n“The federal and provincial tax laws have in the past granted “Indian” tax exemption, which has acknowledged the fact that tax exemption is a ‘recognition of Nationhood’ {Where do they get this stuff?} and, most importantly, a ‘Treaty right’ outlined in the ‘Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850’.”

–Batchewana ‘First Nation’

http://www.batchewana.ca/content/news-articles/view.html?article=41

As usual, the Treaty says no such thing. See for yourself…
‘Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850’ text:

https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100028984/1100100028994Robinson-HuronTREATY-MAP

“It was our demonstration of solidarity and plans for more peaceful direct action that convinced Canada they should not cross the line we drew in the sand”, Patrick Madahbee, Anishinabek ‘Nation’ Grand Council Chief said…

“NA’N’ communities can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing they will not have to fork up even more money to cover the cost of essential goods and services. We are pleased that the ‘historical practice’ {30 years long} of ‘First Nations’ point-of-sale tax exemption will be maintained.”
–Stan Beardy, Nishnawbe Aski ‘Nation’ Grand Chief

“For the past 30 years, point of sale tax exemption has been in place in Ontario under the Retail Sales Tax (RST)…

“We have stood shoulder to shoulder with our ‘First Nations’ partners for many months now to ensure the continuation of the point of sale exemption”, Chris Bentley, minister of Aboriginal affairs said.”

http://wawataynews.ca/node/20008 

Ontario ‘First Nations’ Point-of-Sale Exemptions:
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/guides/hst/80.html
ottawa-home-hardware-1024x682‘Morris Home Hardware facing human rights complaint’

“The owner of ‘Morris Home Hardware’ on Wellington Street is being accused of discrimination following an interaction with a ‘First Nations’ customer on Thursday.

“Cecile Dumont, a retired Bell Canada employee, told ‘CBC News’ the incident happened Thursday morning when she requested a provincial sales tax exemption for a $17 purchase of some replacement window screen for her cottage.

“When buying most personal items, status Indians don’t have to pay the provincial tax portion of the bill. To get the exemption, they show a government-issued status card to the cashier.

“But when she presented the card, Dumont said a cashier told her the store doesn’t accept the cards. Dumont said she tried to explain the exemption to the cashier.

“Then she shouted out, ‘Hey Mike. There’s a lady here that thinks that she should be tax-exempt.’ She shouts this out in the store for everybody to hear”, Dumont said.

“Mike” is Mike Morris, the owner of the Wellington Street store. According to Dumont, he brusquely told her everyone pays the tax. She claims he refused to listen to anything she said and then took the window screen from her.

“He immediately snatched that out of my hand and told me to get out of the store, that I wasn’t welcome there”, Dumont said. 

“And I said, ‘Well, you can’t kick me out of your store. I haven’t done anything wrong. All I’m trying to do is exercise my {Race Based} ‘rights’.’ 

{And you weren’t being the least bit rude, right?}

“And that’s when he came out from behind the counter and opened the door and told me to get out. So I told him that I was going to pursue this because I didn’t like the way that I was treated there, and that I had never been kicked out of a store in my life. And he just told me to get out.”

“Morris refused to speak on camera to a CBC reporter, but acknowledged on the phone that he doesn’t accept Indian status cards.

“He denies being rude or discriminatory, and said he told Dumont to leave and never come back because she was abusive to his cashier. He claims she went “ballistic.”

“Dumont said that’s not true…

“After getting kicked out of the store, Dumont headed to a ‘Home Depot’ where she said she purchased the same kind of window screen using her status card.

“Dumont is now in the process of making a written complaint to the Ontario ‘Human Rights’ Tribunal. She said she’s not after any financial compensation, and she wants to ensure other ‘First Nations’ people are not treated the same way.

“Morris said he’s got security camera video footage showing exactly what happened, but he refused to show it to ‘CBC News’.” 

–‘Morris Home Hardware facing human rights complaint’,
CBC News , Sept. 12, 2014

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/morris-home-hardware-facing-human-rights-complaint-1.2765005Slavery-so-sorryAnd then, after pressure was applied:

‘Morris Home Hardware owner sorry for not honouring tax exemption’

“The owner of a ‘Home Hardware’ store in Ottawa has apologized to a ‘First Nations’ woman for refusing to accept her Indian status card for a provincial sales tax exemption earlier this month.

“I’m very sorry, on Sept. 18th, that I was not giving you the proper treatment that you should in a Home Hardware store. And I, not wanting to cause problems, I said some false statements that I definitely in the heat of the moment maybe should not have said, and I’m very sorry for that”, said Mike Morris, the store’s owner.

“I have since changed the system so that there will be no issues like that ever. … So again, I’m very sorry. I did not intend to cause you grief or make you upset, or anything like that. It was not my intention.”

“In addition to changing the cashier computer system to make it “easier to accept the cards, Morris made a donation to Ottawa’s ‘Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health’, as well as to efforts to find Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander, who are missing from Kitigan Zibi ‘First Nation’, north of Ottawa.

{In some circles, this is called extortion.}

“Dumont is no longer filing a human rights complaint about the incident…” 

—‘Morris Home Hardware owner sorry for not honouring tax exemption’,
CBC News, Sept. 29, 2014

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/morris-home-hardware-owner-sorry-for-not-honouring-tax-exemption-1.2781745 

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