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Ignatieff supports HST - and its detractors

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff talks to supporters during a stop at the Bakerview EcoDairy in Abbotsford, B.C., on Sunday August 22, 2010.

Darryl Dyck/ The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck/ The Canadian Press

British Columbia's government is taking a beating over the HST and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says it's partly because of the way it was introduced.

Mr. Ignatieff says he supports the harmonized sales tax because of its economic benefits, but he says B.C. residents have a right to protest the way it was implemented.

Mr. Ignatieff, who's on a cross-Canada tour stop in Kamloops, says every federal government with any sense should listen to British Columbians angry over the tax.

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The HST was introduced in B.C. on July 1 after the provincial government said it had no plans to implement it.

Mr. Ignatieff says he'll wait to see how a B.C. legislature committee deals with an anti-HST petition signed by 700,000 British Columbians, of which 557,000 have been validated by Elections BC.

The all-party committee will meet in the next month to decide if the petition should be sent to a vote in the legislature or whether an anti-HST referendum should be held in September 2011.

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