Thanks to pressure from the Royal Canadian Legion and Canada’s New Democrats, the Conservatives have agreed to remove the sales tax from the purchase of poppies and wreaths for the Legion’s annual poppy campaign. Under the HST agreement between the Ontario and Canadian governments, poppies and wreaths were subject to the full 13 per cent tax.

Charlie Angus says the poppy campaign is a crucial fundraising tool for the Royal Canadian Legion.
“The HST is a regressive tax. It was unfair to charge 13 percent HST on the purchase of poppies. This was inadvertently hurting veterans and their families. Legions were losing an extra 13 per cent on the millions donated by Canadians when they buy poppies every year for Remembrance Day.”
Angus says New Democrats will now ramp up their fight to get the HST removed from home heating fuels. “The Government has done the right thing with regards to removing the excise tax on poppies. They can now do the right thing and remove the HST from heating bills so Canadians can afford to heat their homes during the winter months.”
Angus says the cost of heating a home has gone up considerably and adding an extra tax hurts everyone. “People on fixed incomes don’t have money to play with. Seniors, for example, may have to decide whether to turn on the heat tonight or buy groceries.”
Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson has also called on the Ontario government to remove its share of the HST off heating fuel.
Distribution of the national poppy campaign is set to roll out on October 29 in advance of Remembrance Day on November 11. Approximately 18 million poppies are distributed each year in remembrance of Canada's military service around the world.
***NDP MP Malcolm Allen’s Private Members Bill, C-480, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act, called for the tax to be removed from poppies and wreaths purchased for the benefit of veterans, and would allow the legions to recoup the 5 per cent federal portion of the HST.***