This July we will enter a new age of taxation in Ontario. Unprecedented actually, we’ve been living under the same taxation laws since 1961. Some have pointed quite clearly this is going to damage our economy in Ontario, but the evidence of that is based on theory, sort of. In fact, it is probably because, most people look at change as a challenge not an opportunity. My motto has always been, “if we continue to think the way we’ve always thought, then we’ll continue to get, what we always got”. For lots of people, they look at my motto and say, “so what at least we know what it is we got”. True enough, the devil you know is sometimes better than the devil you don’t. However is that progressive enough for the “new global economy”, I think not, we have to always keep our nose in other countries and jurisdictions business in order to build a competitive climate, where prosperity can prevail and jobs created. So, is the change right? Who knows, but as an optimist myself, I always and forever will look at change as an opportunity, not a challenge. Hey, I’m a guy that has made tons of changes, some way outside the box, and some have been national disasters (for me). Yet I’ve learned from every single one, and come out in the end with much more than I had doing it the same old way, and the side benefit was being much wiser too. All that said, we’ve had some HST seminars at The Chamber, with Revenue Canada personnel here, and the issues seem to be in the details. How its applied, when you can remit, how/when you start collecting, who does what, and different rules for different companies and sectors. It amazes me how bureaucrats can take a simple idea, and throw enough wrenches in the pile that leave you scrambling and struggling to find the right sized one that works for you. I’m no legal expert, I’m certainly not a tax expert, I’m not a trench guy, I’m a visionary type, but man, this seems like it should be more simple than how it is ending up. So I remain the eternal optimist, I’m very optimistic that the bureaucracy will find ways to muck this all up and turn it into a boondoggle as best they can. And in the end some government, unlikely to be the McGuinty one, will untie the knots, and streamline the rules, and off we go to the new normal, of prosperity in Ontario, and building in mechanisms to make the Ontario economy more and more resistent to economic challenges in the future. Today, Minister Duncan delivers the Ontario Budget, looks like probably the second last one of the McGuinty Government. I’m optimistic about what it will say, but the question is, what am I optimistic about? I’m optimistic that regardless of the genuine and sincere intentions of the government, the bureaucratic machine that serves all parties, will certainly find a way to make change a challenge before it becomes and opportunity. So lets just forge ahead with a positive attitude, accept change as an opportunity, recognize the challenges that exist, see them for what they are worth, let them go and take maximum advantage of the opportunities change brings.