The HST appears to be a done deal for Ontario -- and a big step closer to reality for British Columbia.

The House of Commons voted 253-37 Wednesday in favour of a harmonized sales tax for the two provinces.

The Conservatives, Liberals and Bloc Quebecois supported the controversial measure, while the NDP opposed it.

Just hours earlier, the Ontario legislature passed its own legislation and B.C. is expected to follow suit early in the new year.

The Senate will now deal with the federal HST bill, which combines the GST with the provincial sales tax -- currently 8 per cent in Ontario and 7 per cent in B.C. -- and transfers money to the two provinces for making the change.

Several MPs were absent for the vote, including Conservative Dona Cadman and Liberal Keith Martin who both represent ridings in B.C where the tax is unpopular.

New Democrat MPs did their best to delay the inevitable, using tactics such as standing up slowly when called to vote on an earlier motion.

"We think it's the wrong tax, it's a hardship that will be put on the backs of millions of Canadians," NDP Leader Jack Layton told reporters.

"It's never anything that Mr. Harper said he would do in an election ... His attempt to avoid the debate by either being out of the country or blaming the provinces isn't going to wash with the Canadian taxpayer whose going to be hit with this tax."

Ironically, it was Harper's provincial cousins, the Progressive Conservatives, who fought the tax in Ontario.

Harmonization will result in taxation of items that previously didn't carry provincial taxes, such as haircuts and Canadian air travel.

The provinces and Ottawa argue that the change will save business millions in taxes as the government bundles in administrative costs, a positive measure for the economy. The federal legislation transfers funds to the provinces in exchange for doing away with its administration of the GST.

Tax credits are also being offered by the provinces to help offset the impact on consumers.

First Nations have voiced their dissent, since their exemption from provincial taxation will disappear.

Several Liberals grumbled about supporting a bill that was so unpopular, but Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was able to frame his party's support as backing a provincial government's wishes.

"We have maintained the unity of caucus on the HST, and I'm very proud of how the caucus has reacted to a difficult and tough decision, which we think is the right one," Ignatieff said.