Skip to content

FRENCH CONNECTION: Should we axe the tax?

Mr. Poilievre isn’t telling this positive side
Diana French pens a weekly column for the Williams Lake Tribune. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

There are so many controversies lately it’s hard to know which one to worry about, but the carbon tax has been getting attention across Canada, so I’ll start there.

Nobody likes paying taxes. Federal Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre hits a sore spot with his “Axe the Tax” slogan but his campaign isn’t telling the whole story.

The first carbon tax was introduced in B.C. in 2008 by then Premier Gordon Campbell. The NDP opposed it, using the Axe the Tax slogan. However, when their government took over, they kept the tax because it had achieved its goal — protecting the environment by encouraging people to cut fuel consumption, and by giving the tax proceeds back to the taxpayers.

A study showed a 19 per cent drop in B.C.’s per capita fuel consumption in the first four years of the tax, while the provincial economy outperformed the rest of the country.

Mr. Poilievre isn’t telling this positive side, and the “Like the Hike” supporters, including the Prime Minister, are doing a poor job of explaining it.

On the local scene, the reaction to turning the Elks Hall into a home for the homeless has been heavy.

I watched the city council meetings on TV and was impressed by the presentations from all sides. Let’s hope all sides will be consulted for ideas on how to ensure the project is successful.

Another story is a bit sad. After 52 years of service to the community, the Hough Memorial Cancer Fund Society is disbanding due to a dwindling and aging membership and nobody to take over. Founded by Lillian Hough after her husband died of undetected brain cancer, the society raised over $3 million for early cancer detection equipment for Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

Thank you, society members, for a job well done.