Provincial sales tax will be expanded to sweetened carbonated drinks at a rate of seven per cent. (Black Press Media file photo)

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

Starting this summer, the B.C. government will add provincial sales tax (PST) to all carbonated beverages containing sugar or natural or artificial sweeteners.

The announcement says the sweet drinks, which the Canada Food Guide warns against consuming, will no longer qualify for the ‘food products for human consumption’ exemption under the provincial tax.

READ ALSO: 10 B.C. cities to pilot new program against childhood obesity

The seven per cent tax will also be extended to all beverages dispensed through soda fountains, soda guns or similar equipment, as well as all beverages in vending machines, with the exception of those dedicated to serving drinks other than sweet drinks such as coffee or water.

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James said the tax measure comes in response to repeated recommendations from health experts, including the Medical Services Premium Task Force.

“I hope ultimately we do see a reduction in the sales of sugary drinks and sweetened beverages,” she said, adding lobby groups have pushed for a more expansive tax on everything from juice to sweetened milk. “We feel this is taking a step in addressing the risk when it comes to sweetened beverages.”

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island school says ‘no’ to pop and juice

In its 2020-2021 fiscal plan, the government says “deterrence effects” are expected to be most prevalent in frequent pop drinkers – of whom young males are the highest demographic. The government says sweet drink consumption is higher in youth aged 14 to 18.

The sweet drinks PST will be introduced on July 1.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

B.C. Budget 2020BC legislaturebudget

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Local hunters pose with 198 pounds of goose meat after a 12-day trip to Chilanko Forks. Ken Rife accounted for nine of the 21 birds shot. Left to right: Sid Pigeon, Rife, Bill Margetts, Claude Huston, Geoff Place and Gary Hutchinson. (Williams Lake Tribune archives Nov. 2, 1960)
From our Archives: Gone Geese

A photograph from the 1960 edition of the Williams Lake Tribune

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read