A group calling themselves the Chilcotin National Congress (CNC) is raising concerns with the suggestion it will be replacing the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) with a taxation of its own.
The CNC placed an ad in the Williams Lake Tribune, Wednesday, Nov. 28 classified section stating the PST will be “revoked as of Jan. 1, 2019 and replaced by a three per cent sales tax being collected and paid to the government of the Chilcotin National Congress (CNC).”
The Tribune called the number on the ad for more information, and was told a woman by the name of “Dorothy” was not at home.
Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said city staff got a similar response when they called the number after receiving inquiries about the legitimacy of the ad.
“I was a little bit shocked when I saw it,” Cobb said. “But then I realized it had to be a scam.”
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said she has also received e-mails and telephone calls of concern about the ad.
“I am advising people to ignore it,” she told the Tribune. “Only the B.C. Receiver General can determine the sales tax.”
A media inquiry has gone into the Office of the Premier, but the Tribune has not yet received a response.
Tsilhqot’in National Government tribal chairman Chief Joe Alphonse described the CNC as a “renegade” group and not official representatives of the Tsilhqot’in nation.
“They hold no significant political positions within our community. They claim to come from hereditary lines but they do not come from those hereditary lines,” he told the Tribune Wednesday.
When the CNC have made other public demands in 2015 such as surrender of empty school buildings in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, Alphonse also stated the CNC was not legitimate and had nothing to do with the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) or its affiliated communities, chiefs and band councils.
Last week the Tribune was also mailed what appears to be a form letter from the Chilcotin National Congress dated Nov. 22, 2018.
It outlines information about the “Declaration of a New Country Called the Chilcotin” signed by “Hereditary Grand Chief Stanley Stump Sr.” as well as the new “Chilcotin Taxation Act,” signed by Fanny Stump, identified as “Chilcotin Interim Minister of Finance and Chilcotin Minister of Justice.
“They are individuals that want meaningful roles within the nation, but you don’t just appoint yourself,” Alphonse said. “Those positions are all positions that have to be earned. They haven’t earned those positions and that is misleading the public.”
Alphonse said the TNG does not condone the misrepresentation.
“In no way should people look at this and consider this the view of the nation. We have our process where we have to answer and be accountable to our membership. It’s quite a long process to move anything through our nation, but it’s the right process.”
Wednesday’s classified ad suggested the new taxation will impact all residents of the Chilcotin including Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Savona, Ashcroft, Clinton, Cache Creek, Lillooet, Bella Coola and all communities in between.
Editor’s note: The Williams Lake Tribune acknowledges that the “Taxation Notice” ad should not have been published and contains false information. The paper and its publisher apologize for any confusion that the ad may have caused. Both the PST at seven per cent and the GST at five per cent remain in force, and unaffected by the false text of the advertisement.