MLA candidate says party system broken

The Independent candidate for Cariboo-Chilcotin says the province needs a new start.

The Independent candidate for Cariboo-Chilcotin says the province needs a new start, real representation, truth from government, openness and consultation, something he says will not happen with the “current broken” party system.

In an e-mail, Gary Young of Lac La Hache, who declared his intent to run in the next election as an Independent, comes out swinging at both the Liberals and the NDP.

“We get the ultimate increases to pay from the HST consumption tax, the constant lowering of tax rates for hugely profitable large corporations, which we make up, all carbon taxes, increases in our health-care costs (the government failed in their attempt to lower drug costs because the drug companies didn’t like it), the constant increase in ‘service fees, permits, licences, etc.,’ which are misnamed taxes,” Young said.

He points to an “unapproved” 11.2 per cent increase in ICBC premiums that amounts to $400 million, the attempted sale of assets such as the liquor distribution branch, the BC Rail deal, and other “deals” made by the Liberals as  deceptive.

Young also criticizes the NDP and says not to expect the “compromised NDP to stand up for you.

“First it was big union controls through donations; now it’s wide open as the NDP takes money from corporations, too.”

Weighing in, Cariboo Chilcotin NDP candidate Charlie Wyse addressed some of the points raised by Young.

“It’s not only the ICBC rates, but the BC Hydro rates,” Wyse says. “Both of those organizations are used by the Liberal government to collect revenue. This government then transfers some of those revenues to its coffers in general revenue. It becomes a method of indirect taxation to provide government services,” Wyse told the Tribune, adding it’s in the neighbourhood of hundreds of millions of dollars. “It’s not chump change that’s being collected from the taxpayer under the guise that you’re paying for insurance rates and hydro costs.”

Wyse has remained critical of the HST all along, and says the NDP fought to have it removed.

When it comes to donations to political parties, he said the NDP supports the cancellation of donations in B.C. from both corporations and unions.

“That has been a long-standing position of the provincial NDP party. Under the current system, which allows corporations and unions to make donations, about 70 per cent of all money donated to the NDP comes from individuals.”

Wyse notes the NDP is proposing the corporate tax rate be reformed to the 2008 level from its present position.

He says the NDP will also push for a fairer amount of personal income tax being paid by the top two per cent of income earners.

“Whenever you reduce income tax by a per cent across the entire board, the biggest savers by far in dollar value are those at the top end of the income scale. A decrease at the top end of the scale turns out to be hundreds to thousands of dollars for those making over $100,000 of net income, while it is dollars and cents when you are talking about people whose income is less than $10,000.”

Cariboo Chilcotin Liberal MLA Donna Barnett said she had no comment.