Driftwood Editorial – Important HST vote

HST referendum ballots now in eligible voters’ hands.

A roller-coaster of a news story that mobilized the citizenry last year is ready to pick up our sentiments again with HST referendum ballots now in eligible voters’ hands.

It’s unfortunate that the non-transparent way a sound economic policy was introduced has made it a political punching bag of epic proportions, pulling debate away from the tax’s benefits.

Yes, the HST represents a tax shift from small and large businesses to consumers, but it should not be assumed that every move that’s good for business is bad for the rest of the populace. Everyone benefits from a healthy economy, directly or indirectly.

And with the concessions now put on the table — rebates to lower-income seniors and to families with children, and the gradual lowering of the overall rate to 10 per cent, for example — those who are least able to fork out extra money for discretionary spending items will be compensated to a large degree.

Despite those changes, Opponents will continue to lobby against the HST, but without paying heed to the informed opinions of a huge number of professional organizations that agree the HST trumps the PST/GST combo as a more efficient and sensible system that stimulates investment — and one that has already been chosen by some 140 countries.

Perhaps most significantly for a tourism-dependent economy like the Gulf Islands, the Tourism Industry Association of B.C. is now in favour of the HST, especially with the 10 per cent level promised to come. Ontario also implemented the HST last year and reports that business is not the only sector to benefit.

A June 30 Global Toronto article notes that University of Toronto professor Michael Smart, who studied the impact of the HST in Ontario after it was in place for six months, “concluded it was benefitting consumers and would bring them more relief in future” as tax credits experienced by business were passed on even further.

 

The deadline for putting the HST referendum ballots in the mail is Aug. 5. There’s a number of conflicting claims and political rhetoric clouding this issue. People should look at the motivation behind all of them before making a decision that’s important for the economic future of the entire province.

 

 

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

Just Posted

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

The Grade 2 class of 150 Mile House Elementary attended Cariboo Memorial Hospital with teacher Kirsty Bowers to deliver “kindness” bags full of small gifts to housekeeping staff. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
150 Mile House students deliver gift bags showing appreciation for hospital staff

Students begin Monday morning with a bus trip to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

COVID-19 vaccines were available at a site on East Pender in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Feb. 25. (Twitter/Sarahblyth17)
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents offered $5 after getting COVID-19 vaccine

It’s an effort to ‘incentivize people to engage,’ says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

</p>
A survey by Statistics Canada finds Black Canadians earn less than non-visible minority Canadians despite having higher levels of education. (The Canadian Press file photo)
COVID-19 worsened unemployment picture for Black Canadians

Black Canadians also more likely to suffer other hardships

On June 23, 2020, Sunrise Rotary announced it will be donating $50,000 in support of the Bridge Youth and Family Services for the construction of the “Okanagan Youth Recovery House” project for young people under the age of 19 who are experiencing addiction. (Contributed)
Interior Health adds 10 youth substance-use treatment beds in the Okanagan

The Bridge Youth and Family Services will operate the beds

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. teacher transferred then suspended after students report feeling ‘scared, nervous’

Authorities found that teacher did not create inviting, respectful environment for students

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

Most Read