HST referendum: food for thought

Life is a challenging gig where the only constant seems to be change, though often (in a democracy) we can direct change by popular vote. Sometimes we do it (vote) by heart and don’t fully engage enough of our minds. We don’t always think the issue through carefully enough, or look far enough into the future before deciding on an action.

Life is a challenging gig where the only constant seems to be change, though often (in a democracy) we can direct change by popular vote. Sometimes we do it (vote) by heart and don’t fully engage enough of our minds. We don’t always think the issue through carefully enough, or look far enough into the future before deciding on an action.

As an example, some farmers or ranchers may have quite quickly ticked the “yes” box in the recent HST referendum and quickly dropped it in the mail to be counted. Well, guess what? The BC Cattlemen’s Association, which represents you provincially — have been quick to announce their abject disappointment in the referendum result. Yes, in this case “no” was the answer the cattle industry needed.

The Aug. 26 reaction of BC Cattlemen’s Association, Judy Guichon: “Today most ranchers will hear the news about the HST while in their tractor cutting hay. The irony of hearing about the loss of the HST while in the tractor is that fuel costs have tripled, partly due to the Carbon Tax.”

The applicable clichés might include: “look before you leap” (or vote) or “be careful what you wish for” (it sounded good, it’s going to cost you). Our former tax system (PST/GST) listed certain items that, when acquired for farm/ranch use, were tax-exempt but the list was woefully short in meeting the needs of most of modern ranch-operations.

The BC Cattlemen’s news release of Aug. 26 (regarding the HST referendum result) informs us that “only 1.5 per cent of British Columbia’s population lives on farms and ranches” and concludes that the fractional HST defeat/victory (54 per cent) illustrated “how disconnected the voters are from the needs of the people who grow their food.”

Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.

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

Just Posted

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

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

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

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

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

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read