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.

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