We have heard a lot of talk about the downside of the HST. I want to share what the impact of the HST is on our company — an impact shared by others throughout the industry. The HST is definitely making our industry stronger by reducing our cost of production, increasing our competitiveness and ability to reinvest in our mills, plus it significantly reduces the administrative complexities and expense of working under separate provincial and federal sales tax systems.
A stronger and more competitive forest products industry supports above-average wages for thousands of families, contributes significantly to local economies through our municipal taxation payments, and provides opportunities for countless secondary businesses, suppliers, and transporters. We are in a highly competitive global market and every advantage to meet the international pricing levels to be a player in countries like China and Japan is crucial.
Our contractors agree with this position: Sue Hagarty, controller of Roga Contracting says, “The introduction of HST has allowed Roga to reduce its costs … . This cost reduction has helped us to retain our long-term workforce while the industry continues to stabilize itself.”
It is important to note what the provinces that have the HST are saying about our choice. When asked what would happen if the HST were defeated in B.C., Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty said: “There’s no doubt about it, it will give us a competitive advantage.” Frank McKenna, former premier of New Brunswick, writes: “The HST not only delivered on its promise to create jobs, but also good-paying ones, as more productive companies tend to offer higher wages.”
This is a choice that will greatly affect the future of our province. Please take the time to do your homework on what keeping or losing the HST means — and then vote. For me, the answer is clear: we can all be a part of an improved B.C. economy by voting no to extinguishing the HST.
President and CEO
Tolko Industries Ltd.