It’s over – hopefully

The HST votes are in – at least from those who took the time to vote and from those who were able to get a ballot and get it in on time.

The HST votes are in – at least from those who took the time to vote and from those who were able to get a ballot and get it in on time.

 Now we wait for the outcome, which, in my estimation, is too hard to predict because of the confusion around the ballot question and questions about who voted and who didn’t. I’m just as curious to find out the voter turnout numbers as I am the outcome.

 Regardless of that outcome, the late August announcement of the fate of the HST will finally end over two years of speculation about the tax’s future and over two years of myopic political debate which has distracted us from other critical challenges.

If the HST is to be extinguished, then there will be work to do to re-establish the GST and PST, including negotiations with the federal government and, possibly, consultation with the public. If the HST survives the vote, then we’ll need to see the government turn their promised changes to the tax into legislation this fall.

 Regardless of the referendum outcome, Premier Clark will have the direction she needs to start to work on a new budget and a new set of priorities based on that budget. Hopefully we’ll get a sense of those priorities sooner than later.

It would be nice if the Opposition did the same thing: respond to the HST outcome with a proposed budget and a clear set of priorities of their own. The Opposition has been the anti-tax, anti-Campbell party for too long. With the HST question settled, Mr. Dix should let British Columbians know what he would do if he’s given a mandate to govern after the next election — whenever that may be. It’s been a long time since B.C. citizens have been given an opportunity to more clearly understand the differences between the two main parties in B.C. The Liberals have lived off the “dismal decade” for too long. Likewise, the NDP have to move off their “lie-berals” and anti-Campbell shtick.

 

 British Columbians deserve better, and the health of our democracy demands more respect for the intelligence of the electorate than the political rhetoric that’s permeated B.C. politics for over a decade.

 

 

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

Just Posted

Lake City Secondary School principal Craig Munroe. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
OUR HOMETOWN: Lifelong learning

Lake City Secondary School principal Craig Munroe got his first teaching in Williams Lake

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

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)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read