BC NDP Government “Celebrates” Canada Day by Increasing Sales Tax Take!

Talk about a government out of touch with the current struggles of ordinary middle class working citizens, struggling seniors and the handicapped!

The BC NDP government expanded its tax take July 1 … adding the 7% provincial sales tax to “on-line” purchases from companies that sell more than $10,000 worth of goods a year on the Internet.

$10,000 in sales a year? I dare say, in these days of Covid and post-Covid shopping, that would pretty well be almost ALL of them.

In fact, the NDP government predicts the added tax will pull in another $120 MILLION a year from taxpayers!

FROM whom? The businesses? Their profits? Their executives’ salaries?

No! From BC consumers!! (You know …those who already pay the HIGHEST gas excise taxes in North America!)

And by the way, the NDP government in BC expanded its tax take on the very same day that the Conservative government in Ontario CUT both its Gas Tax and Diesel fuel tax until at least the end of the year to give Ontarians a break.

Read it and weep, BC residents: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1002172/ontario-government-providing-more-relief-at-the-pumps.

Also on July 1, here in BC, Translink’s municipal hiked transit fares another 2.3%. That’s on top of the 2.3% increase imposed last year … making the boost over two years close to a cumulative 5%.

At the very same time that Germany has introduced a NEW 9-Euros-a-month COUNTRY-WIDE transit pass “to provide some relief from high fuel prices from June through August.”

Shed a few more tears for British Columbians: https://www.dw.com/en/free-public-transport-in-europe/a-62031236.

Here, governments seem totally oblivious … or totally insensitive … to the pain and the struggles that millions of singles, families, seniors are facing in these difficult days.

Could there be a WORSE time to RAISE taxes and transit fees????

No wonder in BC there are 128,000 unemployed people … most of whom could work but won’t!

Why work? When there’s almost nothing left after salaries are devoured by ever increasing taxes, soaring grocery prices, exorbitant rents, even an extra 25 cents tax for a cup and 15 cents for a bag if you dare pick up a coffee or soda and a burger on your break … and now, they’ve added higher transit fares just to get to work and back.

Better to sleep in, go to the beach and stay on public assistance?

Especially when BC governments (provincial, regional and municipal) just keep taking more and more and more … providing NO meaningful relief to WORKING people (or pensioned seniors) during an economic crisis.

The expanded BC sales tax (7%) will now hit those who buy on-line in BC for whatever reasons: local retailers may not sell the desired products; the variety of goods/brands/styles may be better; the choice of sizes, colours could be wider; the prices may be lower … a BIG DEAL for those struggling already on limited incomes!!

The added on-line PST will especially hurt those who have shopped on-line in rural and/or smaller communities around the province, were there are not the big box discount stores those in urban areas have available.

But the MOST disgraceful aspect of this NDP move, their greed hits elderly and handicapped people ANYWHERE in BC … who simply CANNOT get out and shop around … and MUST rely on on-line shopping and delivery.

And buying on line gave them at least a bit of a break.

The BC NDP government wants MORE of even their meager pensions and income! Adding 7% more now to everything taxable they now buy on-line will really hurt shut-ins and struggling pensioners!

The government says it is closing a loophole and levelling the playing field for all retailers in BC.

But according to The Vancouver Sun, no other provincial jurisdiction in Canada has an on-line Internet provincial sales tax. But in BC, even small third-party sellers, marketing through major retail websites, will now also be hit.

“In addition, these marketplaces are also being required by the province to charge PST to individual sellers for use of their services, such as help with listing the sales of goods, advertising, warehousing and payment collection,” the Sun reported.

You can read the full Sun article here: http://In addition, these marketplaces are also being required by the province to charge PST to individual sellers for use of their services, such as help with listing the sales of goods, advertising, warehousing and payment collection.

Time for any intrepid journalist colleagues, brave enough to still hold the NDP government’s feet to the fire to ask:

WHY are they raising taxes and transit fees when other governments are cutting and lowering them???

Don’t they know we are in an economic crisis and the people are hurting???

Why no exemption for seniors, pensioners, shut ins who MUST shop on line???

Or is the BC NDP government so greedy, they just don’t care???

Can’t wait to see the responses from government … and their apologists.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to all new postings on this BC-based Blog.)

Posted in British Columbia, National | 14 Comments

Did Horgan’s Billion Dollar “Mea Culpa” Signal His Coming Retirement?

John Horgan has had a very successful and laudable public service life. But at 62, having already faced a serious round of cancer and 35 radiation treatments, I believe his recent pronouncements reveal he’s going to very soon announce his retirement.

Maybe even this week when the NDP has a closed door Cabinet retreat. (You can read more about that here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-premier-john-horgan-speculation-future-1.6501386.

And what really makes me believe Horgan is about to retire was his open, public “mea culpa” for his NDP government’s billion dollar Royal BC Museum bungle.

That whole Museum fiasco showed British Colombians how out of touch and isolated from ordinary working British Columbians Horgan and the NDP have become in Victoria… surrounded by partisan elected and appointed public officials, defended by blindly loyal NDP supporters, pressured by powerful far left lobbyists, exploited by First Nations activist groups …  and, until the Museum debacle blew up, leading a government handled with kid gloves by a mostly  sycophantic media.

But out in the REAL world, the “people” are angry, fed up and stressed out … some can’t afford to buy gas for their vehicles any more, let alone pay rents or mortgages, groceries or even buy their children clothes.

Horgan  and his government have been almost nowhere in helping them survive … shelling out a piddly $110 to ICBC policy holders, after two years of raking in billions in ICBC revenues … while refusing to,, providing a temporary lifting of the excessive  provincial gas taxes, as other provincial governments have done.

Or provide any other relief … especially to struggling families or seniors.

How cold and cruel is that!!

Yet Horgan’s government had $1 billion for a new museum! And also pour taxpayers’ money into a $268 million FIFA party!!

Postponing … not fully cancelling … some version of that Museum white elephant won’t be forgotten or forgiven by the suffering electorate. And neither will people forget or forgive the costs of holding FIFA games in Vancouver … especially once they start experiencing all the disruptions, noise (riots?) FIFA will bring.

No doubt the NDP will face a greater challenge from the BC Liberals in the next BC election than they did in the last!

So Horgan fell on his sword, taking full and complete responsibility for the museum fiasco.

A laudable principled personal move? Or a politically astute scheme for a retiring leader to accept full responsibility for a clear political disaster … and hopefully get the party and other NDP Ministers/MLAs off the hook … and emerge politically unscathed?

I don’t believe any politician who intends to run for office again would declare himself to blame for such a huge political blunder of announcing a Billion Dollar Museum during such hard times.

Usually, the Leader finds instead some other reasons/excuses or government patsy or patsies to blame … to deflect blame from himself and the party. Unless that Leader knows he’s going to step down.

Then there’s FIFA.

The estimated cost of that festive football party will be $268 million. Which probably means $300 million.)

 And remember, the crowds that event draws to any host city are not the same as those who attend a world exhibition or winter sporting  games.

I wonder if the $268 million really includes the full cost of adequate policing …. and riot control?

Horgan and the NDP can’t possibly believe that this kind of boondoggle spending will go over well with the majority of suffering taxpaying voters?

Especially those in Vancouver’s core, Yaletown and the West End who will have to endure several days and several very late LOUD nights of  drinking, partying and rowdiness that go with the FIFA games and visiting hooligans.

The next BC provincial election is scheduled for 2024 … before the 2026 games.

However, I have no doubt the BC Liberals will be raising, many times before and during the next election campaign, that Billion Dollar Museum blunder, FIFA’s cost, all the problems other FIFA host cities have had with noise, rowdiness, riots and the huge disruptions that anyone living near any of the FIFA games, drinking, gatherings and/or parting sites will have to endure.

And for that privilege… BC taxpayers will shell out $268 million? Or more.

Horgan knows all this.

So why would he want to face and endure all the pressures, angers and disruptions the ongoing Museum saga and escalating costs and emerging concerns/problems the FIFA games will bring? On top of the economic hardships so many families are now facing …and gas at $2.17 a litre … possibly even higher by the next election?

Better to retire with a largely successful public service and political record … while he is still well thought of by most British Columbians.

That would be Horgan’s gift to himself for his 63rd Birthday … on August 7.

(And on a personal level, Mr. Premier: Come on in, John! We have known each other, during your public service career, a VERY long time and as someone who retired at 61, I can tell you the water’s fine. Even terrific! Much less stress: good for your health; time for family and friends; opportunities to travel, enjoy, pursue other interests; and, enjoy leisurely lunches with friends and cronies. And you can still make points, be involved, keep others on their toes; and have fun … by writing a Blog!! 🙂

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter for FREE First Alerts of all new postings on this BC-based Blog. No Spam … just free alerts to new topics up for discussion.)

Posted in British Columbia, International, Media, National | 21 Comments