BC Liberals “Low Taxes” Scam

Years ago, on a visit to New York City, I saw a great deal on a camera in a Times Square retail store window … only $149.99 US for a camera that sold for about $200  (Cdn) back home. (And that was when our dollar was close to par.)

WOW!    I wanted it … but when I went into the store, I found out that while the camera was indeed $149.99 …it was NOT sold without the case, which was $89 extra … a package deal … plus, of course, additional  city, state, maybe even (can’t remember) federal tax …yada, yada, yada.

It was a scam … the price shown in the window revealing only PART of the entire picture  ….  something apparently many Times Square retailers engaged in (maybe still do?).

Just like the scam now being carried out by the BC Liberal provincial government.

The Liberals LOVE to tell you … and the investment world … how LOW our TAXES are.

Unfortunately, you can’t get that deal … if you live here … without buying the rest of the package.

And adding those extra costs on to your “low” provincial income taxes will cost you plenty … MUCH more than they advertise!

Just this week, ICBC announced yet another price hike for MANDATORY basic coverage:  4.9% … on top of another 5.5% increase last year … and, if you drive, no way to avoid it.

I don’t know about you …but I surmise whether you are employed or on pension ..YOUR income has NOT come close to rising that much over the past two years!

ICBC blames rising costs related to accidents, injuries, claims.

But don’t forget: the BC government … like an organized crime syndicate … has also shaken down ICBC for more than HALF A BILLION DOLLARS since  2012 in “dividends”.  Vito Corleone would have smiled at that!

Let’s face it, that “dividend” is just another tax.

This year …nothing to do with the coming election, I’m sure … the BC government says it will forego its $160 million “dividend” from ICBC.  Are we really supposed to be grateful?  I wonder if re-elected, they’ll make up for that next year …and the year after …and the year after?

And ICBC is not the BC Liberal government’s only EXTRA tax/income source from helpless taxpayers.

Don’t forget, in 2013 BC Hydro also announced prices would increase 28% over five years…beginning with a 9% increase in 2014 alone. Read about their plan here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-hydro-rates-to-increase-28-per-cent-over-5-years-1.2440437.

Hydro received approval for a 4% increase last April; now wants another 3.5% next year; and, a further 3% the following year. And I;m sure that will NOT be the end of it for even a while.

Just another tax increase under the BC Liberals.

And readers of this blog will recall how I have railed against a HUGE BC Liberal ripoff of taxpayers with its most unequal, unfair TAX … MSP premiums for individuals and families …. the ONLY province that still has this antiquated head tax that barely takes into account the gap between low, medium and high … and even millionaire … wage earners.

The MSP system the Liberals refuse to do away with is a disgrace in itself: and when combined with all the other “taxes” added to each British Columbian’s tax burden, it’s just part of an overall SCAM …  the BC Liberals’ own three-card-Monte scheme, a game ordinary taxpayers can never win.

And most British Columbians haven’t got a clue about HOW MUCH the PROVINCIAL TAXES add up to in a single litre of gasoline.

Better sit down.

In the South Coastal area, the Provincial Motor Fuel Tax is 1.75 cents a litre …but that’s just the start. There’s also a 17 cents per litre TransLink Tax; a 6.75 cent Transportation Financing Authority Tax; and a 6.67 per litre Carbon Tax … TOTAL PROVINCIALLY IMPOSED TAXES of a whopping 32.17 cents PER LITRE!   Plus GST, of course.

And how many other “fees” have been increased … without being factored into the “low taxes” total!

I hope you get the picture … even without a Times Square camera!

Setting aside any bias against the Fraser Institute for its conservative leanings, it’s interesting to read a report they issued just last week  … https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/total-tax-bill-average-canadian-family-has-increased-1600-percent-1961 …. especially in light of the disguised taxes the BC Liberals have added onto residents this year.

“The total tax bill of the average Canadian family has increased by 1,600 percent since 1961, according to a new book, Tax Facts 14″ wrote economist Niels Veldhuis. “That translated into an additional $26,792 in taxes for the average Canadian family”.

And there was this …most interesting for us:

“Alberta has the lowest average tax rate (44.5 percent) among the provinces followed by New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (44.9 percent) and Nova Scotia (45.0). Quebec (51.0 percent) and British Columbia (49.1 percent) impose the heaviest tax burdens.”

OUCH!

And NO ONE could dare argue the Fraser Institute is anti-BC Liberals and just trying to prop up the NDP!

It’s all part of the ever-increasing tax burden being loaded onto BC residents (offshore investors/corporations can avoid many of them).

So when any BC government  mouthpiece … elected, appointed, corporate or media … tells you BC income taxes are among the lowest in Canada  … ask them if the camera case is extra!

Harv Oberfeld

 

 

(P.S. You can hear more on this topic in an interview Talk Digital Radio did with me Tuesday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRq4ccZ_4cs&feature=youtu.be )

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48 Responses to BC Liberals “Low Taxes” Scam

  1. G. Barry Stewart says:

    Thanks for treating us to a BC politics post, Harvey.

    Nice turn of the tables, posing the Fraser Institute as an unintended “friend” of the NDP.

    People can avoid various fees by choosing to not take part in driving, ferrying, fishing or buying/selling houses, for example — but very few can avoid BC Hydro.

    To me, management and policies at BC Hydro should be a key issue in the election. Maybe THE key issue. The BC Liberals won’t want it to be, so it’s up to others to make it so.

    You talk of a 26% Hydro rate increase over the next 5 years. Dermod Travis of Integrity BC tells us they already boosted it 63.2% between 2007 and 2015.

    With Site C underway — and over a decade of flat-lined consumption of energy in BC — Hydro has got to know that increasing their rates even further will have a negative effect on demand.

    People will vote with their fingers and use even less energy… leaving Hydro with gobs of expensive unneeded power and no one to sell it to, without dumping the price on the open market.

    Debt must be met and kicking it down the road will only make things worse.

    Much more on Hydro at Norm Farrell’s site. Here are the Hydro files: https://in-sights.ca/?s=hydro

  2. Gene The Bean says:

    There is no longer any ‘real’ intelligent discourse about politics.

    With us or against us – black or white. Them or us. Politics are so screwed there will never again be anything resembling good government. Anywhere.

    We have only ourselves to blame.

    I may be starting to lean towards the benevolent dictatorship model……

  3. morry says:

    Vito Corleone is dating Christy Clark. And she is in return holding up British Columbians.

  4. TheOtherWayneinVictoria says:

    At Gene the Bean – You may be leaning towards a benevolent dictatorship, I hate to say the dictatorship arrived a while back in the form of Neo libralism. Shame about the benevolent part though; I’d say you and I don’t qualify. 🙁

  5. Barry says:

    Bravo Harvey for pointing this out!

    Again, MSM fell down flat on their face, just reporting the press release without doing any kind of digging like the one posted here.

    Using 1961 as your baseline is slanting the truth IMHO. Back then we didn’t have Medicare, Canada Pensions, much post secondary training, environmental protections, etc. If you want to get taxes down to those levels, feel free to get rid of those things—if you dare!

  6. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#1 G Barry and Harvey

    Lets not forget the 1 BILLION dollars spent on “smart meters”.
    BC Hydro, ICBC, Translink, Health cuts, education cuts, MSP Premiums, 600 million for a ROOF (on a CFL’s Stadium for gawds sake)…….on and on and on……
    Then we get treated to A rare “balanced budget” ……..usually in the year running up to an election.
    All on the Liberal watch.

    There are a lot of angry voters out there…..if only we could get them to actually vote.

  7. Marge says:

    @nonconfidencevote Re this comment:

    “There are a lot of angry voters out there…..if only we could get them to actually vote.”

    And for whom would you suggest we vote? None of the other parties are any better when it comes to spending our dimes and nickels to entertain themselves.

    All politicians at this particular time appear to be self-serving creatures to put it mildly thinking only of themselves and their benefits. We don’t have an “ethical” party at all – do we?

    Start a party of politicians that actually care and we will vote in droves. Right now no such party exists and no such party down the line will ever exist. That is our fate plain and simple.

    @Barry I can remember being a little kid in the early sixties and getting better medical care than I do now with our wonderful Medicare system. My family actually had a doctor who spent time with them instead of the walk in clinics and the ten minute special visits we are so blessed with. As for Canada Pension don’t we pay into it? As for post secondary training my university tuition cost very very little compared to what we paid for my daughter. So how much better do we really have it today???

  8. !? says:

    How much has Campbell’s tax cuts to to the top 50% cost us?

    BC Hydro is not just raising rates, but also rejigging them so Site C costs fall on residential rate payers – you have until Sept. 2 to voice your thoughts on that.

    https://in-sights.ca/2016/08/25/taxpayers-as-bagholders/

  9. D. M. Johnston says:

    Scam indeed.

    My son plays sport in South Surrey and the club he plays for used to field 2xU14; 2xU15; 2xU16; 2xU17; U18; U-19 teams.

    Today, there is no U-14 and a combined U15/16 and U17/U18 and a U 23 teams.

    Upon investigation why there was a sudden and dramatic drop off of players, one of the reasons given that the onerous cost of the new Port Mann Bridge toll (about $1,500), brought about some family budget realities such as children laying one sport instead of two or for poorer families, no sport for children at all.

    It seems the BC Liberals bogus claims of low taxes is nothing more than pure BS has taxes have been forced upon those who cannot pay and the children suffer.

    Living in South Delta, I am planning to move up the valley because with the new Massey Tunnel replacement bridge e it will be $5 to cross or $10 a return trip and there is no bloody way i can afford this. In fact I am seeing a massive migration of people my age out of the Metro Vancouver tax zone because it is far to expensive to live in.

    (Response: I wish the BC media had the management, the people and the guts to take a VERY HARDLOOK at how much of the overall BC tax burden IS being loaded on to the middle class and small businesses through taxes and all these fees , compared to the really wealthy …many of whom get away with paying NO taxes thanks to tax laws catering to them …. and the big corporations. Not to mention all those off-shore “Canadians” who declare little or NO foreign income on their tax returns (YOU try that!!) and apparently are not really pursued very vigorously. h.o)

  10. Hugh says:

    The last BC Budget shows Total Provincial Debt rising from $41 billion in 2009 to planned $71 billion by 2018:

    p. 132

    http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/bfp/2016_budget_and_fiscal_plan.pdf

    (Response: Instead of just hitting the middle class and families over and over again with all the hikes I mentioned, just think of how much FAIRER corporate taxes could help lower the deficit, the debt and all those fees the rest of is are being squeezed for more and more. h.o.)

  11. gbvic says:

    ICBC ‘tax’ increase major rankle up there with MSP. Why can’t good drivers with clean transcripts of 50 years not be reimbursed with lower premiums? Can anyone please explain why there is no competition to ICBC. What would it take for more competition to set up shop here? Seriously.

    (Response: ICBC DOES give a discount to those with clean driving records. Could be bigger, though, if the government didn’t shake down the “independent” corporation so much and I’d agree REALLY good drivers with LONG records of NO CLAIMS should get even bigger discounts. h.o)

  12. morry says:

    ” There are a lot of angry voters out there…..if only we could get them to actually vote.’
    Yes there are. #brexit #trumpism etc etc. Harness the anger and you can outs The Bimbo of BC.

  13. Don says:

    Interesting article by Michael Smyth at the Province. A million tax payer dollars for Chrusty’s photo ops. She really has some chutzpah to go on television and say we need to keep taxes low. I’m still waiting for my street to be paved in gold and my portion of the provincial debt paid off from the last election.

  14. e.a.f. says:

    B.C. Hydro rates will continue to go up to fund Site C. Paying for electricity we use, fine, but to sphinon off money for general revenue, not great. The 2 tiered system, simply is another way to get more of our money. Those who can not afford it risk having their electricity cut off and now there are thousands of people who that happens to each year. However if you are one of Christy’s billionaire mining buddies and you don’t want to pay your electrical bill, no problems. Just pay the interest.

    There is another party in B.C. and people might want to give it a good look. Its either that or 4 more years of Christy. Some of you may survive it but I doubt if the disabled and children living in poverty can.

    If every thing is so great, as Christy would have us believe, why do we have the highest rate of child poverty in Canada and the lowest min. wage.

  15. 13 says:

    Just like a car wreck ” move along now folks nothing to see”. Most or all of these hidden taxes are not very well hidden and I believe that most people that support the BC Liberal party arent delusional

    As I suspect keeping it real likely gets a read by someone in the NDP organization. Would it be to much to ask if Mr Horgan or his finance critic were to address these concerns on a point by point basis explaining how the NDP would fix these problems. How they would erase the hidden taxes and how they would replace any funding shortfalls,
    Not going to happen as the “platform will remain a secret document that wont be unveiled until moment prior to the election. It will be vague and likely improve spending where ever their supporters see the need. More green initiatives and more government regulation .
    Maybe just maybe someone from HDP HQ can shed some light on these dim and well disguised taxes.

    (Response: Will have another look at the NDP …soon. h.o)

  16. Diverdarren says:

    Harvey, one person’s “scam” tax system is another person’s equitable tax system.

    I think you’ve hit on the fundamental issue on taxation. This being, should it be based on consumption or production.

    Consumption taxes like PST/GST, ferry fares, tolls, alcohol/ tobacco tax, gas tax, ICBC, university tuition… and so on.

    Production tax being income tax. Income from any source; employment, investment, interest… and so on.

    Corporate tax sits in a unique place. It acts like a tax on the “income” of the company, but that income is made off the consumption by the customer. Increases on taxes a company pays can be offset by increases to the cost to the consumer.

    I guess it comes down to what kind of world you want to live in.

    Should we heavily tax the individual and the corporation production of wealth, then distribute that money on all the citizens in an egalitarian society by paying for many of the needs like healthcare, schools (incl university), roads and transit? Work harder, and end up giving more to those that work less. (the Welfare State)

    Or…

    Should we reward production of wealth by keeping the tax burden to a minimum by taxing consumption of good/services? Work hard for your money, and keep more of that hard work in your pocket. Consume more of a good/service, pay more because you consume more.
    (libertarian-ism)

    Over tax the producers in society and the results are negative. Corporations will produce in such a manner as to move the wealth out of the reach of the society. Over tax the producer of income (the middle class) and they not only will strive to work less as there is no reward in working harder, but they will consume less.

    I think the middle class is best served with the latter model (Libertarian-ism). It’s the takers in society that are best served with the welfare state.

    Oddly, as an aside, MSP is a reverse consumption tax. the people who use the service the most, pay the least in premiums. My take on your position is that you are against consumption tax. (ie: ICBC, gas tax, hydro) As such, shouldn’t you be for MSP. MSP is set up that the more of it you consume the less you pay for it.

    (Response: Great defence of the idea of a consumption and equitable tax system …but two BIG flaws. The Libs are VERY GOOD at imposing/maintaining the user-pay philosophy when it comes to working people and the middle class … but somehow they fail miserably at applying that equitable tax system to the VERY HIGH income people on MSP and on big corporations that use more public resources (roads, Hydro, government services, environmental impact etc ) BY FAR than ordinary taxpayers, but get SUBSIDIZED fees/rates while also enjoying some of the LOWEST CORPORATE TAX rates in North America. h.o.)

  17. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#7 Marge
    “And for whom would you suggest we vote? None of the other parties are any better when it comes to spending our dimes and nickels to entertain themselves.”
    *********************************************

    Well, as in the last Federal election. The majority voted for anyone except the currenr leader.
    Toss them out.
    Start over.
    As you have stated.
    They all squander our tax dollars.
    So….why should the incumbants be blessed(rewarded?) with another 4 years of power.
    Christy Clark and her lapdogs dont deserve your vote.
    Anyone but the Liberals.

  18. Gordie says:

    Nonconfidencevote has the right idea. If the politicians don’t live up to their promises, turf them at the next election. They may eventually get the message. If we keep electing them, we are just enabling their bad behaviour.

  19. morry says:

    Toss Them Out. Make BC Honest Again.

    I cannot abide that we have as our Provincial Premier a frivolous and incompetent Photo-op. A vain silly person who spent 1 Million$ on Photos and PR while our province slides into mismanagement .

  20. Marge says:

    @nonconfidence (again):

    Re your quote: “Well, as in the last Federal election. The majority voted for anyone except the currenr leader.
    Toss them out.
    Start over.”

    We replaced a self-absorbed Prime Minister for a selfie-absorbed Prime Minister and our country improved NOT! Other than holidaying and traveling the world at our expense what has Justin done that’s better for us? NADA… So whom are we going to toss him out for in the next election?

    Provincially we are going to toss out a Photo-op self-absorbed Premier and replace her with what? A John Horgan who when elected will do what – RAISE TAXES to pay for all of the mistakes of her past.

    We are royally screwed no matter which way we turn.

  21. Jay Jones says:

    No sane Canadian wants to see a Loonie Bin on every corner, and it does seem to me that an over-the-top love of loonies is causing a lot of craziness out there.

  22. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#20 Marge
    “We replaced a self-absorbed Prime Minister for a selfie-absorbed Prime Minister and our country improved NOT! ”
    *********************************************
    Cute.
    But, seriously. Did you really, TRULY expect the Trudeau govt of less than a year to reverse 10 years of Harpers cuts, closed door finangling and redacted freedom of information requests.
    Lets not forget the shredders were working overtime in Ottawa after last Falls election.
    The conservatives shredded EVERYTHING.
    If you want to elect a “leader “like Harper to another 5 years …..be my guest…..but in the last election you were in the minority.

    Listen to what I am saying.
    I……dont…..want……4 ……more…….years…….of…….Liberal…….lies.
    Id rather have someone new lie to me.
    And you can be sure 8 hours after the Liberals are defeated next May. The shredding trucks will be parked on the lawn of the legislature . Kinda like our neighbour to the East.

    http://www.google.ca/url?url=http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/rachel-notley-puts-halt-to-shredding-at-alberta-legislature-pending-probe-1.2372008&rct=j&frm=1&q=&esrc=s&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwj28KWQpurOAhVOyWMKHX6NCpMQFgglMAM&usg=AFQjCNHBBpL0vF6SWEunrIj_lYWwPU9OMg

    (Response: This is how blog topics go way off topic: this one is about BC taxes and BC Libs …not Trudeau. Let’s please keep to the topic of the blog … Trudeau no doubt will be the topic at a later date. h.o.)

  23. Harry lawson says:

    Harvey,
    Another great post

    If we really must be honest this can all be traced back to the decrease in taxesby Gordon Campbell In my case abot $4oo.oo a year

    We witnessed a devastating review of the ministry of socal sevices disability program , that led to several suicides that that I personally know of.

    The net result after all the upheaval was what normally would have be found thru audits. Sad but true , health care cost actually went up.

    The diversion of capital from core sevices like health care, education, roads is tantamount to criminal. I have often said o public record I am willing to testifyin open court as to the abuses I have witnessed in the non profit sector condoned by this government and the opposition. The truth is in the history, and all are hoping we have a short memory.

    (Response: No one wants to pay MORE taxes, but there seems to me to be a lot of from for fairer sharing of the total burden. And if we assume the provincial government’s boasts are right (they wouldn’t lie to us …or potential investors, would they?) then it’s clear our income taxes for the wealthy and our corporate taxes/subsidies/generous right-offs etc. (on BIG companies, not small business) ARE too high. Time for them to pay a fairer share. h.o)

  24. seven says:

    Marge, we can stop the bleeding.

    There is no excuse for allowing the ‘devil we know’, to drain our family’s limited resources, yet again.

    Christy Clark gets a top up to supplement her ‘substance’ wage, she has no empathy or awareness of how the middle class is sinking into a shabby dotage.

  25. John's Aghast says:

    Seven: Be fair! She is, after all, a single Mom. Her daycare costs must be phenomenal as she trudges off to China for extensive job related trips. Without a top up to supplement her ‘subsistence wage’ how would she handle private school costs for her son?

  26. 13 says:

    ICBC wants a rate increase. Just a reminder that way back when the BC Liberals campaigned on a promise to put an end to ICBC. ICBC has grown to encompass the old Motor Vehicle Board. ICBC can now without much oversight give you a license make you pay to keep it then take it away . ICBC has far to much power.
    So maybe its time for the promise to be kept. As we need a government org to administer the motor vehicle act keep ICBC for that function. Allow 100% competition for all vehicle insurance. Before people run screaming into the streets ICBC can continue to sell car insurance and compete for your insurance dollars. It would be interesting to see just how efficient ICBC can be if forced to compete in an open market.

  27. E. Johnson says:

    I am one British Columbia who is well aware of the gasoline taxes we pay. Out here in the Valley, beyond the borders of the GVRD, we should theoretically be paying 17 cents per litre less since we are not subject to TransLink tax. Unfortunately that is not how it works and the local dealers are at a loss to explain how our gasoline is often only five or ten cents per litre cheaper than Vancouver. If it isn’t the government gouging us it is the oil companies. I do a slow burn when the government raids ICBC for their annual “dividends”. I suppose they think nobody notices nor cares what they are doing and we will just keep paying more each year in order to drive. Hate to be a pessimist but the options are bleak come election time.

    (Response: Another big gas ripoff of consumers seems to take place in Squamish …esp on weekends. Prices there used to be a good deal, but are just about identical with Vancouver now ….despite lower taxes. And I don’t believe it’s because there are extra transport costs yada, yada, yada. And there’s almost no competition either …at least not on weekends, from what I’ve observed. Just look like gouging to me. If any government brought in price controls on gasoline…it would serve the gas companies right! h.o.)

  28. e.a.f. says:

    Corporate taxes in B.C. are among the lowest in the G-7, yet we the average tax payer pay for the infrastructure they use to make their profits.

    We, the residential electrical users have a 2 tiered system which almost no one can meet. Corporations, they can defer their electrical bills and if they go bankrupt, even on paper, we the residentials get to pick up the bills.

    Industries receive tax “rebates” from Christy Clark and the B.C. Lieberals which are totally out of proportion to what they “contribute” to the province. (Norm Farrel has all the figures)

    As to corporations and paying taxes, when Dwight D. Eishenhower was President of the U.S.A. they had the highest corporate taxes in history. Between 80 and 90%. The country prospered.

    In a province where mining corporations can owe the provincial government a billion dollars and Christy Clark claws back money from the disabled, something is very wrong. The Disabled are forced to live on $908 a month, and Christy and her cabal say that is all they can afford and its equitable to claw back the raise, well Christy and the rest of the MLAs are of the opinion they MUST have $12K a year in a housing allowance, with no receipts required.

    Our premier can’t live on her salary so she gets to siphon off $50K a yr from fund raisers. Well if she can’t live on her salary how are the rest of the people in this province supposed to live on their salaries, with the lowest min. wage in Canada, and then all those extra fees.

    its simply about time we revamp the tax system and do away with all the private/public partnerships.

    Christy is never going to do away with ICBC, she siphons money out of it to be used as general revenue, out of which she pays corporations tax rebates. They in turn give her money for re-election. (just check what some mining companies are giving her) If the B.C. Lieberals stopped siphoning money out of B.C. Hydro and ICBC we’d be paying less.

    If you go to Norm Farrell’s charts you will see how much less money B.C. takes in from corporations now than the government did under Campbell. Yes, corporations paid more money to government with Campbell’s leadership than they have with Christy Clark.

    If I’m not mistaken Christy Clark has increased the debt load to this province by $40 BILLION.

    The extra “fees/taxes” need to go. We can’t afford them. Corporations are having trouble hiring and maintaining staff because of the high cost of living and housing. yet where Christy could have really increased taxes (for foreign owners) she had to be dragged kicking and screaming.

    Whether we think the NDP will do a better job or not, ask yourself do 500K of us need to continue to go without family doctors. Does my kid need to be in portables? Do the disabled need to continue to live on $908 per month and have their “raise” clawed back? Do mining companies need to defer their electricity bills while seniors and low come earners have their electricity cut off? Why do mining companies not have to pay us that billion they owe us?

    Its time to take a chance and change governments. if we don’t it will only get worse. Just the added cost of site C. is enough to kick her to the curb.

    We are being taxed into poverty while Christy swans around the province for photo ops in private jets.

    (Response: Sad but true in many ways. Although I must say have not seen anything yet from NDP that convinces me they would do BETTER. h.o)

  29. Keith E. says:

    HI Harvey,

    When rate increases are announced by ICBC more often than not it is as you say, accidents payouts etc.

    The problem I have with that now familiar refrain is; A) are the % of claims rising relative to the driving population?, or B) are the numbers of claims rising as the population increases, but remaining at the same historical average %?.

    If it’s A), then surely ICBC and the Minister should be looking at the reasons why this is so. If it’s B) then the wool is being pulled over our collective eyes, yet again.

    When we look at our personal levels of taxation – fees and surcharges et.al. included, we are at the levels of many “socialist” European countries. The difference being, those “socialist” countries have far greater societal outcomes with thos e taxation levels, we continue to finance all aspects of a provincial govt. sponsored ponzi scheme putting us deeper into debt.

    (Response: European taxes in places like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France etc are indeed higher than here…but, as you say, they do get much better targeting to social services and efficiency in dealing with health care (including public pay for private treatment). I have not studied their system in detail, but I doubt there are as many massive Bollywood-type partying expenditures, so much ineffective massive spending on indigenous peoples with little or no accountability, an absolutely disgracefully inefficient court systems, generous writeoffs/subsidies for huge profitable corporations etc. etc h.o)

  30. seven says:

    @ John’s Aghast:

    “Phenomenal” indeed, if this is the daycare facility:

    “A St. George’s education is a significant investment in a student’s growth from adolescence to young adulthood. Our goal is to help make that education available to all those with the credentials and the desire to take advantage of the opportunity to attend.”

    Tuition & Fees
    Cost of Attendance (2016-2017)

    Boarding Student tuition $58,000
    Day Student tuition $39,900

  31. SunWuKong says:

    #28 “(Response: Sad but true in many ways. Although I must say have not seen anything yet from NDP that convinces me they would do BETTER. h.o)”

    #18 “If the politicians don’t live up to their promises, turf them at the next election. They may eventually get the message. If we keep electing them, we are just enabling their bad behaviour.”

    “Politicians and diapers should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason” – Unknown

  32. Lew says:

    @seven #30:

    Have a read of this. She might not need as much of a top-up as one might think to pay for the little one’s private education.

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/06/22/opinion/shameless-hidden-private-school-tax-haven-rich

  33. Jay Jones says:

    80’s/90’s headlines:

    “Vancouver Reaches World Class Standing!”
    “BC Reaches World Class Standing!”
    “Vancouver, BC Invites The World To Party!”
    “Vancouver, BC To Host The Winter Olympics!”

    Me:
    Wow! AMAZING accomplishments! BC Rocks!
    ————————
    00’s/10’s headlines:

    “Premier Clark has spent nearly $1 million on photography”
    Published: August 29, 2016

    “Half a million families going hungry in B.C., report says”
    (Vancouver Sun)
    Published: August 31, 2016

    Me:
    Aw, what a shame. I sure miss world class BC.

    (Response: Don’t fret. I’m sure we’ll be hearing we’re world class again during the election campaign. And then , if re-elected, they’ll likely hit is with all kinds of new fee/tax/rate increases afterwards …because they will suddenly discover much higher costs than expected. Maybe some intrepid political reporter will ask …when a Lib cabinet minister or candidate says how LOW our taxes are … what the total cost is for British Columbians “with the camera case?” ie. the FULL picture! LOL! ..h.o.)

  34. samantha says:

    and of course there are little tidbits that are not in the spotlight. did I vote to agree to this waste of money?

    A plaque that commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Coquihalla Highway cost taxpayers $65,000 and understates the number of people that worked on the project, according to documents released under Freedom of Information.

    The plaque, unveiled May 25 at the Britton Creek rest area, names Premier Christy Clark and Transport Minister Todd Stone, but none of those who were originally involved in the project. The expenditure required an urgent internal approval memo and the plaque’s installers were imported from Edmonton at a premium.

    Documents show that APS Architectural Precast Structures of Langley issued a $48,000 quote for the monument on April 6, but that did not include the bronze plaque or its delivery and installation. A day later, VSA Highway Maintenance estimated the total cost of the project would be $68,219.42. On April 25, the ministry issued an emergency/additional work approval for $65,000.

    (Response: Some people argue small expenditures are insignificant in view of the overall BC annual budget…but I agree these small things do add up …and if the media (or the Opposition?) kept a list of all the “extra” or frivolous spending …the total would surprise many. h.o)

  35. Morry says:

    MP Lake bows out and won’t run in 201. He set the writing on the wall. BC Libs will NOT be re-eected. Even those not paying attention are tired of the Photo-Op that play-acts at being Premier.

  36. CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR…

    If the BC Liberals are taxing us into the next Stone Age what would an NDP government do?

    Just asking.

    Based on former BC Socialist governments’ various nefarious financial jiggery-pokery schemes and scams that Stone Age will be arrivng a lot sooner than you could possibly imagine, if you vote out the Libs next May. Of course you will try that! You never bloody learn.

    BTW, Alberta’s tax rate is low simply because on the other sie of the ledger the government is borrowing to beat the band, to make up enormous shortfalls.

    That means its besotted citizens will have to deal with that excess in the not-to-distant future. Its lower credit rating also points out that spending discrepancy.

    Don’t move to AB!

    It is a fact, that BC is growing faster than Alberta, and most other provinces. That accounts for higher BC Hydro, ICBC, and any other tariffs and any others you can think of.

    With growth also comes people. In this case, more older folks than younger ones. That’s the Canadian demographic reality.

    Not everyone is a Millennial wannbe boxer and lattee sipping yuppie like some folks I’ve heard about.

    Bottom line: Oldsters are expensive whiney and bitchy, and can be found lining up outside health care facilities demanding immediate care for all of their problems and to not have to pay for any of it, “because I deserve it!” Yes you do.

    This is why we pay MSP premiums, more than other Canadians do, and this will keep on happening. And, no, an NDP government WILL NOT BE CHANGING THAT!

    As for ICBC’s crazy rate hikes, when was the last time you saw a decent law-abiding driver steering, in a civilized way, his mammoth four-wheel drive pickup truck around the LML? Especially the one with Alberta licence plates!

    BC Hydro is jacking rates to help provide future electrical infrastructure. And that includes the Site C Dam project in the Peace River area.

    That dam will be needed for more than providing power to local LNG production. Long after that natural gas has been pumped that dam will still be producing juice for Lower Mainland spoiled brat yuppies and their pure-as-the-driven-snow environmental “friends”.

    I don’t like these increased imposts, because I’m an “oldster” too.

    So, if you don’t like it, MOVE, dammit.

    But just stop kvetching.

    Please.

    (Response; You started out so well…raising the question of whether the NDP would do any better …or even worse in taxing us. Very valid question. Unfortunately you then denigrated into the vernacular of the extremist fascists and radical communists: “So, if you don’t like it, MOVE, dammit. But just stop kvetching”. You should know better than that! Democracies are built and sustained by people raising issues, complaining about things they care about and generating discussions and changes to make things better. To say if people don’t like it here, they should get out … suggests you believe the reigning government in power, NOT THE PEOPLE, own this province. WRONG! It’s the PEOPLE who OWN this place and should be in charge…and if the POLITICIANS don’t keep that it mind, it’s THEY who should be out. THAT is as things should be in a democracy …not the very dangerous way you see things. h.o)

  37. Jay Jones says:

    “Maybe some intrepid political reporter will ask …when a Lib cabinet minister or candidate says how LOW our taxes are … what the total cost is for British Columbians “with the camera case?” ie. the FULL picture! LOL! ..h.o.”

    On my more-likely-to-see-and/or-read-about list:

    – Insects managing a successful restaurant

    – Donkey smiling and saying “cheese” for a graduation photo

  38. d.j.f. says:

    Big business in BC misses the HST as they now have to pay PST on some purchases such as hydro and office supplies. They want this changed. After the next election, the Clark government will accommodate the BC Corporate elite, who also happen to be the biggest contributors to the BC Liberal Party. The Liberals will not bring back the HST, but they will change the PST rules to that of the GST rules. This means that the BC citizen will pay – as an example – 7% PST for clothing under 14-year olds and other currently PST exempt items such as bicycles and companies will pay a net PST of $0.00.

    (Response: These are the kinds of things the public …and the media ..should pay attention to much more. It may sound like nickel and diming …but that can add up to millions …again more taxes imposed on working and middle class individuals and families who can least afford it. h.o)

  39. morry says:

    this quote by H.O. needs highlighting!
    Democracies are built and sustained by people raising issues, complaining about things they care about and generating discussions and changes to make things better. To say if people don’t like it here, they should get out … suggests you believe the reigning government in power, NOT THE PEOPLE, own this province. WRONG! It’s the PEOPLE who OWN this place and should be in charge…and if the POLITICIANS don’t keep that it mind, it’s THEY who should be out. THAT is as things should be in a democracy …not the very dangerous way you see things.

  40. rasterman says:

    Its time for the farmers and miners to take over government. Lawyers and media types are only interested in their personal smorgasbord of taxpayer dollars. Kick the (edited..h.o) out in 2016!
    Talk to your neighbours about running for office.

  41. Fascist, Commie?

    Really?

    Nonsense.

    I actually don’t think people should leave this province if they are disatisfied with the government of the day. Stand and fight I say. But don’t let blind ideological stuff and nonsense dictate your agenda. You’ll just continue to lose.

    Because they lack enough money, governments everywhere are unable to be everything to everyone. Not gonna happen. Ever.

    However there are circumstances where people do leave a political jurisdiction for “greener” pasture jurisdictions. Those folks are called economic refugees.
    Remember the thousands who escaped from BC during the NDP rule of the 1990s?

    And look at the numbers of ex-pat Albertans driving about in this here province. They don’t like the NDP over there!

    The outcome of BC’s next election is up to eligible voters. They will have the all-important hiring and firing powers. Government serves people, not the other way round. So far BC voters have shown more support for right-wing governments rather than the other kind. That must drive the opposition folks nuts!

    Christy Clark won fair and square in 2013 and we’ll all be looking forward till next spring won’t we?

    (Response: Glad you now say if people don’t like things, they should stand and fight. That’s quite different from your earlier comment” If you don’t like it move, dammit. But just stop kvetching”. Kvetching is a great freedom we all have and even if I disagree with anyone completely, I’m happy to hear their “kvetching” here and give them space to do it on this blog…. to stand and fight. h.o)

  42. e.a.f. says:

    those returning from Alberta aren’t necessarily returning because they don’t like the NDP. they are returning because the price of oil tanked, during the reign of the P.C.s in Alberta and the Cons in Ottawa.

    We in B.C. are paying more and more, but receiving less. in Alberta, where the economy truly tanked through no fault of theirs, the government decided to not cut health and education. Unlike B.C. which is having a lot of problems in education, just check Laila Yuile’s post today. If B.C. is doing so well, as Christy claims, then why are there such difficulties keeping schools open and getting more doctors.

    Now we know what we pay, but if you go to Norm Farrell’s blog you will see how much Christy and cabal give to business. Billions and who pays for all of that? Us the average tax and fee payer. that needs to end and we need business to start paying their fair share.

  43. morry says:

    i wonder is being smoked over on the island?

    “They don’t like the NDP over there!”
    So the Fires, The bottom falling out of oil prices is all the fault of the Alberta NDP?

    A rather feeble simplistic observation.

  44. John's Aghast says:

    ISLAND LOOKOUT does seem to be a tad confused. “Stand and fight” or “MOVE, dammit.” Or how about “Christy Clark won fair and square..” I’m still waiting for my trillion dollar prosperity fund, and the 100,000 jobs!
    Has perhaps BMWQ resurfaced?

  45. RS says:

    You or I lie, cheat ‘n’ steal, and are caught in the act — we suffer the consequences.

    The BC Liberals lie, cheat ‘n’ steal — they play their Get Out of Jail Free card.

    It’s an affront to both jurisprudence and democracy.

  46. 13 says:

    If anyone gets a chance look at the archives section of HOs blog. Pay attention to BC Politics and reread the April 2013 blogs and comments.

    Dont count your Horgans before they are elected

  47. R says:

    BC liberals debt from 2001 32 billion to 2016 62 billion all under bc libs

    The Debt Pig:is BC A “Buy Now, Pay Later” Society; And “Pay Later” Is Rapidly Approaching

  48. e.a.f. says:

    Pay later is quickly approaching? perhaps but if the americans raise their interest rates and Canada has to follow, we will be in trouble.

    An SFU prof was on CBC discussing taxes and foreign ownership. He has quite an interesting take on things. He suggests property taxes be tagged to income taxes, or the lack of their being any. Not paying income tax, have a house more than a million, up goes the property tax. More income tax you pay, the less property tax. It might be an idea, whose time has come. Many of us pay all these fees and income tax, then there are those living in mansions who pay no tax here and no fees because they have “no income”. its about time to even things out with foreigners, corporations, and average working tax payers. we can not continue in this vein. what is really interesting is all these extra “taxes” or user fees, which is what they like to call them, came about with a “free enterprise” party. Of course, from my perspective, its only free for those who donate to Christy and her cabal.

    WE can afford bus passes for the disabled, we just need to stop giving money to corporations. B.C. has developed a nice welfare system for corporations, the rest of us pay for it, via our fees/taxes

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