Since the BC Liberals announced that they were breaking their election promise not to bring in the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), people across the province have been clear in their opposition. There is opposition for a whole host of reasons including the increased cost to people on fixed incomes to the way certain industries will be impacted unfairly as they lose their tax exempt status.
While I tend to agree with many of the points raised, the biggest issue for me as an elected official is the complete disregard the BC Liberals have shown for the democratic process.
During the election this Spring, the BC Liberals pledged that they would not bring in the HST. And they were elected on that promise. They knew then that they could not get elected if they told the truth about their intentions.
A Kootenay cabinet minister has now admitted that the HST could be the issue that will defeat the government. He was quoted as saying, “Maybe we’re wrong (about the HST). If we’re wrong, the people will kick us out and I can accept that. But we believe we’re right.”
It is unfortunate for the people of British Columbia that the BC Liberals were not willing to put the issue so boldly before the people before the election.
The majority of British Columbians are opposed to the HST. In fact, people are so adamantly opposed that a movement is forming to force the government to put HST to a referendum.
I would encourage each and every one of you to state clearly your position on the HST. Write to the Premier (firstname.lastname@example.org), sign a petition, join an anti-HST group.
I firmly believe that if the opposition to the HST is strong enough, this government will back down. In the end, the voters always have the final say.
On another note, I want to wish everyone the very best over this holiday season.
Christmas is a time to remember the value of family and the importance of friendship. And for many of us, it is time to visit with those we love.
It is also a time to remember those who are unable to be with their families. There are those who are experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one. I know that in this community people will reach out to those who will find this holiday season difficult.
And this Christmas we will share what we have with those who are less fortunate. We will continue to support organizations like the food bank that not only provide food for the hungry but gifts for children who might otherwise go without.
Christmas is a time for giving, and each one of us can make a difference for someone else this Christmas.
Norm Macdonald is the NDP MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke
You can reach his office toll-free at 1-866-870-4188
His website is at www.NormMacdonald.ca.