Photo: Minister Black speaks to members of the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca
Iain Black says the Harmonized Sales Tax will make Fort St. John a competitive jurisdiction, once the tax is implemented next July.
The Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development was in Fort St. John on Wednesday as the keynote speaker to the Chamber of Commerce.
Black says the oil and gas industry in particular will see significant savings.
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He says the Provincial Sales Tax has been a competitive disadvantage to B.C. companies that are trying to compete with companies from Alberta, where there is no PST.
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He adds he doesn’t expect residents to jump in their cars and shop in Alberta communities when the tax becomes reality.
Black says when the HST was recently implemented in the Atlantic Provinces, the cost of consumer goods came down by 2%.
He says he expects the same in the Peace Region.
Black says it’s just a matter of time until the rest of the provinces switch to the new blended tax.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Canadian Dollar rose one cent to 97.48 cents U.S. But Black says B.C.’s exporters won’t be as hard-hit as in other provinces.
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When the American dollar weakens, Canadian exports such as lumber, are harder to sell, because it’s more expensive for U.S.
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The second, he says, is the new blended tax, which is set to be implemented next July.
He says once the HST is in place, it will allow B.C. to compete on a more level playing field internationally.
Click Here for more information on the Harmonized Sales Tax.
Below is a clip of Minister Black’s speech on Wednesday.