B.C. to eliminate PST on clean electricity purchases to help with resource jobs

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VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. government announced today that they are removing PST off the purchase of clean energy which will benefit sectors including forestry, mining, LNG and oil and gas.

The plan is to eliminate the PST on electricity over a period of 2 years. The government says this will support jobs and competitiveness by saving small, medium, large and industrial businesses across the province $164 million by 2019-20

“British Columbia was the only jurisdiction in North America with a retail sales tax on electricity purchased by industry and businesses, and that put them at a disadvantage with competing jurisdictions,” said Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett. “This is one important step for B.C. in attracting investment and jobs.”

The province says that Mayors that represent rural communities asked to remove the PST on electricity to maximize to increase competitiveness in local resource industries and to also help protect thousands of existing jobs.

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The province says that once the PST is eliminated, large businesses, including industrial users, will save around $100 million annually while smaller businesses and medium sized businesses will save closer to $50 million.

The PST exemption will also help with the LNG sector. It will encourage proponents to choose electricity to power their facilities.

The government will also be rolling out a Rural Economic Development Strategy to support the needs of rural communities and grow local economies.

“Our community was re-invigorated with the recent news that two coal mines, Brule and Wolverine, were re-opening thanks to Conuma Coal’s confidence in B.C. as a great jurisdiction for mining,” said Don McPherson, mayor of Tumbler Ridge. “However, the unpredictability of coal markets can lead to mines shutting down again. That’s why eliminating the PST on electricity is going to help make our coal mines more competitive and able to withstand fluctuations in coal prices.

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