Events at the Legislature continue to unfold with the rather bizarre comments made last week by Speaker Darryl Plecas at a committee meeting in which he threatened to resign if British Columbians didn’t “vomit” once they learned the nature of the criminal allegations he is making against senior staff. Everyone is being kept in the dark about the precise charges (including the accused) pending a police investigation, yet this continues to distract people away from some very important developments coming in the weeks ahead.
The results of the referendum on proportional representation are expected by the end of December, but it doesn’t look like any side is going to claim a major victory considering less than fifty percent of eligible voters actually participated. A mandate on something so important? I don’t think so!
Many local residents and just about anyone living in rural and northern B.C., are also deeply concerned with the way the provincial government is conducting it’s caribou recovery efforts.
The lack of a clear and transparent process is generating a lot of anxiety for anyone working in tourism or the resource sectors, especially forestry and mining. Recreational users such as hunters and even snowmobilers are worried they are going to be shut out from their favourite pastimes without any opportunity to voice their own opinion. The cancelling of public meeting only adds more suspicion about what the government is doing. This will be a major focus of the opposition over the next while.
And last but not least is the cumulative effect of all the new taxes coming your way starting January 1st.
The real kicker is the NDP’s plan to continue charging MSP premiums on top of the new Employer Health Tax throughout 2019. For a government expecting a budget surplus of $1.35 billion (Mostly due to an increased federal transfer), many are asking why it is necessary to ‘double dip’ by charging both the old and the new health care tax at the same time? Can you spell tax grab!
It also begs the question why we need another increase to the carbon tax when the cost of natural gas, gasoline and electricity are also one the rise?
Remember that election slogan ‘making life more affordable’ for British Columbians? If affordable means nineteen new and increased taxes coming your way, leave me out! The government is essentially asking taxpayers to fork over more cash to pay for an election budget should the minority government fall in the New Year.
I think NDP finance minister Carole James will have some explaining to do once the provincial budget comes up next February.
Please pop by my office’s Christmas open house, 10104-100 Street, Thursday, Dec 13th from 3 pm – 6 pm to say hello. We will also be collecting items for those in need at the open house.