A taxing vote date

Are you ready to cast your ballot on the harmonized sales tax?

Get ready, you might be voting soon … or not.

Are you ready to cast your ballot on the harmonized sales tax?

Get ready, you might be voting soon … or not.

After musing about dispensing with a referendum during the B.C. Liberal leadership contest, premier-designate Christy Clark settled on moving the province-wide vote up from the scheduled Sept. 24 date to late June. But it isn’t clear how that would be done, or if it is even possible.

The vote is currently required to be held in September under the terms of the Recall and Initiative Act, after B.C.’s first-ever successful initiative petition last year called for the HST to be “extinguished” and the old provincial sales tax reinstated.

To hold the vote earlier, the B.C. Liberals would have to call the legislature into session to amend the act, or cancel the initiative vote and set a new date under the Referendum Act.

Whatever the date, a province-wide vote with election-style polling stations would cost an estimated $25 million. Elections BC would have to hire hundreds of temporary staff to run it.

Acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James said in February it would take Elections BC about nine months to prepare for an election-style referendum, however Elections BC has known for a few months now that it would go to a vote so it should be well on its way to being ready.

Premier Gordon Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen have both said the government should stay with the September date, to allow time for people to see the real effects of the HST and understand what is and is not affected.

A panel appointed by government finished taking submissions on the HST last week and has a deadline of April 1 to produce a report that will be made public immediately.

So, stay tuned, regardless of when the vote occurs, you will soon be inundated with all kinds of information about the HST. Some of it pro, some of it con … most of it rhetoric, spin-doctoring and hype.

 

The best way you can prepare for the vote is to keep an eye on your own purchases. See how much it’s costing you … then decide.

 

 

Just Posted

Raising awareness about Cystic Fibrosis through a movie

B.C. mother shares the story of her child suffering from the fatal genetic disease

SD91 and UNBC held a workshop where students discussed community stressors

Youth voices are important and need to be heard, says UNBC researcher

BC Search and Rescue Association receives $18.6 million in funding

Largest injection of funds in the history of Ground SAR, says BCSARA secretary Chris Mushumanski

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read