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No joke – BC ‘smacked’ by new taxes

“We absolutely did get smacked today,” Kris Sims, BC director for the Canadian Taxpayers Association said.

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April 1 was anything but a joke for British Columbians who woke up to a demand from the province to open their wallets even wider.

“We absolutely did get smacked today,” Kris Sims, BC director for the Canadian Taxpayers Association (CTF), told the Western Standard.

“It’s now going to cost you more to get to work, more to heat your home and more to watch your favourite show.”

“This is not an April Fools’ joke. It’s going to cost everyday people more to live their lives and the taxman is going to get you even when you’re relaxing at the end of the day with a drink.”

April Fool’s Day was when BC taxpayers began paying more with increases in carbon tax, sweetened drinks, and streaming services.

There was also one more increase: to MLAs who all received a pay raise.

The B.C. carbon tax is increasing to $45 per tonne, while sweetened drinks and streaming services – such as Netflix, Disney +, and Amazon Prime – will see a seven per cent GST levelled against them.

Sims said she’s well-acquainted with the province’s reasoning behind the taxes.

“The province said it wants to curb people’s desire for sweetened drinks, so they’re hitting us with the tax, they say we have to curb the use of oil and gas, which is crazy because we use that to do everything,” she said.

“As far as the streaming services go, I’m not sure what their excuse is, other than they need the money.”

It’s the carbon tax that riles Sims.

“They say we need the carbon tax because we’re saving the planet. Well, not so much,” she said.

“Emissions have been going up 10 per cenr over the past three years, and in five of the last seven years.

“So, it’s not working – the carbon tax is a big expensive failure.”

The new carbon tax will cost 9.9 cents per litre of gasoline, 12 cents per litre of diesel and 8.8 cents per cubic metre of natural gas

The CTF reckons the tax will amount to $7 extra to fill up a minivan, $12 more for a light-duty pick-up truck and $65 extra for a full tank on a big rig truck.

The new streaming tax is expected to boost the provincial coffers about $16 million per year, while the government forecast it will collect more than $37 million from taxpayers via the sweetened beverage tax when it is fully implemented.

Meanwhile, while British Columbians are forced to shell out even more tax dollars, members of the Legislative Assembly are receiving a .8 per cent pay raise, bringing their base salaries up to $111,912 per year.

Mike D’Amour is the BC Bureau chief of the Western Standard
mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

Mike D'Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief and Copy Editor for the Western Standard. He worked as an investigative crime reporter at the Calgary & Winnipeg Suns. mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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1 Comment

  1. Left Coast

    April 2, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Who is surprized . . . that’s what Socialists do . . .
    Remember BC is run by Premier “Never had a real job” Horgan and his idiot sidekick Adrian Dix . . . if you thought the Dippers did a really bad job in the 90s when by 2002 BC had the highest taxed citizens in Canada . . . a new NDP Depression is coming !

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War room launches American offensive

The approximately $240,000 initiative is “a reminder to Americans that their friends and allies in Canada hold solutions to cleaner energy and lower gas prices – and the key to a strong post-pandemic economic recovery.”

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Alberta’s energy war room kicked of a quarter-million-dollar campaign to sell Americans on Canada’s oil.

As first reported in the Western Standard, the campaign kicked off with billboards in Times Square in New York City and Washinton, DC.

The campaign by the Canadian Energy Centre asks Americans to choose Canadian oil imports first for solutions to cleaner energy production and a break from rising prices at the pumps.

The US uses approximately nine million barrels of oil per day beyond what is produced domestically. 

The approximately $240,000 initiative is “a reminder to Americans that their friends and allies in Canada hold solutions to cleaner energy and lower gas prices — and the key to a strong post-pandemic economic recovery.”

The outdoor and online campaign will direct people to information about Canada’s responsible energy development at www.friendlyenergy.com

The campaign will also feature a grassroots component that calls on Canadians and Americans to respectfully advocate to the president and U.S. lawmakers about the benefits of Canadian energy.

“We want to give our American friends the information they need to urge their leaders to look to safe, responsible and increasingly less intensive crude from Canada that U.S. refiners need and that will help keep gas prices down,” said Canadian Energy Centre CEO Tom Olsen.

“We are speaking out for the many Canadians and Americans dismayed that the U.S. government asked OPEC+ countries for more oil to curb rising gas prices, rather than working with Canada.”

Olsen pointed out the U.S. government closed the door on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have been the first pipeline operated at net-zero emissions and eventually powered by renewable energy resources.

“While Keystone XL’s fate has been decided for now, there remains urgency in letting Americans know any further threatened sanctions in the U.S. on pipelines by state governments and activist-led court challenges will be detrimental to American families, struggling to get back on their feet from the economic impacts of COVID-19,” he said.

Of the top 10 countries from which the U.S. imported oil in June 2021, three were designated Not Free (Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq) and three were designated as Partly Free (Mexico, Nigeria and Colombia).

Specifics for the billboard advertising include:

  • Two digital billboards in Times Square for a four-week period and online display campaign promoting Canada as the responsible and reliable energy provider for the U.S.
  • A static digital billboard, located in Astor on New York’s Grand Central Parkway, for a two-week period targeting traffic heading to LaGuardia Airport, the Mets Citi Field Stadium and a “chokepoint” for traffic to Queens.
  • Three full-motion digital billboards for a two-week period on the exterior of the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., home of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NCAA’s Georgetown Hoyas.
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Farkas pledges to freeze taxes for four years

Farkas said every year Calgarians are told they have to accept increased taxes or face cuts to services.

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Calgary mayoral candidate Jeromy Farkas released the first plank of his platform Monday, pledging to freeze taxes for four years.

“Over the past 10 years, Calgarians have struggled with lack of opportunity. We’ve witnessed the economy crumble, the tax burden increase, and the city hall establishment become increasingly out of touch. It’s time for that to change,” said Farkas in a release.

“If elected as mayor, I will champion a four-year property tax freeze for homes and businesses. Now more than ever, Calgarians need a strong and growing economy. This four-year tax freeze will throw a lifeline to struggling families, seniors, and small business owners, and give them the certainty that they need to get back on their feet.”

Farkas said economist Jack Mintz reviewed the promise and found it to be an achievable goal, with the millions the city has stashed aside in various reserve funds.

“Implementing a four-year residential and non-residential tax freeze is undoubtedly achievable,” said Mintz,

“The best part is this plan can be implemented without reductions to city services given the excess reserves available and reasonable growth forecasts.”

Farkas said every year Calgarians are told they have to accept increased taxes or face cuts to services.

“It’s time to put this false choice to rest with common-sense financial management,” said the Farkas campaign, adding the tax bill for the typical home has doubled over the last decade while basic city services have remained stagnant or even declined.

“This election is about change versus more of the same. As councillor, I’ve consistently opposed needless budget increases. I have a record of following through on my promises. Change starts now, with a four-year tax freeze,” Farkas said.

Calgarians go to the polls October 18.

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Poll shows Canadians trust the Internet and know what’s fake news

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department has proposed “concrete action” to police news and information on the internet.

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Despite Liberal attempts to censor the Internet, the vast majority of Canadians think online information is reliable and people can tell when its not, says the feds own internal polling.

Blacklock’s Reporter said Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department has proposed “concrete action” to police news and information on the Internet.

“A majority, 80%, believe the online content they consume is factual and truthful,” said a pollsters’ report.

“Two-thirds of Canadians, 66%, feel confident in their ability to tell if online content is fair and balanced.”

The Heritage department paid Ipsos Public Affairs $164,621 to conduct online focus groups and questionnaires with 5,207 people.

“Almost all Canadians are frequently consuming some form of information online,” wrote researchers.

“Canadians largely believe having access to different sources of information with different points of view is important for people to participate in a democracy.

“Most participants were confident in their abilities to consider various sources and ensure they are being presented with ‘the full picture.’”

Guilbeault last July 2 issued a report to instruct the media on how to report the news.

“We can no longer ignore the challenges and opportunities that come with an increasingly digital world,” said Guilbeault.

“We have to act now to ensure a healthy ecosystem online for all citizens.”

Reporters, editors and commentators must “foster greater exposure to diverse cultural content, information and news” and “contribute to a healthier public discourse, greater social inclusion within society, bolster resilience to disinformation and misinformation and increase our citizens’ ability to participate in democratic processes,” said the report.

The guide defined misinformation as “false or misleading content shared without harmful intent though the effects can still be harmful, e.g. when people share false information with friends and family in good faith.”

The document doesn’t say who within the Heritage department would monitor news deemed to be harmful.

“Ethical journalistic standards should be upheld and encouraged,” said the guide, adding: “Information about media ownership and funding sources should be made accessible to the public and transparent to safeguard a diverse and pluralistic media ecosystem.”

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