Dix pro-carbon, anti-HST
Adrian Dix came to Kamloops to talk about the HST.
The provincial NDP leader wants people to vote to do away with the tax in the vote happening later this month.
But, there’s one tax brought in by the Gordon Campbell Liberal government Dix said should remain — the carbon tax.
“We should keep it,” he said during a stop in his anti-HST trip through the city.
“My frustration with it is that people are paying more and none of the money is being used to make people’s lives better.”
Dix said he’d like to see some of the revenue generated by the carbon tax used to help rural B.C., perhaps “to keep some schools open.”
The tax, introduced in 2008, rises annually to 2012, when it will add an additional seven cents to the cost of a litre of gas.
And, as for some talk of introducing a second carbon tax in some municipalities, Dix said he’s skeptical the Christy Clark Liberal government will do that.
“All they’re trying to do is desperately trying to get to an election.”
As for when that might happen, Dix was coy, noting the next scheduled election is in 2013, as mandated by legislation.
“And I don’t know where anyone would think the B.C. Liberals wouldn’t support their own law,” he said.
With the HST referendum scheduled to begin next week and continue by mail to July 22, Dix said its result will be more “a test of the power of money in electoral politics” than in the public’s support of Clark.
The NDP leader noted “we had the PST for 60 years and there was impressive economic growth then over time.”
When asked why his party — one that traditionally favours taxes to pay for programs — is campaigning to be rid of the HST, Dix noted it’s a debate about which of two taxes is preferred.
“The HST hurts the revenue of small businesses, such as restaurants, because it cuts the purchasing power of their customers, B.C. families,” Dix said during a stop earlier in the day.
“Under the HST, families pay more for countless items that were exempt under the PST, including restaurant meals, summer camps for their children, bicycles and major expenses such as home renovations and repairs.”
As for his own plans, the recently elected party leader told KTW once the referendum is finished, he plans to meet with people throughout the province “and tell them what we can do and what we can’t do in the next four years.
“It’s just as important to tell people what you just can’t do.”
And, he wants to talk about tax cuts the past government brought in for the business sector, cuts that he said aren’t benefitting the average person.
Speaking specifically about Kamloops, Dix — the party’s health critic before assuming the leadership — said the city has some of the longest waits for medical procedures in the province.
It’s something he said he wants to see changed.