Chamber of Commerce disappointed in HST outcome

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce is disappointed with the outcome, but they are proud of the fact-based campaign ran by the business community. They respect the referendum decision and the need to restore a PST/GST system. BC Chamber President and CEO John Winter says a dialogue needs to take place that puts jobs first under a competitive tax system.

  • Sep. 2, 2011 7:00 a.m.

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce is disappointed with the outcome, but they are proud of the fact-based campaign ran by the business community. They respect the referendum decision and the need to restore a PST/GST system. BC Chamber President and CEO John Winter says a dialogue needs to take place that puts jobs first under a competitive tax system.

The BC Chamber are calling on the B.C. Government to support a new and improved PST that could include some of the efficiencies found in value-added taxes.

One thing Fight HST got right in its so-called Truth Report was that the “PST may not be (the) best tax” and restoring the PST/ GST could “begin the process of determining the best type of tax for British Columbians.

In the meantime, the Smart Tax Alliance (STA) will encourage the B.C. Government to explore fiscal and policy approaches that can restore some of the economic competitiveness and efficiency lost with the return of a PST/GST.

The Manager of the Fernie Chamber of Commerce Manager Sarah Parry says “We are on the precipice of a possible global recession. We need to be prepared with policy decisions that put B.C. jobs and businesses on solid footing to compete.”

The BC Chamber of Commerce is concerned about B.C.’s balance sheet knowing that a return to a PST/GST comes at a cost identified by the Expert Panel as $2.7 billion plus direct industry and small business costs in the hundreds of millions.

Smart countries around the world are looking to minimize their risk exposure by retiring debt in the current global economic turmoil.

With a $1.6 billion bill to pay back to Ottawa, B.C. will be forced to make difficult decisions affecting all British Columbians. Business confidence, certainty and jobs are at risk.

Winter says the B.C. business community will come forward to government with options on how to transition to a PST/GST as well as explore opportunities for a new consumption tax model.

The Fernie Chamber would encourage its members to talk with the Chamber and send in feedback which will be guaranteed to reach the BC Chamber.

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