Addressing the province, Gordon Campbell makes his case for the HST

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      B.C. premier Gordon Campbell has announced cuts to provincial income taxes and defended the Liberal government's introduction of the harmonized sales tax.

      In a paid political address broadcast on television tonight (October 27), Campbell explained why he believes the unpopular HST will strengthen the financial position of middle class families.

      "The new HST provides us with the ability to attract investment," he said. "It provides us with the opportunity to provide more jobs."

      The cost of 80 percent of goods and services in B.C. has not changed, he emphasized.

      "Should we have consulted you more?" Campbell asked. "I sure would have liked to."

      Campbell then went on to announce that effective January 1, 2011, there will be a 15 percent reduction in tax rates on all income up to $72,000.

      "This will help lift our economy up and stabilize the opportunities here in British Columbia," he said.

      A referendum on whether or not to scrap the HST has been scheduled for September 2011.

      Education was also discussed in the premier's address. Campbell pledged that within five years, all children who leave grade four will do so reading, writing, and performing arithmetic at a grade four level.

      An October 16 poll by Angus Reid Strategies saw Campbell score a nine percent approval rating. That's two points lower than the 11 percent approval rating former NDP premier Glen Clark scored at the depth of his unpopularity.

      In recent months, the embattled premier has seen his popularity in the province plummet. Large segments of the public suspect Campbell lied to them about not planning the HST before the 2009 election. The HST combines the five-percent GST with the seven-percent PST, and extends it over many new services. In addition, many are unhappy with the conclusion of the B.C. Rail case. On October 18, Dave Basi and Bob Virk pleaded guilty to breach of trust and accepting benefits in connection with the government's sale of B.C. Rail assets to CN Rail. Prior to the 2001 election, Campbell promised not to privatize the publicly owned railway.

      Campbell has held his position as premier since June 2001.

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      Oct 27, 2010 at 9:08pm

      They may have lowered taxes but he didn't say anythinig about how everything we pay for has also gone up. Much more than we've saved in tax reducdtions. Also he never said anything about the 12% we are now paying on services that were not taxed before. More of Gordy's B/S.

      vincent watson

      Oct 27, 2010 at 9:09pm

      Its time for Gordonochio to leave.

      glen p robbins

      Oct 27, 2010 at 9:58pm

      (From other stream as well) - Premier on HST says "I would have liked to consult you more" --on Referendum September 2011 he says "you get to play finance minister for a day" -- I told CKNW - my wife got up and left ---;

      On tax cuts - benefits aren't realized until 2012 (April filing for 2011).
      From now until the announcement --- Christmas retail shopping, - HST/HST - Recall in the news -- 2010 income taxes -- nobody sees any benefits on taxes --- confusion;

      The Premier needed to make a bold move TODAY - I suggested on call in to NW that we might see first polling deficit --

      News --tried to spin Carole James -NDP- against tax cuts/callers said not fair that's not what Carole said (said she would look at them in context) - Christy Clark says to me 'glen I agree--- but Campbell was looking for wedge issue' - they shut the phone off while she talked - but I would have replied -a starving man needs baloney not pie -- a wedge issue? you see a wedge issue in a fight - not at 9%.

      Campbell doesn't have a clue what people in the province think - sometimes I get the feeling the press doesn't as well.


      Oct 27, 2010 at 10:38pm

      Forget taxes: the real question is why a Premier would have to promise that grade four students can perform at the grade four level. That should go without saying, right? You might as well admit that your funding formula doesn't work and increase spending to where it should be. Too bad you chose to piss money away on tax cuts instead.


      Oct 27, 2010 at 11:18pm

      Only thing that interested me was the income tax cut and education. However, the tax cut seemed a desperate move (so tax us then give us a tax cut?!?!?!) and they seem to be contradicting themselves by wanting to close schools?!?!?! I can't believe they think I or others can swallow that garbage.

      What is more galling is that we as taxpayers just paid for that commercial. And make no mistake it was a sales pitch. Saying the same things over and over again.

      Don't you get it Gordo? We don't trust you.

      james green

      Oct 27, 2010 at 11:57pm

      Gordon Campbell is living in the same dream world as Gregor Robertson.
      Tell me Gordon if you are doing such a good job why are there 10,000 homeless people in BC? Why is the biggest use of the food bank in Canada in BC? Why do 40% of the children in BC live under the poverty line? Why are numerous small businesses being forced out of business because of high taxes and rents and how will his tax breaks help the poor and struggling people in this province feed and cloth their familes. This premier is the same guy who seems to forget how to forecast the econony as the $500,000,000 overun on the convention centre proves. This guy is the same guy whose finance minister put out two deficit numbers. This is the guy who instead of supporting schools approved a $500,000,000 roof on BC Place. This is the guy that approves casinos but cuts funding for programs to help gambling addiction. This is the guy who has cut legal aid monies to the many who cannot get a fair trial without full legal aid, especially women. This is the guy who said he was not doing the HST before the last election. This is the guy who built the Sea to Sky highway and the Canada Line and said it was not part of the Olympic's expenditures.This is the guy who said back and let the lie that the security for the Olympics would be $175,000 when in fact it is more like $500,000,000 to $900,000,000.The list goes on and Gordon's failure as premier must end. The liberal party of BC must call on Gordon to quit now.
      His speech tonight evaded the HST issue with his attempts to buy off the opposition to the HST with tax relief promises. It did not work.
      Please say goodbye Gordon.


      Oct 28, 2010 at 4:18am

      Pretty useless for struggling familes who don't make enough to pay taxes in the first place, but now have to pay taxes on all adult size clothing for thier children, Even in second hand stores...

      glen p robbins

      Oct 28, 2010 at 9:03am

      Campbell just told Bill Good at CKNW that tax payers paid Shaw/Global TV $240,000 - about one quarter of one million dollars so he could go on TV with that---over $20,000 per minute of Campbell appearing to be fully constipated ---most of that money related to saying the same things about the HST.

      Folks, we need to get some common sense into BC politics - and get this crazy person out --- BC needs change right NOW -- I'm asking GS readers--Carole James and NDP - the new BC First Party - Greens, Conservatives to think about that $240,000 --and to think about the damage this man is doing each and every day he stays on.

      Please STOP the calamity - its time to get rid of Gordon Campbell now.

      We need to change.

      Value of this message -priceless --- Cost $0.00

      cranky mom

      Oct 28, 2010 at 10:57am

      I resent the spin on the HST. They would NEVER have implemented it unless it guaranteed more money for the gov't. They purposely kept HST was kept quiet during the election, otherwise Gordo would have lost.

      I like the line about his mother raising four children on a secretary's allowance more than 40 years ago. There was no HST, and I know that wages and cost of living were far more realistic back then. Housing and groceries eat up most of my wages.

      I have never complained about paying taxes, I only complain when my hard earned tax money gets wasted.

      average rape ape

      Oct 28, 2010 at 4:30pm

      Since we will be making less money real soon:

      quit buying junk
      borrow from your neighbour and offer
      look for free events
      go to nature
      make your own

      Everybody prepare for a lot lot less.
      As Gandi would say" renunciate and enjoy"