Provincial sales tax will be expanded to sweetened carbonated drinks at a rate of seven per cent. (Black Press Media file photo)

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

Starting this summer, the B.C. government will add provincial sales tax (PST) to all carbonated beverages containing sugar or natural or artificial sweeteners.

The announcement says the sweet drinks, which the Canada Food Guide warns against consuming, will no longer qualify for the ‘food products for human consumption’ exemption under the provincial tax.

READ ALSO: 10 B.C. cities to pilot new program against childhood obesity

The seven per cent tax will also be extended to all beverages dispensed through soda fountains, soda guns or similar equipment, as well as all beverages in vending machines, with the exception of those dedicated to serving drinks other than sweet drinks such as coffee or water.

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James said the tax measure comes in response to repeated recommendations from health experts, including the Medical Services Premium Task Force.

“I hope ultimately we do see a reduction in the sales of sugary drinks and sweetened beverages,” she said, adding lobby groups have pushed for a more expansive tax on everything from juice to sweetened milk. “We feel this is taking a step in addressing the risk when it comes to sweetened beverages.”

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island school says ‘no’ to pop and juice

In its 2020-2021 fiscal plan, the government says “deterrence effects” are expected to be most prevalent in frequent pop drinkers – of whom young males are the highest demographic. The government says sweet drink consumption is higher in youth aged 14 to 18.

The sweet drinks PST will be introduced on July 1.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

B.C. Budget 2020BC legislaturebudget

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Nanaimo looking into making council’s voting records more accessible

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong says a lot of citizens have asked for additional transparency measure

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Improved health and social services needed

It’s imperative that the root systemic causes of homelessness are addressed, say letter writers

Province providing financing to help get apartments built in Nanaimo’s Wellington area

120 apartments on Ledgerwood Road intended to be affordable for ‘middle-income’ households

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Regional District of Nanaimo to start delivering new garbage carts

Updated automated curbside collection service set to get underway Oct. 1

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Departure Bay ferry capacity increases to 70%, says B.C. Ferries

Fifty-per-cent limit being phased out, B.C. Ferries has no current plans to provide masks

Outreach team making connections with young people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre youth advisory council initiative offers ‘no-barrier’ help downtown

Most Read