NDP promotes referendum ‘yes’ vote against HST

Provincial NDP leader Adrian Dix is on the road encouraging British Columbians to vote ‘yes’ in the harmonized sales tax referendum.

Provincial NDP leader Adrian Dix is on the road encouraging British Columbians to vote ‘yes’ in the harmonized sales tax referendum.

Dix spoke to the media in the Harbour City Monday, joined by MLAs Leonard Krog (Nanaimo) and Doug Routley (Nanaimo-North Cowichan), as well as invited restaurateurs Ilan Goldenblatt of The Thirsty Camel on Victoria Crescent and Peter Ertsos of the Diners Rendezvous on Wallace Street.

Dix said the HST, at its core, is a tax shift onto working families, leaving them less money to spend in restaurants and small businesses.

“Whether it’s Nanaimo or Williams Lake or Kelowna, I hear from small business owners who say ‘the HST hurts our customers. And when it hurts our customers, it hurts our business’,” Dix said. “The HST has been particularly negative for the restaurant business. Because we’ve gone from zero to seven per cent provincial tax, it has, as expected, cost many people their restaurants.”

The NDP wants people to vote ‘yes’ to extinguish the HST to ensure both big business and consumers share the sales tax burden.

Dix said government needs to restore the provincial sales tax as it was on June 30, 2010, with the exemptions that were in place then.

“Anything else would be enormously disrespectful of voters if they do in fact vote ‘yes’ to scrap the HST,” he said.

Goldenblatt said he is not an NDP supporter, but accepted the invitation to speak because he has a lot to say on the issue, and if anyone gives him a serious platform to speak out, he will take them up on it.

“I’m a firm believer in the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” he said.

A year ago Goldenblatt’s restaurant was open for lunch and dinner, employing 3.5 workers. Now, more than a year into the HST, he has laid off most of his staff, leaving one full-time employee, and is open only for lunch.

“Customers who used to come in two, three, four times a week are coming in maybe once a week or every other week,” he said.

He calls the HST an addition to the perfect storm that includes the global recession, high unemployment numbers and rising fuel and food costs.

Ertsos said his restaurant has also suffered under the HST with a drop in meal and liquor sales.

“Everybody I’ve talked to who owns a restaurant or small business downtown says the HST has had a negative impact on them,” he said. “By increasing the costs for consumers, the HST has undercut our revenue.”

Registered voters have until 4:30 p.m., Aug. 5 to mark their mail-in ballot and return it to Elections B.C., a Service B.C. Centre or an Elections B.C. Collection Centre

For more information, please go to www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/referenda-recall-initiative/hst-2011.

Just Posted

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Most Read