Newsletter – March 2010

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March 2010 Newsletter for Seniors on Vancouver Island

BC seniors: You can help stop the HST.

By Carole James, Leader of BC’s New Democrats, for Seniors 101 March newsletter.

On March 1, the BC Legislature will reconvene for a spring sitting. And when it does, the BC Liberal government will bring forward legislation to implement the Harmonized Sales Tax.

Let’s not forget that the Liberals promised they wouldn’t introduce the HST. They put that promise in writing during the election campaign. But as soon as the votes were counted, they went back on their word.

BC consumers and their families will pay the price for that betrayal. The HST will drive up the cost of many essential goods and services, from the cost of a new home, to hydro bills, haircuts, movie tickets, restaurant meals, vitamins, bicycles, Energy Star appliances, even funerals.

It will deal a huge blow to businesses struggling to recover from the global economic crisis. And it’s a significant burden for BC seniors, who are already suffering from the government’s lack of support.

Since the BC Liberals took power in 2001, we’ve seen deep cuts to seniors programs, thousands of bed cuts, and more recently, residential care rate hikes that leave seniors on fixed incomes with even less.

The HST will hit seniors hard. The HST will hit seniors hard. Many are on low or fixed incomes, which means the HST will eat up precious extra dollars spent on basic necessities like dental care, hygiene supplies and personal affects. And modest extras that improve their overall quality of life – such as a telephone, cable television and recreational activities – will be even further out of reach.

But it’s not too late to stop the HST.

New Democrats have been fighting this regressive tax every step of the way. We’ve stood alongside hundreds of British Columbians at rallies across this province. We’ve collected tens of thousands of signatures. We’ve presented petition after petition in the Legislature. We even travelled to Ottawa to urge MPs to say no to the HST.

And this spring we will once again stand strong with British Columbians and fight the HST when it’s introduced in the Legislature.

We are expecting the BC Liberals to introduce HST legislation when the Legislature reconvenes after the Olympics in March.

New Democrats will take every opportunity to oppose the HST Bill when it’s introduced. And we will take every opportunity to call the BC Liberals on their betrayal.

We’ll also be taking our campaign on the road, directly to the doorstep of BC Liberal MLAs. We will be demanding those MLAs stand up for their communities, join with the people of British Columbia, and say no to the HST.

It only takes only seven Liberal MLAs to vote with New Democrats and defeat this legislation. Seven MLAs to have the courage to stand in the interest of their constituents and their communities against an unfair tax.

If you are represented by a BC Liberal MLA, I urge you to make your opinion heard. Write to them, call or visit their constituency office and register your opposition to the HST.

It’s time for the BC Liberals to do right by British Columbians, act in the public interest and stop the HST.