taxes

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While Premier Christy Clark aims “to create an environment where growth and investment can flourish,” little has been achieved since last year’s electoral victory. If Premier Clark is to help British Columbians obtain the desired prosperity and jobs, her top economic priority should be to make BC the most investment-friendly jurisdiction in Canada.

Here’s what’s needed.


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About five years ago, I became acquainted with a retired fellow by the name of Jim Tocher. Then in his eighties, Mr. Tocher was a classic Canadian success story. Born in Golden, B.C., he spent his early years in Yoho National Park where his father worked as a park warden. As a teenager, Jim worked as a park guide, for the Canadian Pacific Railway as a fireman and for Brewster bus lines, ferrying people into the national parks.


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A new year can bring new possibilities. It’s a chance to take stock of what we’ve accomplished in the past year and to set new goals for the future. It’s also, however, when Canadian governments typically enact new taxes. Unfortunately, governments across the country in recent years have been all too keen to bring in new taxes or increase existing ones, resulting in squeezed household budgets. The question for 2014 then, is will this trend continue or will governments recognize it’s time to give taxpayers a break?


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Fiscal policy is really about taxes and spending and the federal government recently provided some hints on its plans in these areas.

In the recent Speech from the Throne, the government reaffirmed its commitment to balancing the budget by 2015-16 and providing "greater tax relief for Canadian families" after the budget is balanced. But what form this tax relief may take remains a mystery.


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In the recent Speech from the Throne, the federal government announced a variety of initiatives but the one that drew much attention was its ostensible consumer-friendly tack.

On some consumer issues, the Conservative government has the right instincts, promoting competition within the cellphone sector for example, even if its approach to the upcoming wireless spectrum auction is flawed.

In other places, the Harper government’s predisposition is counter-productive.

For instance, ponder the federal government’s desire to micromanage how airlines double-book seats.


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It's not your imagination. Your property taxes really are shooting higher.

For those who haven't paid attention to their property tax bill until recently, let me offer some calculations: Had the city and province stuck to inflation-only increases starting in 2007, a homeowner with a $2,500 property tax bill in 2006 would see a $2,858 bill this year. Instead, the charge will be $3,430, or an extra $572. The cumulative effect over seven years is an extra $1,538.


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When Manitoba’s NDP government delivered its budget back in April, Finance Minister Stan Struthers ruffled some feathers with his announcement of an increase in the provincial sales tax (PST) to eight per cent from seven per cent, effective July 1, which happens to be Canada Day. His proposed tax hike has been hotly debated ever since.