Bill Vander Zalm just cannot seem to find a way to simply go away. Love him or hate him, the political gene drives The Zalm, who is back in the news.
One, he is writing a book detailing his success in leading the brigade that killed the hated harmonized sales tax.
(Despite some in the media who accuse Vander Zalm of profiting at the expense of a provincial economy they say he has helped make shaky, the former premier has said proceeds from the book will go to charity).
Two, Vander Zalm is threatening legal action as he accuses the B.C. Liberals of profiting from taxpayers by deliberately delaying the time it takes to return the province to the GST/PST taxation model.
On this point, it is hard to argue with Vander Zalm.
The B.C. Liberals won the election on May 16, 2009. On July 23, 2009, then-premier Gordon Campbell announced the move to a 12 per cent HST, effective on July 1, 2010.
However, the HST was implemented well before July 1, 2010 as anyone making travel plans in May of 2010 is well aware. Any travel or services booked after May 1, 2010, for use as of July 1, 2010, was subject to the HST.
So, it took Victoria and Ottawa a mere nine months from HST announcement to HST implementation.
That it will take double that amount of time to revert to the GST/PST seems ludicrous.
Vander Zalm claims the B.C. Liberals are delaying in order to reap as much tax revenue as possible from residents.
If that’s not the case, perhaps local Liberal MLAs can explain the time frame better than has Finance Minister Kevin Falcon, who continues to offer vague statements about going back meaning having to take steps that have never been taken before.
— editorial from the Kamloops This Week/Black Press