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SCAM STOPPED | Vernon man arrested in alleged Internet fraud scheme [A2] Morning gStar The Sunday, March 28, 2010 P R O U D L Y S E R V I N G O U R N O R T H O K A N A G A N EEac Each ach offi o fice of ccee inde independ in independently ndependdentl ent n y oow owned need an aand nd oper operate op operated ated Voted North Okanagan Best Real Estate Company w w w. v e r n o n m o r n i n g s t a r. c o m C O M M U N I T I E S F O R O V E R 2 0 Y E A R S SPRING SKIING TIM FITZGERALD/SILVER STAR MOUNTAIN RESORT Robin Baycroft enjoys some lateseason skiing under excellent conditions, as Silver Star was blanketed with 36 centimetres of snow Friday. This weekend features the fifth annual Showdown, Throwdown, Hoedown in Telus Park. The ski season wraps up April 4. Hansen lauds HST’s merits RICHARD ROLKE Morning Star Staff Finance Minister Colin Hansen says the harmonized sales tax is about putting B.C. on a good economic footing and not about being popular. Hansen touched on the controversial levy while speaking at a Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce lunch at the Best Western Vernon Lodge Friday. “We recognize it’s good economics and good public policy but difficult politics,” he said. “We know this won’t win a popularity contest.” However, he says the merging of the provincial sales tax and the goods and services tax will create jobs and that will lead to shifting opinions. “People will like the benefits of it, which is a stronger economy.” Both the NDP and former premier Bill Vander Zalm are fighting against the HST, but Hansen claims it’s nothing but fear-mongering. “There’s been a lot of misinformation floating around,” he said. As an example, he said a senior couple earning $30,000 will get a tax credit. “They will pay no more or no less on face (value).” The provincial portion of the HST (seven per cent) will be exempt on items such as books, children’s clothing and home and energy fuels. In terms of the economy, Hansen says provincial sales tax is charged on evey aspect of a product being created and that increases costs. “The beauty of a valueadded tax is all of that comes out.” He also believes the HST will help B.C. navigate a higher Canadian dollar and a soft U.S. market. “It will take the cost out of the system so we can remain internationally competitive.” Beyond the HST, Hansen is convinced another important factor for the economy will be the Olympics. “When you think that 3.5 billion television viewers watched the Olympics, they didn’t just see Vancouver or Whistler. They saw B.C.,” he said. “The Ministry of Tourism is working hard to make sure we can capitalize on that.” He says the Olympics also gave government officials a chance to meet with people who may move businesses to B.C. “We have to capitalize on these things now that we have the investors interested.” He also sees strong potential for growth in the Okanagan, and particularly with clean energy and wine. “We can’t produce enough volume to meet the global demand,” said Hansen of wine. LISA VANDERVELDE/MORNING STAR Provincial finance minister Colin Hansen explains the benefits of the HST at a Vernon luncheon Friday. The Right Agents for Today’s Market! Each office independently owned and operated. Outstanding ingg Ag Agents. gents. Outstanding Results. ®


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