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Thursday, June 2, 2011 The Chilliwack Progress

Pointsof View

The Chilliwack Progress is published by Black Press Group Ltd., every Tuesday and Thursday at 45689 Spadina Ave., Chilliwack. The Progress is a member of the Canadian Circulation’s Audit Board, Canadian Community Newspaper Association, British Columbia and Yukon Community Newspaper Association and B.C. Press Council.

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Catching Canuck fever It’s been more than a week since the Vancouver Canucks last played a hockey game. It’s been 17 years since they last played in the Stanley Cup final. In their 40-year history, they’ve never won hockey’s biggest prize. Now, the wait is over. The Canucks have opened their best-of-seven championship series against the Boston Bruins, and they’re the favourites. That’s the mantle that was bestowed upon them by many hockey insiders before the season began. That’s the promise they carried with them while compiling the best record through the NHL’s regular season. That’s the momentum that propelled them to a quick three-game advantage over the despised Chicago Black Hawks in the opening round of the playoffs. Then the cracks started fracturing the Canucks’ supposed cloak of superiority. Roberto Luongo stumbled. The Sedins seemed to lose their scoring touch. The bounces started to go against them. Memories of past disappointments began to haunt even the most faithful fans. But the boys in blue and green were steadfast in their belief in themselves. They prevailed in heart-stopping fashion over Chicago. They persevered over the feisty, hard-working upstarts from Nashville. They dispatched San Jose with aplomb and a little help from a very fortuitous bounce. With each win and every goal, the Canucks’ confidence has grown, their resolve has hardened. The celebratory din from Rogers Arena, the cheers from crowds gathered on Granville Street, the whoops of joy from open windows have muffled the doubters, silenced the cynics. The Canucks are in the Stanley Cup final and it’s hard not to smile about that. Everyone seems to have an extra spring in their step. Not even the interminable greyness of this non-springlike weather is bringing people down. After all, who wants to be outside when there’s some beautiful hockey being played indoors. ~ Black Press


Selling the new HST to the ‘me’ generation VICTORIA – Even if all you care about is your own wallet, the harmonized sales tax just became an offer you shouldn’t refuse. Premier Christy Clark promised a “bold” fix for the HST, and she delivered. For months I have been arguing that the only way to overcome the wave of rejection caused by the panicked introduction of the HST is to offer a rate cut. I expected one per cent. Now if you vote to keep it, a second one-per-cent reduction will be largely financed by reversing some of the B.C. Liberals’ business tax cuts of recent years. It not only sweetens the deal for consumers, it’s great politics. First, let’s look at it from a selfish, short-term perspective, the way some readers loudly remind me they view the world. If you vote next month to go back to the provincial sales tax, the 12-per-


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cent PST-GST on goods that you probably didn’t notice before will continue. If you have kids under 18 or are a senior living on less than $40,000 a year, you will be saying no to a $175-per-person bonus cheque. If you only care about yourself, you won’t care Tom about the loss of FLETCHER HST credits to the poorest people in B.C. You won’t care about the province repaying Ottawa’s transition fund, or rebuilding a B.C. sales tax department to force business to convert their billing systems again. You won’t care about the competitive advantage given to Ontario, unless it costs you your job. When the B.C. government of

the day has to cut services to pay for this disastrous reversal, you’ll denounce them for doing what you told them to do. You will get the government you deserve, which may include a PST extended to restaurant meals or haircuts, because the money has to come from somewhere. When Clark’s HST “fix” was unveiled, it was the NDP’s turn to panic. They have painted themselves into a corner, and now face the prospect of arguing for a return to an archaic sales tax with a higher rate. And once again, Bill Vander Zalm and Chris Delaney tour B.C. in their Fight HST conspiracy clown car, refueled by $250,000 of public funds to campaign in the referendum. Their campaign of fear and ignorance is encountering heavy resistance at university and col-

lege campuses, however, as tax experts fact-check their claims on the spot. (They’ve added “rallies” in an effort to keep fear alive.) Delaney still raves about Europe being the cause of all this alleged human misery with their insidious Value Added Tax. Vander Zalm continues to mutter about a plot to establish world government through carbon taxes and the HST. It would be nice if the NDPFight HST crowd were concerned about the wave of retiring baby boomers that is starting to wash across the country. But they’re not. There are changes happening now in the B.C. economy that 1960s socialism and 1980s populism are not equipped to handle. The living standard of our children is going to be determined Published at 45860 Spadina Avenue, Chilliwack, B.C. V2P 6H9 Main Phone: 604-702-5550 Classifieds: 604-702-5555 • Circulation: 604-702-5558 • Advertising Fax: 604-792-4936 Advertising e-mail: Newsroom e-mail:






Lynch 604.702.5560 •

by how we deal with our aging, globalizing population, and this is one reason to understand a shift to consumption taxes. Fourteen months ago I wrote that more U.S. states are joining Washington, Hawaii and others with sales taxes on services as well as goods. Robert Kleine, treasurer for Michigan, explained it this way: “The basic thing is that we need to update our tax structure. We’ve got a 20th-century tax structure based on a different sort of economy. The tax base doesn’t grow as the economy grows.” Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and twitter. com/tomfletcherbc




Knill 604.702.5570 •

Robert Freeman, 604-702-5571 / Jennifer Feinberg, 604-702-5573 / Katie Bartel, 604-702-5575 /

Eric J. Welsh, 604-702-5572 / Jenna Hauck, photojournalist / 604-702-5576,

Thurs. June 2, 2011 Chilliwack Progress  

Complete issue of the Chilliwack Progress as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, visit

Thurs. June 2, 2011 Chilliwack Progress  

Complete issue of the Chilliwack Progress as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, visit