MLA Donna Barnett Out Of Touch With Cariboo Residents on HST
VICTORIA – Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett’s defence of the HST shows just how out of touch she is with the residents of the Cariboo, say the New Democrats.
Barnett’s speech to the legislature was just a laundry list of the same unsubstantiated assertions that British Columbians have already rejected, and Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson said Interior residents deserve better.
“The people of the Cariboo want Ms. Barnett to listen to their concerns, not simply repeat the same tired B.C. Liberal talking points,” said Simpson. “More than 4,000 residents of her constituency signed a petition asking her to vote against this regressive, unfair tax, yet she has chosen to stand up in the legislature and act as the defender of the HST.
“So much for her election commitment to be the Cariboo’s voice in Victoria. It’s clear she is really speaking on behalf of the B.C. Liberals in spite of what her own constituents want.”
Simpson challenged Barnett to a public debate on the supposed merits of the HST, giving Cariboo residents an opportunity they missed during last year’s election campaign.
“If the HST is going to be so beneficial, the B.C. Liberals should have been up front with British Columbians before the election,” said Simpson. “If Ms. Barnett is so determined to vote in favour of this massive tax shift onto the backs of ordinary British Columbians, she should stand up in public and explain why.”
Small businesses across the region will be negatively impacted by the B.C. Liberals’ HST, Simpson said. Studies show the HST could cost as many as 10,000 jobs from the tourism sector and 12,000 from the hospitality sector across British Columiba.
“Eco-tourism is a burgeoning sector in the Cariboo, and the HST threatens to hamstring those small businesses,” said Simpson.
“There’s a reason Ms. Barnett and the B.C. Liberals chose to hide their plans to implement the HST until after the election,” Simpson said. “They knew that the overwhelming majority of Cariboo residents would be adamantly opposed to it.”
Only seven B.C. Liberal MLAs would need to vote against the HST legislation to stop the tax. Carole James and the New Democrats continue to stand by their promise, and will vote against the HST.