Winter in BC is oh so much fun.

Even though the calendar says November 17th, it looks more like December 17th out there.

It may be that in provinces such as Ontario and Quebec it takes at least a foot of snow to close schools, roads etc. Here in Vancouver and British Columbia that amount of snow would cause massive panic among its residents unless up on the hills of Cypress, Grouse or other ski/snowboard resorts.

Now its a common misunderstanding that it only takes a millimeter of snow to send this city into massive panic but in reality it only takes 5. Once we get to that point all hell brakes lose – schools close, drivers forget how to drive, big puffy coats are brought out of the closet and of course the umbrellas are in our hands 24/7.

Yes it may be true that the slightest snow sends people running for the nearest tire store or into full lockdown of any unnecessary travel mode, but really it can’t be that bad can it?

Just one day into this “early” winter I’m already seeing my in for one heck of a ride…Just coming down Austin in Coquitlam about a hour into the snowfall, there’s already at least 6 cars slipping & sliding all along the road, plus 4-5 accidents already.

The one thing that’s for sure – ICBC seems to be the only ones who enjoy Vancouver Winter.


Business in BC is changing thanks to HST Defeat.

Thanks to BC voters, British Columbia has taken a huge step backwards. BC will have to spend millions on returning to the previous GST/PST system as well as returning $1.6 Billion dollars to Ottawa.

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon said dismantling the HST and returning to the provincial sales tax will take time to do properly so residents should not expect a change overnight. In this referendum, 1.6 million voters — about 51 per cent of the registered voter base in B.C. — rejected the HST. Elections B.C. released on Friday results from the mail-in ballots from earlier this summer with 54 per cent voting to get rid of the HST and 46 per cent in favour of keeping the tax.

What does this mean for BC?

Well things such as haircuts and gym memberships will be cheaper but this also means some business see this as a step backwards in a economy where stepping back is a costly thing to do. Certain economies such as export and resource will be hit the hardest as under the HST, business receives a tax credit for costs, something that is not available under the PST. Mining will be hit but to what extent, remains unanswered, said Ben Chalmers of the Mining Association of B.C. The HST shaved $80 million a year in costs off goods and services purchased by the industry in B.C., he said.

“We are certainly concerned about the competitiveness of B.C. as a place to invest, He said. “Now B.C. is one of the only jurisdictions in Canada that doesn’t have a value-added sales tax. Now we know we are competing with places like Ontario, which has a much more efficient consumptive tax. That may be a factor in influencing people’s decisions on where they put their money.”

Another big bucks industry that could potentially be hit hard is the BC Film Industry as studios and producers could get the full HST back in a tax credit compared to only the PST under the GST/PST system. As well under the HST system tax self assessments were no longer necessary so in the end with the HST companies where getting all 12% of the tax back as well as saving in compliance costs which in a industry where every cent counts means a lot.

“The HST helped level the playing field in Canada’s nationwide motion picture industry and its loss will put B.C.’s industry at a significant disadvantage to our competitors.”

Now with the HST defeat, the film industry is forced to lobby to be exempt from the PST to be able to battle with Ontario and its film industry. “The hidden economic benefits are huge,” says Honey. “It’s a way bigger business than people realize.”

The question now is: Where do we go from here? How do we move forward to reinstate the GST and PST  in the best possible way to make almost everyone and every industry happy with the results.