GRANT McKENZIE: Dancing in the streets

By all the smiling faces that greeted me on the streets of Victoria on April 1, it was easy to tell that HST had been tossed in the dumpster

By all the smiling faces that greeted me on the streets of Victoria on April 1, it was easy to tell that the hated HST had been tossed in the dumpster in exchange for a return to the PST + GST tax system.

So elevated was the mood that strangers were flashing each other two thumbs up (one for each tax) and walking at a slightly brisker pace. When stopping people in the street to ask what their favourite part of returning to PST/GST was, the enthusiastic answers dripped from their tongues with the ease of water droplets off the back of a Beacon Hill Park duck.

People in B.C. love paying taxes so much that when they had the choice of voting for a 10-per-cent HST tax or a 12-per-cent PST/GST tax, naturally they chose the higher one. The reason was simple: we all know the government will use that extra revenue to bolster our ailing health care system, reinvest in our schools and open a new Seniors Concerns department to make sure our aging population has all the resources it needs to enjoy the twilight years in comfort and dignity.

Oh, wait . . . April Fools is just for one day, not the whole month.

Sorry, I got carried away.

OK, nobody was dancing in the streets — especially among small business owners — at seeing two taxes replace the One Tax To Rule Them All, but there will be some benefits for the consumer. Bicycles, for example, are PST exempt. So if you’ve had your eye on a two-wheeled wonder of human-powered transportation, you just saved yourself seven per cent tax.

And for those small businesses that have been working on changing their cash registers and plotting out how to file their new tax forms — more good news: accounting services are PST-exempt, too.

But despite the headaches at least we were able to send a strong middle-digit message to former premier Gordon Campbell. Oh, wait. He’s got a sweet gig in England now, and it isn’t him who has to pay back the federal government to the tune of $1.6 billion. The joke, I’m afraid, is on us.

more awards for monday

Following on the heels of Monday’s five provincial newspaper awards comes word that we have also won three national awards.

Monday has been awarded Canadian Community Newspaper Awards for Best Feature Story (Mary Ellen Green’s “Queen Mudder”), Best Arts Coverage (Mary Ellen Green’s “Art Czars”, M-Awards, etc.) and Best Business Story (Danielle Pope’s “Chicken Little”). Congratulations go to our editorial team, plus the wonderful support of our executive team, advertising crew and production staff. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancovuer Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

The Sid Williams Theatre marquee is once again proudly displaying upcoming events. Photo supplied
Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre reopening in a limited capacity

Theatre has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Nanaimo-based ceramic artist Joe Lyons is presenting his first solo exhibition, ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts from Oct. 26 to Nov. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-based ceramic artist showcases variety of bottles in first solo show

Joe Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Toronto poet Robert Priest is presenting an online reading on Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy Allen Booth)
Nanaimo spoken word society presents online reading by prolific Toronto poet

Robert Priest to dip into 40-year catalogue for upcoming Zoom reading

Nanaimo singer Elise Boulanger releases her new single, ‘Cigarettes et rosé’ on Oct. 11. (Photo courtesy Laura Baldwinson)
Nanaimo singer releasing new single inspired by overheard conversations

Elise Boulanger to unveil ‘Cigarettes et rosé,’ accompanying ukulele tutorial video to come

Lee Porteous will be one of the performers at the Duncan Showroom’s storytelling event later this month. (Photo Submitted)
Duncan Showroom hosts storytellers series

Monthly shows will be broadcast live on YouTube

The 2020 City of Victoria Youth Poet Laureate Neko Smart will give up her seat for the next young poet in January. (Contributed/ Jeremy Loveday)
Nominations open for Victoria’s 2021 Youth Poet Laureate

Honourary one-year term reserved for region’s emerging poets

Most Read