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

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