Monday, December 19, 2022

First Available dates for presentation of Scrap the Tax Cap petition not until February

The British Columbia Legislature 

While proponents of the Scrap the Tax Petition have been returning to their information streams in recent days offering updates towards their efforts, the process of delivering the petition which took place and sometimes overshadowed the recent Municipal election campaign, is still looking like a bit of a work in progress.

Last week we took note of some of their latest information relay, in particular a note that North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice had agreed to present the petition to have the Province taken action towards current Port Tax legislation in Prince Rupert, in the Legislature in the New Year.

"Now is our best chance to convince the Province to take action: we have a new Premier and Minister of Finance. 

Our former MP Nathan Cullen is in cabinet, and our MLA is "not aligned" with the government on this issue. 

We expect our petition to be presented by Jennifer Rice when the BC Legislature sits in the New Year. 

And we look forward to seeing how the new leadership at the Province responds". -- The plan ahead for the Scrap the Tax petition organizers 

However, that path to presentation will seemingly be something of more than a few weeks into the New Year ahead.  

With the Legislature releasing its calendar for 2023 last week,  a listing which won't see the House return to provincial business until February.

The First day for the new session comes up following the February Family Day Holiday Monday, with Tuesday February 7th marking the return of debate, discussion and presentation for petitions for the Legislature.

So far North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice has not indicated as to when she plans to bring the Scrap the Tax Cap petition to the Chamber and present it to the NDP Government, of which she is a member of.

Ms. Rice has also yet to speak in full,  to the issue of the Tax Cap petition and the local efforts towards having the province change the current arrangement with the province which reduces the ability for the city to collect taxes on many port properties.

As noted above, the Scrap the Tax Cap Petition proponents observed how the MLA is not aligned with the government on the issue. 

Monday morning, Ms. Rice did issue a statement on the current State of Local Emergency in Prince Rupert  that related to the city's current water infrastructure concerns. 

And while not speaking towards the Tax Cap Petition issue directly, the MLA did note of the need for industry to share in some of the efforts towards resolving those infrastructure issues.

"These recent events are significant, and they demonstrate the need for higher levels of government as well as major industry players to step in and assist with the basics if they wish Prince Rupert to survive let alone thrive. 

As your MLA, I have been advocating for Prince Rupert, seeking every possible opportunity for our community, sourcing funding streams and telling our unique story to decision makers. 

The BC NDP government has been supporting our community with significant infrastructure funding grants. Prince Rupert has received nearly every infrastructure grant they’ve applied for during my time in government." --  Part of a statement from North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice December 19

Her statement did not address areas where she may, or may not be aligned with the government which she serves with.

The previous City Council had often noted how the Tax Cap situation has impacted on their abilities to replace much of the city's aging infrastructure.

The current Council and new Mayor Herb Pond offered up strong support to the initiative as part of their campaign during the fall municipal election,  a campaign period that sent five incumbents and one new comer to the Council Chamber and returned former Mayor Pond back to the office he last held over a decade ago.

You can review some of those past commentaries from the City through our Civic Financial archive page.

Ongoing updates on the City of Prince Rupert's Declaration of a Local State of Emergency can be explored here.

1 comment:

  1. Great to see that our MLA has found her voice on this issue!