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NEWS RELEASE · 23rd September 2010
BC NDP Caucus
Delaying HST decision causing economic uncertainty

Carole James and the New Democrats have been calling for the HST referendum to be held as soon as possible, in order to bring certainty for B.C. families, businesses, and investors. And now B.C. business leaders are also calling on the B.C. Liberal government to quit stalling:

Rick Jeffery, CEO of the Coast Forest Products Association: "[The uncertainty] is going to have a dampening effect on our industry and any kind of investment that would have been immediately done because of the tax circumstance." (Vancouver Sun, Sept. 15, 2010)

Ian Tostenson, CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association: “I think everybody is acknowledging that a year is too long and I think we all understand the politics of that but I think we should have to go sooner than later. I think that business community at large needs to know what the rules are going to be and I think the government needs to frame up a couple of things, you know, what question are we going to ask in the referendum?” (CHNL, Sept. 23, 2010)

Doug Wittal, Canadian Homebuilders Association in the Central Interior: "Everyone right now is on standby mode. Our housing in our part for us personally has come to a grinding halt. And I'm talking about level-entry homes starting at $350,000. That tap has turned off. They're waiting. So we need it moved up and quick.” (B.C. Finance Committee presentation, Hansard, Sept. 22, 2010)

Dan Scarrow, Vice-president for corporate strategy for Macdonald Realty Group: "Given the call for a referendum on the HST in 2011, the uncertainty surrounding the tax will likely hit some developers hard as buyers wait to see whether it will be repealed.” (, Sept 16, 2010)

Bob Rennie, Director of Rennie Marketing Systems: “I would hope that, and maybe this is like a plea, I would hope that our premier in his quiet, contemplative moments will say that we can’t take the stress of a year of this uncertainty.” (CTV News, Sept. 17, 2010)

Peter Simpson, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Homebuilders Association: "This has potential of stalling the market as far as the purchase of new homes are concerned…We’d like to see that shortened up. And to when? To tomorrow. Let’s deal with this right now. We got slapped in the face, you know, a little over a year ago. This is the other cheek getting slapped now.” (CTV News, Sept. 17, 2010)

Helmut Pastrick, Chief Economist for the Central 1 Credit Union: "When you have this kind of uncertainty regarding tax policy, it's typically quite negative for economic activity." (, Sept. 19, 2010)