Premier John Horgan. File photo.

B.C. premier receives lukewarm reception at Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Speaking to a crowd of about 400 at a Victoria Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Horgan said they’re committed to ending MSPs

Premier John Horgan told a group of business leaders in Victoria that he can feel their pain, but his government won’t back away from ending the medical fees charged to B.C. residents.

Speaking to a crowd of about 400 at a Victoria Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Horgan said they’re committed to ending the medical services premium, placing the fee on businesses.

Horgan said he has been hearing from businesses with concerns the 1.95 per cent employers health tax on firms will increase costs and the government has formed a small business task force to look for ways to reduce that burden.

Horgan’s speech also touched on climate change, Indigenous rights issues, and his government’s speculation tax on vacant properties to provide more affordable housing and rental homes.

He says the government is continuing to consult with businesses about the employer health tax, but that will be the direction the government is taking.

Related: Al Gore condemns Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, sides with Horgan

The premier said he realizes there are challenges and the government wants to address them with business, but he was making no promises.

“This is what the rest of the country is doing,” Horgan says. “This is not an anomaly. We are catching up.”

Allan Cahoon, president and vice-chancellor at Royal Roads University, says the employer tax is a challenge.

“What it means is we’re going to have to recalculate our ability to generate revenue and accommodate it,” he said. “It was a surprise to get it. I think we can figure out how to do it.”

Related: One year later: Horgan approval rating remains high but NDP support low, poll says

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Seasonal cabins threatened by Cool Creek blaze

Fire burning out of control southeast of Princeton

BC Wildfire has close eyes on Snowy Mountain wildfire

BC Wildfire has a variety of plans depending how the wildfire near Keremeos changes in coming days

Fire burning near Olalla still out of control

BC Wildfire crews are responding to a 144 hectare blaze near Keremeos

Sparks set to fly in new Okanagan College welding facility

Welding students based in Penticton will now have access to the new, $2.2 million facility

BC Wildfire crew rescues lost puppies

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

More smoggy air for the Okanagan

Breathing conditions are improving, though still not ideal

Evacuation alert for Dark Lake Valley are

There are 21 properties are affected

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

Thieves target tires and rims in Shuswap

Salmon Arm RCMP report two recent incidents, a van used in one theft was stolen in Surrey

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

25-year-old Edmonton man pronounced dead on Shuswap Lake houseboat

Sicamous RCMP deem death to be non suspicious, BC Coroners Service investigating

Nearly 7 million late-run sockeye due to return to Shuswap

Officials hope promising Scotch Creek early-return bodes well for Adams River run

Most Read