Promises abound as would-be premiers stump for support

Tax tinkering pledges surface from Dix, Abbott to woo votes

NDP leadership hopeful Adrian Dix and Liberal George Abbott.

NDP leadership hopeful Adrian Dix and Liberal George Abbott.

NDP leadership hopeful Adrian Dix vowed Wednesday to crank corporate tax rates back up, reversing a series of business-friendly cuts made by the BC Liberals, if he becomes premier.

He said he’d roll back the latest three cuts under the Liberals, funneling $268 million a year from corporations to other priorities, including transit, climate action and child protection.

Dix said the most recent cut on Jan. 1 came at the same time MSP premiums and residential care rates for seniors rose, calling it the latest in an ongoing shift of B.C.’s tax burden onto middle income families and small businesses.

He said higher corporate tax levels would not be too onerous for big business and small business would be unaffected.

“We’re talking about returning corporate tax not to 2001 levels, but to 2008 levels, which is consistent with other provinces in the country,” Dix said. “This is not a high tax regime.”

In the Liberal leadership race, George Abbott pledged to create a new B.C. Primary Caregiver Tax Credit to help families care for elderly parents and other loved ones.

It would provide a primary caregiver $1,000 per year per dependent for up to three dependents, mirroring a similar credit now offered in Manitoba.

 “Many families take on the responsibility of the day-to-day care for a parent, relative or close friend in place of government, home-based support,” Abbott said, adding the credit would acknowledge that contribution.

The credit would work in addition to existing federal tax credits for in-home elderly dependents.

Abbott also promised a faster review of the new residential care rates phased in over the past year that have brought steep increases for all but the poorest seniors.

He cited concerns about the adequacy of the $275 minimum allowance left each month for seniors’ other expenses, how hardship exemptions are decided and special situations such as when one member of a couple goes into care and the other does not.

He pledged the review starting in January 2012, after one full year of the new rates, rather than the Liberal government’s plan for a review after three full years.

Abbott called the rebalancing of care rates “necessary” but said it must be done fairly, consistently and “compassionately.”

NDP contender Mike Farnworth unveiled a poverty reduction strategy that included raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour and indexing it to inflation.

He also vowed to jack the fines for animal cruelty, boost funding for investigations and seek stiffer penalties under the Criminal Code in light of animal abuse cases like the slaughter of sled dogs in Whistler.

NDP candidate and marijuana advocate Dana Larsen promised free SkyTrain service if he wins the race.

Just Posted

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Birtch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Dan Albas
COLUMN: Reopening the international border

Governments in Canada and the United States are working towards reopening plans for the border

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Most Read