B.C.’s Cycle of Self Flagellation

Perhaps we should count ourselves blessed that Canada has a political culture that is boring. Let’s face it the average Canadian political campaign is as exciting as listen to accountants argue. It seems that only Quebec and British Columbia provide some meat for the political junkie. That is because both provinces have a political culture with firmly embedded cultures of corruption. Corruption is a national sport in Quebec, but B.C.’s inability to rid itself of this problem forces its culture into a predictable cyclicality which we are about to observe again.
The party of the centre-right, Liberals, Socreds, usually holds power and attempts to encourage economic acitivity. However party functionaries, usually in an attempt to secure large voting blocks in Fraser Valley constituencies frequently gorge themselves on public funds. The result is a generational purge in which the New Democratic party takes power for a term or two. The B.C. NDP has not seen the light in the same regard as the federal party, or some of their provincial cousins, such as Manitoba. B.C.’s NDP, and their current leader, are unabashed socialists.
The recent release of the NDP’s proposed tax plan is pure confiscationist Marxism. The party proposes further increases in corporate and personal taxes. This will put B.C. near the top of the tax heap. This means 5 provinces in Canada will have prohibitive tax regimes. Ontario, where the governing Liberals will pay any price to the NDP to hold on to power, Quebec where Madam Marois wishes to import the economic policies of Francois Holllande, Nova Scotia whose provincial government’s level of competence and experience is reminiscent of the Bob Rae ministry in Ontario and Manitoba, because high taxes go along with terrible weather are all painful exhibits of fiscal gluttony.
Let us remember that the natural response of all economic entities, companies or individuals, to escalating taxes is to avoid them. Despite B.C.s beautiful scenery and abundant resource base the immediate result of a Dix majority will be a flight of capital. The immediate beneficiary will be Alberta and Saskatchewan. Corporate taxes are passed on to the customers of those being taxed and those who work for the corporations. The B.C. NDP still doesn’t understand this.
Mr. Dix who channels Dave Barrett will likely win a majority and begin a socialist charge. High taxes and a massive rewarding of unions will be the direct result. Christiie Clark is not up to the job that the centre-right requires. The new leader of that bloc, whatever it is called must enforce a strict code to prevent corruption. If certain ridings are written off then so be it. Establishing a climate dominated by ethics is not only good for business it is good for the whole province. B.C. should stop aspiring to be the new Quebec but should emulate provinces like Saskatchewan and Newfoundland where the goal of prosperity supersedes that of personal enrichment.
For those who staunchly believe in a pro-growth economic policy promoted by low levels of tax will have another example of socialist failure. Let’s make sure we make the national cousins of Mr. Dix defend their foly; but let us also demand more transparency and common sense in our own ranks.

Trevor Parry

I am the National Sales Director for Gordon B. Lang & Assoc. Inc, Canada's largest IPP and RCA provider. I was called to the Ontario Bar in 1996 and hold a Masters Degree in History from the University of Toronto. I am currently compeleting a LLM in Taxation Law at Osgoode Hall. I am particularly interested in Tax Policy and how it may be fashioned to facilitate economic prosperity.