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From The Leg: Bills with tax implications, Daylight Savings Time

MLA Linda Larson

As we work our way through a long fall session at the legislature, we continue to hold the NDP/Green Coalition's "feet to the fire" on legislation that will have an economic impact on the provincial economy — Bill 2 and Bill 3 both have tax implications that will affect everyone.

The bill that raises the greatest concerns for myself and should be of concern to all the people of British Columbia is Bill 6, which is the background of a change to our democracy as we know it. The "First Past the Post" democratic system that currently serves the BC voters and most of Canada allows the voter to choose who they want to represent their interests based on similar economic and social principles. 

Bill 6 proposes a referendum for 2018 that will allow a vote on several options for choosing representation, foremost of which is " Proportional Representation".

The referendum in itself, is a democratic process; however, the vote will pass or fail on a 50% plus 1 outcome. As the population of a very small physical area of the lower mainland is greater than the population of the entire rest of British Columbia, this vote will be decided by those living in Surrey/Vancouver.

A vote on Proportional Representation has failed twice before in BC as there was a 60% over all approval required and at least 50% of the ridings also had to approve, thereby ensuring Rural BC had a say in the outcome.  Please stay informed on this issue- the voice of the taxpayers in rural BC is at stake. 

I will be introducing a Private Members Bill before the end of November to end the practise of switching our clocks twice a year to Daylight Savings Time. 

This change of time began in 1918 as a means of saving coal, it was phased out at the end of World War 2 and then reinstated in the 1960's. Every year numerous studies and articles are published about the detrimental effects on our health and our productivity costing millions to our health care system and our economy. As I am not currently on the Government side of the House it will be up to the NDP to decide at some point in the future whether they will support my bill.

I sincerely hope all of you participated in some way in Remembrance Day services in your communities. Thanks to all our local Legions for their support of all Veterans and their continued educational work in our schools to make sure our youth also understand the significance of Remembrance Day. Congratulations to Princeton's Legion on celebrating 90 years of service to their Veterans and Community.  

The weather certainly has us thinking about winter and Christmas is just around the corner. All communities celebrate in December with Christmas Craft Fairs, Concerts, and office parties. It is also the time of year when charitable organizations work even harder to support those in need. I hope you also find it in your heart to reach out to those who need a helping hand this Christmas.

Be safe and from Colleen, Patt and I and our families, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Linda Larson, MLA
Boundary-Similkameen