April 2, 2010

NOLC delegate speaks out on energy rates and HST

Good afternoon. My name is Lynda Zorn and I am a Senior. And I HATE the HST!
HST is an acronym for HORRIBLE STUPID TAX! (My grandson would say, "Gramma, stupid's a bad word.") Well, this is a bad tax. And I HATE the HST!
The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC), whose members are appointed, are supposed to regulate utilites prices.
Yet 9 months after approving an increase to Terasen Gas customers in Kelowna, they approved yet another 75% increase in gas prices for us effective January 1st. 75%. Outrageous!
What does that have to do with the HST? Well the price of your gas consumption is only 1/3 to 1/2 your total bill. Add to that the additional 12.5% increase they were allowed in delivery charges, then the Franchise Fee, and the Liberal's Clean Energy Levy, (called the Innovative Clean Energy Fund Levy on your electric bill -- boy this government is innovative) and the Liberal's Carbon Tax, and the GST -- all a percentage of the total. Now you can add another 7% for the HST. I HATE the HST. 7%, 12.5%, 75% -- My CPP increased less than 1/2%. My Old Age Security zip. I am senior. And I HATE the HST! Can you help me here? I HATE THE HST! (I direct choirs -- can you tell?)
Now Seniors don't have great circulation and here I was this winter with cold blue hands setting the daytime thermostat to 18, and wearing arctic fleece to bed at 15 degrees erroneously thinking I was saving money when it's all going to taxes. However, I am a green person -- I ride my bike everywhere most of the year -- and even those will get the HST -- and was seriously considering some energy retrofits, but that too will be subject to the HST. I am a Senior and I HATE the HST!
Yesterday, I stocked up on the calcium and Vitamin D that seniors are supposed to take for their old bones, because those too, will soon be subject to the HST. I am a Senior and I HATE the HST!
As we have done all our lives, seniors are willing to pay their fair share of taxes for services. But the HST is not a fair tax. I am the regional delegate for the BC Federation of Retired Union Members or BC FORUM (great website for HST info - bcforum.ca) and I asked head office what they felt was the best example of this inequity. This is their answer.
This government urged residential care facilities to contract out maintenance and care services. Those that did will now pay HST on those contracts. The BC Care Providers Association estimates the HST will cost a 100 bed facility $210,000 per year -- the equivalent of 4-5 staff positions.
I am a Senior and I HATE the HST! HORRIBLE STUPID TAX!
You know the old saying about there's only 2 things for sure in life -- death and -- the HST - because now funeral services are subject to that additional 7%. Even dying costs more.
My name is Lynda Zorn. I am a Senior and I HATE the HST!
Thank you.

James and Zorn
Lynda Zorn, BC FORUM North Okanagan Delegate, meets over coffee
with Carol James, NDP Leader of the Opposition,
to discuss the BC Utilities Commission approval of a 75% increase
for Kelowna Terasen Gas Customers and the HST.


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