B.C.’s New Democrat government ended the spring session of the legislature thinking the worst was over when it came to the painful launch and scrambled retooling of its speculation tax.
But a new flare-up of anger has opened up battles on several fronts that will test the political mettle of Premier John Horgan’s government, and could even threaten its very survival.
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West Kelowna continues its persistent fight to be exempted from the speculation tax, Green leader Andrew Weaver is contemplating ways to defeat the tax’s enabling legislation this fall and the future of the NDP’s minority government could hang in the balance of a byelection in Nanaimo — where MLAs have been getting an earful from unhappy constituents in a city that also wants out of the tax.
West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater released a letter to the premier Friday that said the government has put his city and the City of Kelowna “at an economic disadvantage compared to other communities in the region that are not subjected to the tax.” The looming tax has already caused the cancellation of a planned 1,000-home development, he said.