Category: Government Works

30 point plan, BC’s tabled budget

  • A new speculation tax for 2018 that targets foreign and domestic speculators who do not pay income tax in BC. It will apply to Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Capital and Nanaimo regional districts, along with Kelowna and West Kelowna.
  • The new speculation tax rate will be 0.5% of taxable assessed value for 2018 and 2% thereafter. It will capture satellite families and generally exempt primary residences and long-term rentals.
  • Increasing the foreign buyer’s tax from 15% to 20% and extending it to include the Fraser Valley, Capital, Nanaimo and Central Okanagan Regional Districts as of February 21, 2018.
  • Increasing the property transfer tax on residential properties over $3 million from 3% to 5% effective February 21, 2018.
  • Increasing the school tax on homes assessed over $3 million beginning in 2019.
  • Allowing online accommodation providers to apply provincial sales tax and municipal and regional district sales tax.
  • Allowing municipalities, regional districts and eligible entities, such as tourism-focussed non-profits, to use revenues from the PST and MRDT to fund affordable housing initiatives.
  • Building a database for pre-sale condo assignments and require the collection of new information to stop tax evasion in condo pre-sales assignment.
  • Taking action to end hidden ownership, by requiring new information on PPT tax forms and including a new public beneficial ownership registry.
  • Strengthening provincial auditing and enforcement powers, and expanding information collection and information sharing with the CRA to prevent tax evasion.
  • Moving to close property tax loopholes in the Agricultural Land Reserve to ensure agricultural land is used for farming.
  • Creating a permanent multi-agency working group on tax evasion, money laundering and housing.
  • Investing $6 billion over 10 years in homes and housing supports including $1.6 billion over three years with:


  • $453 million to support 19,000 units of affordable housing
  • $308 million for critical maintenance and energy performance upgrades to existing social housing
  • $450 million to help finance 5000 new student housing beds at public post secondary institutions
  • $178 million for 2500 supportive housing units for the homeless
  • $158 million for 1750 units for indigenous peoples
  • $141 million for 1500 units for women and children fleeing abuse
  • Enhancing rental assistance programs with an increase to the Shelter for Elderly Renters (SAFE) benefit and the Rental Assistance Program for low-income working.
  • Creating a ‘Housing Hub’ in BC Housing to engage governments, non-profits the private sector in creating housing solutions. The new Housing Hub will be funded through re-allocated funds following a wind down of the BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership Program.
  • Provincial mirroring of property tax exemptions under municipal revitalization agreements for qualifying purpose built rentals.
  • Committing $5 million over 3 years to help fund need assessments for local governments to help them build capacity to build and retain affordable housing.
  • Empower local governments by developing new tools such as rental zoning to accelerate the construction of new homes. Source UBCM

Other proposed provisions include:

  • A billion dollars for child care including subsidies for licenced spaces 22,000 more spaces and support for early childhood educators.
    On this Day: February 21st 1925

The New Yorker is published for the first time.


Mounties management…


DSC_3348British Columbia contracts with the federal police force, the RCMP, more than any other province to supply municipal policing. The Union of  British Columbia Municipalities is looking for representatives to be on the committee that does the contracts.

  • Community with population over 15,000, from the Lower Mainland RCMP District and within the Metro Vancouver Regional District (2 representatives, 3-year terms);
  • Community with population over 15,000, from outside the Lower Mainland RCMP District (1 representative, 3-year term); and,
  • Community with population between 5,000 and 15,000 (1 representative, 3-year term). Source UBCM

They are closing applications on February 2nd 2018. Contact UBCM selections will be made at the next meeting after closing.

A great public service opportunity. The positions are for local government elected representatives  and involves ay least 2 meetings a year. Meeting costs are paid as per policy.

Editors note: smaller communities get a value fot using the federal force that is not availble when they supply their own.

On this Day: January 25th 1792

The London Corresponding Society is formed.

On holidays

We are on holidays please enjoy on this Day.

On this Day: December 28th 1912

The first municipal street cars run in San Francisco.

Embers away


The sun west of Merritt, Red from smoke, of the 2017 fire season in the Sothern interior of BC File Photo KDG

The provincial government is doing an intake for their 2018 Wildfire protection initiative. Embers can find fuel in places around and on buildings, making your property fire safe is a goal of the BC government.

Applications for fuel management prescriptions supported by a current and approved Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and for operational treatment projects supported by a current and approved prescription, will be considered for funding.

Program materials and intake information for the February intake will be available at the Union of BC Municipalities website at the end of December 2017.

Future intakes to SWPI will be subject to the outcomes of the provincial wildfire reviews. source UBCM

On this Day: December 13th 2007

The Treaty of Lisbon is signed.

Gas tax report…



The provincial government has received its federal gas tax report for monies spent…

Since 2005, the Federal Gas Tax Fund has provided $1.4 billion to 3,729 infrastructure and capacity building projects in B.C. communities. UBCM’s report on expenditures for the 2016 program year is now available. Along with aggregate comparisons of 2014-2016 reporting data, the report provides a complete list of the 896 projects under way during reporting period. Source UBCM

We are still inextricably tied to the production, distribution and consumption of Fossil fuels.


File Photo KDG


On this Day: November 29th 1929

Admiral Byrd starts his first south pole quest.

Giant book sale started


The local library has begun their book sale at the 1691 Garcia Street location. Coupons were available for one free item a day on the counters before the sale, and may still be found in the program guide or published in the local weekly paper The Merritt Herald. 

Some great hard cover books are available for 2 dollars  and there is a room full of paperbacks for a dollar a piece.

The book sale goes to Saturday December 9th with new items being unboxed daily.

On this Day: November 28th 1919
Lady Astor Elected to British Parliament.

Asbestos Consultation under way


The BC Government of  is leading a working group about the threat of asbestos in the work place; “the number one killer of workers in BC”.
The group is seeking input formal, informal input of any kind on the safe use, handling, removal, abatement and disposal.
Public input can be given through the next few weeks at the BC Ministry of Labour, contact John Blakely.



Black Beard the pirate ( Edward Teach) is killed by the Royal Navy.

Gas prices climbing


broken sign no contract….
Photo KDG

 The price of gas is having a roller coaster ride in this morning with some at a dollar thirty two and some at $1.38.9. Prices had been at $1.38.9 last week then were put down to $1.25.9.
There is a petition against more taxes on gasoline on the gas buddy site. The context is the new provincial government of John Horgan has a razor thin coalition majority in the parliament and relies on the Green party to govern. The executive took tolls of some bridges in the lower mainland and is due for a budget. However the petition is for the Capital Region in Victoria for transit funding.

At this writing the difference between the downtown Petrocan and the on Dewolf road leaving town on highway 5 is 5 cents a liter. The Chevron on Dewolf is 2 cent s more then Petrocan at $1.32.9.

On this Day: November 7th 1921

Perfect fool premiers in New York.


Works like a Dam


Smart meter installed in trailer court

The provincial hydro utility is giving a challenge to conserve power. To take part join the power smart team, save 10percent on hydro over a year and you are eligible for a 50 dollar prize.


Looking to save money on your electricity bills? Become a member of Team Power Smart and challenge yourself to reduce your home’s electricity use by 10% in the next year. If you’re successful, you can earn a $50 reward.

Along the way, we’ll provide helpful advice, tips and success stories from other team members to keep you motivated.

You’ll also have the opportunity to enter exclusive contests for a great chance to win prizes like an LED lighting package, programmable thermostat, and gift cards.

The not for profit utility is always having conservation initiatives.  And is required not to retain earning but deliver the efficiencies back to the rate payers by lower rates.

You will need an online account to participate.

On this Day: November 1st 1918

Western Ukraine becomes a separate country.



50 years young

Library self checker
File photo KDG

The regional district is recognizing 50 years of being this next month. The 3rd level of government is a number of communities, Kamloops being the largest. In the event of failure of local government the regional district becomes the authority. ( thankfully the state of emergency, forest fires, )ended this week.
The district will be having a meet and greet ant the library in Merritt on Oct 6th, a Friday, drop in between 2:30 and 4:30 PM. A photo contest and triva contest is available through the website. contest 

On this Day: September 21st 1938

Up to 700 people perish in the great hurricane of New York.


Rip rap

Rip Rap installed at Central park
Photo KDG

About a hundred feet of Rip rap installed at Central park on Tuesday. High water this spring saw some challenges  to banks.

On this Day: August 2nd 1870
The worlds first underground railway opens in London, the 410 meter Tower Subway.


Construction started
Photo KDG

Construction has started on the multi million dollar addition to the local NVIT campus.
NVIT a public college, top of the hill on Belshaw avenue in Merritt completing is circle of buildings… in its original plan.

On this day: June 29th 2007
Apple introduces its first mobile phone.

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