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MILOBAR – ‘Top-up’ of electric vehicle rebate program is actually a reduction

(Image: Pixabay.com)

By PETER MILOBAR
MLA, Kamloops-North Thompson

WE RECENTLY SAW ANOTHER pathetic attempt by John Horgan and the NDP to fool British Columbians — this time, with regards to rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles in this province.

The government news release — conveniently put out on a Saturday — proclaimed the Province would be topping up its electric vehicle rebate program.

Sounds like good news, right? Well, that headline couldn’t have been more misleading. It turns out that instead of getting a $5,000 government rebate for the purchase of an electric vehicle, British Columbians will now get only $3,000. That’s not a ‘top-up’– that’s a reduction.

MLA Peter Milobar.

The NDP attributes this to the popularity of the program. But it’s worth reminding them that back in the spring, our Official Opposition pointed out there simply wasn’t enough money in the program.

The NDP told us not to worry. Now, British Columbians who are looking to buy an electric vehicle – as the NDP are mandating, as they vow to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2040 – will be out-of-pocket, thanks to their incompetence.

This whole debacle is a prime example of how the NDP are severely underfunding a marquee initiative of their CleanBC program, by directing the majority of new carbon taxation to general revenue instead of the environmental programs the tax is intended for. This is precisely why the BC Liberals have been so vocal about the NDP decision to remove the carbon tax’s revenue neutrality — but again, they haven’t been listening.

But this isn’t the only example. John Horgan and the NDP also didn’t listen when our Official Opposition raised the concern that their flawed Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) would lead to higher project costs as a similar program did on their watch in the 1990s.

Sure enough, the very first CBA project is already over budget. The cost estimate for the Illecillewaet four-laning project east of Revelstoke has risen by $22.3 million — or 47 per cent — due in part to rising labour costs associated with the NDP’s CBA plan.

The BC Liberals also warned the NDP that their proposed agriculture legislation would hurt farmers across this province but again, they didn’t listen. Now there is a major uproar over new rules which are preventing farmers from building secondary dwellings on their properties for family members who want to help keep their operations going.

Coincidentally, a news release to announce these new rules coming into force was also quietly released on a Saturday. In addition, a stricter interpretation of rules by the Agricultural Land Commission is hindering farmers from starting up side businesses or agri-tourism operations — all while using their farm products, on their properties — as an additional source of revenue.

In the midst of all this fallout, the agriculture minister has tried to blame the BC Liberals rather than take responsibility for her damaging Bills 52 and 15.

Perhaps the biggest example of a government not listening to people comes from John Horgan and his forests minister’s botched caribou consultation process. It took numerous angry community meetings and tens of thousands of names on petitions for the NDP to finally admit they didn’t properly consult industry, local governments, and outdoor enthusiasts on their proposed draft caribou recovery plan.

They just didn’t care about the many social and economic consequences of their proposed actions — but communities do care, and they made their voices loud and clear.

The fact of the matter is, John Horgan and the NDP aren’t listening to you — nor to the Opposition MLAs who are raising concerns on your behalf. They are more interested in plowing ahead with their activist agenda and pleasing their loyal supporters. It’s not good for you as a citizen and taxpayer, and it’s certainly not good for British Columbia.

Peter Milobar is the MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson.

About Mel Rothenburger (8039 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on MILOBAR – ‘Top-up’ of electric vehicle rebate program is actually a reduction

  1. Grouchy 1 // July 5, 2019 at 1:44 PM // Reply

    Gee whiz, who rattled Peter’s chain, and woke him up again ? Just more scripted prattle about nothing.

  2. John Noakes // July 5, 2019 at 7:40 AM // Reply

    In Grade 8, we had a wonderful teacher who was also the Principal of the Elementary School.
    He taught his students about Canadian politics. One of his pet peeves was the claim of almost every government “giving” things to people. He explained that tax revenue is collected from tax payers and that revenue is distributed by governments in power.

    If even Grade 8 students were expected to understand this basic principle, it baffles me how Mr. Milobar attempts to spin a story that his opposition party could magically come up with a far better way to reward people who would buy an electric vehicle.

    Greater distribution of funds requires greater contribution through taxation.

    Thank you, Mr. Reaburn.

  3. The government has the responsibility to balance the “wants” of the “have” with the “necessities” of the “have not”. And it appears this government is doing reasonably well on both these social “poles”.
    Why would the government buy anyone a new car anyway?

  4. David Goar // July 4, 2019 at 8:07 AM // Reply

    What a hypocrite Milobar is.

    How can someone who actively promotes pipelines and the fossil fuel industry complain about the ineffectiveness of a program to encourage the purchase of EVs. All of this is about scoring cheap and easy political points in a futile partisan battle, rather than doing, or saying, anything useful.

    It would be nice if politicians focused less on partisanship and more on leadership. Without such a change of focus, all we have, at the end of the day is what W. Shakespeare aptly described as “ A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

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