NEWS RELEASE · 11th June 2010
MP Nathan Cullen - Smithers
Today’s surprise resignation of BC energy minister Blair Lekstrom because of public opposition to the coming HST “knocks the wheels off” Gordon Campbell’s HST bandwagon, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said.
“Huge. Just huge,” Cullen said of the Peace River South MLA’s announcement today that he has left the BC Liberal Cabinet and Caucus because his constituents hotly oppose the HST “and are unhappy with the way in which our government moved forward with this policy.”
“Mr. Lekstrom was an important minister, a recognized leader in Cabinet, and very popular in his riding, which is one of the safest Liberal seats,” Cullen noted. “He’s done the right thing by taking his lead from his constituents and I encourage other Liberals to do the same.”
NDP MPs are strongly opposed to expanding the HST into BC and Ontario and voted against enabling legislation last December. The federal government will begin collecting the new 12-percent HST in BC on July 1, applying it to many goods and services not currently taxed provincially.
This weekend, federal NDP MPs are scheduled to speak against the HST at the national convention of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union in Whistler.
More than 600,000 voters in B.C. have signed a petition intended to strike down the unpopular tax, which is scheduled to be implemented on July 1.