Premier John Horgan. File photo.

B.C. premier receives lukewarm reception at Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Speaking to a crowd of about 400 at a Victoria Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Horgan said they’re committed to ending MSPs

Premier John Horgan told a group of business leaders in Victoria that he can feel their pain, but his government won’t back away from ending the medical fees charged to B.C. residents.

Speaking to a crowd of about 400 at a Victoria Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Horgan said they’re committed to ending the medical services premium, placing the fee on businesses.

Horgan said he has been hearing from businesses with concerns the 1.95 per cent employers health tax on firms will increase costs and the government has formed a small business task force to look for ways to reduce that burden.

Horgan’s speech also touched on climate change, Indigenous rights issues, and his government’s speculation tax on vacant properties to provide more affordable housing and rental homes.

He says the government is continuing to consult with businesses about the employer health tax, but that will be the direction the government is taking.

Related: Al Gore condemns Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, sides with Horgan

The premier said he realizes there are challenges and the government wants to address them with business, but he was making no promises.

“This is what the rest of the country is doing,” Horgan says. “This is not an anomaly. We are catching up.”

Allan Cahoon, president and vice-chancellor at Royal Roads University, says the employer tax is a challenge.

“What it means is we’re going to have to recalculate our ability to generate revenue and accommodate it,” he said. “It was a surprise to get it. I think we can figure out how to do it.”

Related: One year later: Horgan approval rating remains high but NDP support low, poll says

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Woman speaks out after alleged sexual assault at Duncan Walmart

Allegations launched against man with ties to Ladysmith community

Mary Lowther column: Figuring out fermentation

I bought the book The Plant Paradox on the recommendation of a friend

Island Foreign Trade Zone designation explained at VIEA Summit

A significant step towards balancing and diversifying our Island economy.

Cowichan Capitals struggle on Interior road trip

Penalties plague Caps, who return home this weekend

Trauma-focused yoga program comes to Duncan

The Reaching Out With Yoga project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Coming up in Cowichan: Pair of Mill Bay Marine Rescue Society fundraisers

Fall Fishing Derby will benefit Mill Bay Marine Search and Rescue Mill… Continue reading

Cowichan Coffee Time

Chain of Love and Lake to Lake Walk

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land for expansion

Shots fired at Vancouver Island house during fight

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say Nanaimo RCMP

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

Most Read