Big business on the hit list for Vancouver City Hall

Post by Mike Klassen in ,


cadmanLate this afternoon, the City of Vancouver posted the agenda for the upcoming council meeting next week. Tucked in the agenda is a motion by the COPE/Vision caucus which takes aim at Vancouver's big businesses. The motion calls for the Province to provide the City of Vancouver with the power to give tax breaks only to 'small business' and exempt big business.

The motion lacks any definition regarding what classifies as a small business. Presumably, Council is seeking to give tax breaks to small mom-and-pops, while leaving companies with 20 or more employees left high and dry.

Councillor David Cadman introduced the motion, but it sounds eerily similar to what City Budgets Committee Chair Councillor Raymond Louie pushed for in the last term of Council. In the world of COPE, the story goes something like this. Small businesses good. Big businesses bad. End of story.

With Vancouver desperately trying to attract new businesses and investment in the midst of an economic meltdown, the timing of COPE/Vision's motion is odd. The motion sends the wrong message, at the wrong time and I doubt it will get approved by the Province.

In the past, some councillors have spoken out against the property tax shift and said they couldn't support it because it didn't differentiate between small and big business. This motion is likely aimed at addressing those concerns given Council will be debating the issue of the tax shift in the coming weeks as part of the 2009 Budget.

A couple of other motions were also introduced including one to introduce a number of new advisory committees at City Hall. They include a new committee to support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer community, as well as a new women's, seniors and persons with disabilities committee.

How do you say "back to the future"? The previous NPA-led Council either ended or merged many of these special interest committees in 2006.


We are talking about "property tax" not "business tax." The Business Tax was eliminated in 1983 because it was inferior to a property tax system. Mr. Cadman is trying to deceive the public into thinking that he is trying to look out for the little guy (and I am one of the small business owners he is talking about). But when the Province ignores him and his half-baked ideas he will say he tried but it is the Liberal government at fault! This cynical disregard for the facts and his attempt to deceive the public by hiding behind their misunderstanding of a complicated issue is the kind of political crap that the voters south of the border managed to eliminate in their last election. Why not put an end to the mouthy has-been old-school pundits that plague us all?

Did I not read in The Courier before the last civic election that Cadman had a stock portfolio that almost anyone would envy. Apparently it contained about 56 stocks. Maybe thats why he never read any of the reports during the last council, I guess he was to busy e-mailing his broker.

I wonder who Cadman spoke to before writing his do-gooder motion - it certainly was not the business community. They could have supplied him 100 reasons why this is a really bad idea. This motion is impossible to execute and is a very poor substitute for appropriate and fair taxation for all commercial rate payers.

Hopefully, Vision has the common sense not to buy this nonsense.

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