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Comment of the Day

January 27, 2010

To Whom It May Concern,

I'm a new transplant to BC, have been here for a year and 3 months now.   For about 10 months now I've been commuting to work daily by bike, riding from my home in Vancouver East to the office in downtown Coal Harbour.   The daily ride has been one of the best things about living here.  I get to enjoy exercise and the scenery; others benefit from my little part to help reduce pollution and traffic injury/deaths.  Wouldn't it be great if more and more residents of BC come to realize that commuting by bike (yes even through the rain!) is fun and beneficial for everyone?  Wouldn't it behoove the government to encourage this behavior through tax incentive?  In my opinion, allowing the HST to apply to bicycles (and bicycle safety equipment) is exactly the opposite of what is needed in an age when reducing energy consumption, green house gas, and people's waistlines are primary concerns for every developed nation.

Y. Lin, Vancouver


Thank you for visiting squeakywheels.ca! I created this website to bring together cyclists from across BC who wanted to voice their opposition to the government’s decision to impose a new tax on cycling.

For almost thirty years, bikes (and bike expenses like repairs, helmets and locks) have been PST exempt. Why? Because successfive governments agreed it made no sense to tax such a healthy and environmentally-friendly form of transportation.

This rationale has only become stronger over time as we’ve learned more about the benefits of healthy living and the importance of reducing our carbon emissions. The more we can encourage people to ride bikes rather than drive cars, the better it is for everyone. It means less traffic congestion, less wear and tear on our roads and potentially lower health-care costs.

I wonder if the B.C. government can explain how jacking up the price of a bike is going to help make B.C. more sustainable or encourage people to make healthy lifestyle choices. How does this possibly advance B.C.’s Climate Action Plan?

A government that increases taxes on green transportation is traveling in the wrong direction.

I am of the view that we need to create incentives for green transportation and disincentives for more polluting forms of transportation. Standing up for cyclists as an Opposition MLA is one way that I can help keep the pressure on.

While we were unsuccessful in stopping the government from imposing the HST (on bicycles) we were part of a larger movement that has successfully kept alive the opposition to the HST.

Cyclists continue to argue that tax increases on green transportation options - like cycling - are a mistake. We are calling for provincial policy changes which will create incentives for people to choose greener ways to travel.

I will continue to make these arguments in and outside of the BC Legislature and I welcome your input and support.

Lana Popham
MLA Saanich South