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7% decrease in cost of bikes, bike repairs and bike equipment

April 3, 2013

Dear Cyclists,

Thank you for your successful efforts to make cycling more affordable in BC. Our activism helped highlight a significant problem with the HST and strengthened the larger battle against it.

With the end of BC's HST on April 1 2013, the PST exemption on bikes, bike repairs and bike equipment has been restored. 

Our cycling bills are now 7% less expensive.

This is a positive development. Cycling was exempted from the PST decades ago because our province wanted to incentivize a healthy and environmentally-friendly form of transit. That was – and is – a sound policy.

It was my privilege to work on this issue. I took the lead on everything from creating a network of bike shops and bike enthusiasts across the province, developing and promoting a petition and organizing several rallies, one of which brought together hundreds of people at the Legislature and drove a lot of media attention to the issue. 

Of course there is much more that we can and should do to encourage cycling in BC.  I look forward to hearing your views on how this can be done and also to sharing with you my own perspective.

But the purpose of this blog is fulfilled and this will be my last post. I will leave it untouched on the internet (there is no cost) as part of the historical record of our successful efforts to stop the HST on BIKES in BC.

Squeaky wheels got the grease!




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