MLA Coralee Oakes in Victoria May 17, 2018. Photography by John Lehmann

[VICTORIA] – NDP Finance Minister Carole James confirmed her government has failed to register any opposition to the federal government’s proposed small business tax hikes despite Premier John Horgan attending a conference in Ottawa today with fellow provincial leaders and the federal government.

“The provincial Finance Minister is abdicating her responsibility to stand up for small business owners in British Columbia or at least register their deep concerns with her federal counterpart,” said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “The minister confirmed that her government has not put forward any submission or a letter to the federal government. Meanwhile Premier Horgan claims the federal hikes came out of the blue. This is a complete disappointment to the major job creators in our province.”

The federal government’s 75-day public consultation ended October 2nd. When asked during Question Period, James confirmed that no official objections have been raised with her federal counterpart Bill Morneau.

Instead, James said it was a federal matter and that MLA Oakes should take it up with Ottawa. “Perhaps she and her colleagues would also like to talk to their federal colleagues and express the views of small businesses,” James told the Legislature.

“If the Premier won’t stand up for small business, if the Finance Minister won’t do it and the Jobs Minister only plans to stay silent, then we will stand up for small businesses,” said Oakes. “We’ll make sure that Ottawa knows one side of the House is on the side of small business and the thousands they employ.”

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