Letters: Port Renfrew excluded says Hicks

Local regional director takes aim at Christy Clark and Kevin Falcon

Open letter  to Premier Christy Clark:

Dear Premier Clark,

Minister Kevin Falcon recently announced the provincial Secondary and Recreational Home Grant Program, forgiving purchasers of the HST throughout all of rural British Columbia except Port Renfrew. I pointed out this error on Feb 23 to Mr. Falcon and on May 3 received his reply.

Minister Falcon states in his letter: “The intent of the measure is to assist workers and communities in British Columbia that depend on the residential recreational development industry during the transition to the provincial sales tax (PST).  I appreciate that whenever eligibility criteria are set, there will be those who may feel they should have been included or excluded.  However, in my view, setting the geographic boundaries of the grant program to exclude the CRD and the GVRD remains the appropriate policy.”

Port Renfrew’s workers, community and families are 100 per cent dependent on the recreational development industry. We are geographically located on the outer edge of the CRD and are excluded from this program because of our location, not our qualifications or need.

Your government is promoting Tofino, Lake Cowichan, Parksville and every other rural recreational property in British Columbia except rural parts of the CRD. The Juan de Fuca and Port Renfrew have been unjustly excluded and in my opinion discriminated against as British Columbians.

I ask that you reconsider Mr. Falcon’s decision, include Port Renfrew in the grant program and allow us to enjoy the same benefits as the rest of rural British Columbia.

Mike Hicks

Regional Director

Juan de Fuca