We're running some new ads in the two community newspapers today which are adding a new wrinkle to our messaging.
In the past, we've been concentrating more on telling people who I am. Now, we're focusing on one particular message: lower and fairer taxes. Everywhere I go, people are upset to hear that city council is raising property taxes by 5.28% this year.
People also don't want special new taxes put on homeowners or motorists to pay for the Evergreen Line.
And, of course, most people are opposed to the provincial government's introduction of the HST. This isn't a municipal issue, but I'm still hearing about it everywhere I go.
I continue to tell people that I am deeply disappointed that the provincial government introduced this harmonized sales tax regime after promising not to; that Victoria failed utterly in explaining how the tax will work and why it's supposedly needed; and that the provincial government decided to proceed with this legislation in the face of massive, widespread public opposition.
I believe that, in the face of this tsunami of opposition, the premier and his cabinet should have taken a step back and reevaluted the province's position and really listened to and then attempted to answer the questions and meet the concerns.
Their failure to do so has not only hurt the government politically, but also shows a disrespect for the public.
I continue to believe that, as most major economists say, the HST will have a long-term beneficial effect on the provincial economy by making businesses more competitive, thereby creating jobs and wealth.
Nevertheless, for now at least, the government needs to back off, rethink everything, and develop a better implementation plan -- possibly one that has a phase-in period that lessens the short-term impact on consumers.
Meantime, here's a link to the Coquitlam Now's editorial on the by-election.