MLA Eric Foster appeared as a delegation at Monday’s Vernon council meeting (Pete McIntyre/Beach Radio photo)
The MLA for Vernon-Monashee is speculating that Vernon and other cities could be included in the NDP’s speculation tax in the not too distant future.
Liberal Eric Foster told Vernon council, only larger urban areas are included now.
“Don’t make any mistake. It’s a fairly sizeable revenue stream, and the areas that aren’t taken in by that now, we’re assured, that the long term plan is that they will be,” said Foster.
Foster says it’s a surprise a community like Whistler isn’t already included in the tax, given its number of secondary homes.
Finance Minster Carole James announced changes to the proposed tax Monday that exempts more home owners, and reduces the levy to others, but keeps the tax in place for cities like Kelowna and West Kelowna.
Meantime, Foster is expecting a busy spring at the BC Legislature.
The three term provincial politician, who is also the Liberal’s caucus whip, told city council, MLA’s are waiting for the NDP’s legislation on recreational cannabis.
He says municipalities will have control over how many pot-selling businesses they want.
“Those numbers are going to be left up to the municipalities. Unlike the private liquor stories which are heavily controlled by the province, the cannabis stores will be your call, if you want to have 15 outlets, two outlets, or no outlets.”
Foster says the City of Richmond is among the communities that have passed a bylaw saying they won’t allow any licensed cannabis retailers.