2013: A Year in Preview – An eye on B.C. politics

The coming year will be an interesting one in B.C. politics.

The coming year will be an interesting one in B.C. politics.

The province returns to the Provincial Sales Tax on April 1 after British Columbians voted 55 per cent in favour of extinguishing the 12-per cent Harmonized Sales Tax (seven-per-cent PST and five-per-cent GST) during an August 2011 mail-in referendum.

In Greater Victoria, 105,937 of registered voters returned their referendum packages; 1.6 million participated in the vote provincewide. Only one of five electoral districts in Greater Victoria, Oak Bay-Gordon Head, which also happens to be the only Liberal-held riding, saw a majority vote to keep the HST.

A little over a month after the return to the PST/GST, British Columbians will have the opportunity to choose the party at the helm of the province on election day: May 14.

While Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and union contract negotiations may prove to be top election issues for the electorate, the more likely question looming over every election remains: just how many people will show up to the polls?

Just under 51 per cent of eligible voters (1,651,567 people) took part in the general election held May 12, 2009. B.C. was the first province in Canada to establish fixed election dates for general elections: the second Tuesday in May every four years. Parties are slated to square off again May 9, 2017 and May 11, 2021.