EDITORIAL: Tread carefully into new year

2013 will make for some interesting scenarios around Victoria

While many sub-plots will surface in 2013, a potential provincial government change and the return to a two-pronged sales taxation system may have the greatest impact on Capital Region residents.

We can expect the B.C. Liberals, using their advantageous position as the party with the ability to make funding announcements – new or simply restated – to keep the pedal to the metal playing catchup to the NDP in advance of the provincial election in May.

Facing major budget challenges like all municipal governments, school boards and other public bodies, the Liberals have a tough job to deliver on promises of a brighter future for British Columbians – especially with experts forecasting flat growth for B.C.

One area where Greater Victoria will see the seeds of growth, however, is in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry. The development of Seaspan’s facilities in Esquimalt and increased capacity at Victoria Shipyards parallel the training of prospective workers at the nearby Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre.

All of us will be affected by the switch back from the 12 per cent harmonized sales tax to the combination of provincial sales tax (seven per cent) and GST (five per cent). While some estimates put household expenses at around $350 higher annually under HST, it remains to be seen whether consumers will save that much money after the change is implemented.

People who eat out often may realize the most savings, as the food service industry goes back to charging GST only.

Another brighter note is that despite the gloomy predictions, shopping options continue to expand for those with money to spend. Not only does Uptown continue to lease new retail space, the Hillside Centre expansion is moving along, and changes are afoot at Tillicum Mall, with Target coming on board.

Like many consumers, however, independent shops and chain stores in other retail centres in places like the West Shore and downtown Victoria hope to hang on and stay positive through an uncertain 2013, as the economy shuffles forward.

Just Posted

Sidney Museum donates 60,000 Lego bricks to local schools

Sidney, Deep Cove, ḰELSET, Brentwood, Keating and Cordova Bay elementary schools get Lego avalanche

Victoria City Council approves inclusionary housing policy

After years of back and forth, the policy will be ratified in two weeks

Filipino Heritage Month event takes over Centennial Square

Dancing, music and food highlight Mabuhay Day celebration in Victoria

West Shore residents report finding anti-SOGI 123 flyers in mailboxes

SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar says the flyers are ‘garbage’

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read