Premier John Horgan. File photo.

B.C. premier receives lukewarm reception at Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Speaking to a crowd of about 400 at a Victoria Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Horgan said they’re committed to ending MSPs

Premier John Horgan told a group of business leaders in Victoria that he can feel their pain, but his government won’t back away from ending the medical fees charged to B.C. residents.

Speaking to a crowd of about 400 at a Victoria Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Horgan said they’re committed to ending the medical services premium, placing the fee on businesses.

Horgan said he has been hearing from businesses with concerns the 1.95 per cent employers health tax on firms will increase costs and the government has formed a small business task force to look for ways to reduce that burden.

Horgan’s speech also touched on climate change, Indigenous rights issues, and his government’s speculation tax on vacant properties to provide more affordable housing and rental homes.

He says the government is continuing to consult with businesses about the employer health tax, but that will be the direction the government is taking.

Related: Al Gore condemns Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, sides with Horgan

The premier said he realizes there are challenges and the government wants to address them with business, but he was making no promises.

“This is what the rest of the country is doing,” Horgan says. “This is not an anomaly. We are catching up.”

Allan Cahoon, president and vice-chancellor at Royal Roads University, says the employer tax is a challenge.

“What it means is we’re going to have to recalculate our ability to generate revenue and accommodate it,” he said. “It was a surprise to get it. I think we can figure out how to do it.”

Related: One year later: Horgan approval rating remains high but NDP support low, poll says

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Battle of the Bands winner set to perform at Char’s Landing

Sean Lyons is a singer-songwriter originally from Port Alberni

Port Alberni sends large contingent of athletes to Special Olympics Winter Games

Veteran curler Simone Myers dreams of gold in her seventh provincials

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

Most Read