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

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Dennis Dugas speaks out on being the new mayor for Port Hardy

“It was pretty overwhelming, but also pretty humbling to be chosen.”

Quarterdeck restaurant, pub temporarily closed until summer

“We have decided to close the pub until April 30, 2019,” stated the pub’s announcement.

Voters talk on Port Hardy’s municipal election

Port Hardy residents talked on local issues and reasons to vote

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Kevin Cameron says being elected Port Alice mayor wasn’t a forgone conclusion

“At the end of the day I was the successful candidate.”

LIVE BLOG: Full election results for Tri-Port area

Follow this post for comprehensive coverage on the mayor, council, school board and more

Gaby Wickstrom talks being new mayor of Port McNeill

“To me it shows that people are ready for a fresh vision for a vibrant community.”

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

Most Read