In the wake of HST’s recent defeat by referendum, the PST is creeping its way back to the bills of B.C. consumers.
Before it gets there, the province will need an office and workers to administer the tax, said B.C’s finance minister Kevin Falcon.
The Terrace Chamber of Commerce wants that office to be here.
The chamber pitched the idea to city council at its last meeting in September, asking them to discuss it at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention which took place Sept. 26 to the 30th. The chamber also asked for a letter of support for future marketing and for council to help promote Terrace to the province as a great place to have the centre. Council agreed.
While it’s not yet clear whether B.C. is looking to relocate the center, which before was in Victoria B.C. and employed roughly 300 people, the motto behind the idea is, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get,” said first vice president of the chamber Gordon Vincent-Stamp.
“We anticipate a similar number will need to be hired,” said Vincent-Stamp, noting that bringing 300 stable jobs to the region would temper the unavoidable economic highs and lows of a primarily resource based economy. He added that Terrace not only has a non-transient and available labour pool to fill the positions, but a college willing to train.
And stable jobs have a ripple effect that will reach out to other sectors of the economy, said Vincent-Stamp.
But aside from why a is great for Terrace there is a compelling case for the province to relocate here too, he added.
These include: affordable space; an available workforce; the ability to train; connectivity; an affordable cost of living for employees; real estate inventory to support an influx of imported workers; low commute times which contribute to spending time elsewhere; and accessibility, as the flight time from Terrace’s airport to Vancouver is less than some commutes in the lower mainland.
Regardless, Vincent-Stamp said that trying can only raise Terrace’s profile as a great place to work and live.