Provincial sales tax will be expanded to sweetened carbonated drinks at a rate of seven per cent. (Black Press Media file photo)

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

Starting this summer, the B.C. government will add provincial sales tax (PST) to all carbonated beverages containing sugar or natural or artificial sweeteners.

The announcement says the sweet drinks, which the Canada Food Guide warns against consuming, will no longer qualify for the ‘food products for human consumption’ exemption under the provincial tax.

READ ALSO: 10 B.C. cities to pilot new program against childhood obesity

The seven per cent tax will also be extended to all beverages dispensed through soda fountains, soda guns or similar equipment, as well as all beverages in vending machines, with the exception of those dedicated to serving drinks other than sweet drinks such as coffee or water.

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James said the tax measure comes in response to repeated recommendations from health experts, including the Medical Services Premium Task Force.

“I hope ultimately we do see a reduction in the sales of sugary drinks and sweetened beverages,” she said, adding lobby groups have pushed for a more expansive tax on everything from juice to sweetened milk. “We feel this is taking a step in addressing the risk when it comes to sweetened beverages.”

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island school says ‘no’ to pop and juice

In its 2020-2021 fiscal plan, the government says “deterrence effects” are expected to be most prevalent in frequent pop drinkers – of whom young males are the highest demographic. The government says sweet drink consumption is higher in youth aged 14 to 18.

The sweet drinks PST will be introduced on July 1.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

B.C. Budget 2020BC legislaturebudget

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley Regional District approves emergency funding to address community COVID-19 issues

The Comox Valley Regional District’s board of directors has approved $148,279 in… Continue reading

Courtenay pharmacy donates some sanitizer despite high demand

Pure Integrative Pharmacy provides some to Glacier Village, Comox Valley Transition Society

Vancouver Island man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Successful removal of invasive plants in Comox park

The Friends of Mack Laing Nature Park (FMLNP) organized an ‘Invasive Pull… Continue reading

Craigdarroch residents find ways to help each other online and off

Neighbourhood of about 200 households lies between Royston and Union Bay

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Most Read