Thank you for the excellent Black Press editorial of Aug. 20 (Incentive would fuel e-bike purchases) questioning the levying of PST on purchases of e-bikes, whereas that tax is not charged on regular bicycles. As well, the editorial outlined the governmental incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles and points out the lack of same for e-bikes.
A few months ago I was interested in purchasing an e-bike. At that time I wrote to Carol James, Minister of Finance in Victoria, asking her to consider removing the PST on e-bikes, using much the same arguments found in your editorial. I even hand wrote the letter, thinking that would get more attention than a typed letter or an email. Not a chance. I never had any sort of reply from that august personage.
My next attempt, using the same arguments, was an email to Ronna-Rae Leonard, the Comox-Courtenay MLA. She is the closest contact that we in Cumberland have to any provincial representatives. Eventually I did get a reply from someone in her office telling me that, because Cumberland is not in her constituency, Ms. Leonard would not deal with me, and shuffled me off to the MLA from Port Alberni (Scott Fraser) who is apparently representing Cumberland. I never did get a reply from the Invisible Man from the West Coast, but one of his representatives did reply in the finest bureaucratize, basically telling that he had no interest in dealing with me, or with the PST on e-bikes.
Unfortunately, while cleaning up the proliferation of emails, I deleted those replies from the NDP offices. Too bad, for they were classics of shuffling off responsibility.
As an aside, after the bumbling incompetence shown by the NDP during the 2005 election campaign, I dumped my membership… but I continued voting for their candidates. Given the treatment received on the PST matter, perhaps it’s time to reconsider my support next time I’m in the voting booth.