The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Stealth Tax!

Governments like to publicize unpopular moves when nobody's looking -- like around 4:30 Friday afternoons, when any good reporter is either hitting the pub or headed that way. Case in point:

Drinkers of British Columbia revolt: Province boosts booze prices

Of course, our beloved provincial government did it one better -- let it slip out in a press release at 6 PM on the day of a Cabinet shuffle! Nice one, that. Had it come out on any other day, it'd have made page A1, not buried deep down in the Bs.

Worth noting: The last time a BC government raised the markup on liquor in, the then-Opposition Liberals screamed and moaned that the then-NDP government was introducing a new tax. From the article...

The markup increase is the agency's first since August 1996.

That increase, brought in by the then-NDP government, was roundly criticized as a tax hike by the B.C. Liberals.

"The liquor markup is a tax and the NDP government is desperate for cash. [Then-premier] Glen Clark is a taxaholic," Liberal MLA Rick Thorpe said at the time.

As an aside, Thorpe was the minister who was responsible for privatizing liquor sales in BC -- and who cocked up the job miserably.

Might want to gently remind them that this move will net the Liberal government -- which blew a mother of a hole in its finances when it slashed income taxes before looking at the books first -- a cool $55-million annually, compared to $3-million in the 1996 booze tax hike. Taxaholics, indeed.

I eagerly await the howls of protest from the supposedly "non-partisan" Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Who bets that had the NDP done such a thing, the CTF's current local spokesturd would be on every TV newscast screaming bloody murder?
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