If you live in the Victoria area or are planning to visit, join me this Thursday July 7 for a bike rally! Our message is clear: Vote Yes to extinguish the HST on bikes in BC!

The rally starts at 11am sharp at Performance Cycles, 3949 Quadra St. We’ll pick up riders along the way. Our tentative schedule includes stops at Ryder’s Cycles, Straight-Up Cycles and Russ Hayes. The rally finishes at Capital City Cycles, 1419 Broad St, at 12pm with a few short speeches by leaders in the cycling and anti-HST community.

Click here for the route.

For thirty years, bikes (and bike expenses like repairs, helmets and locks) were PST exempt. Why? Because it makes no sense to tax such a healthy and environmentally-friendly form transportation. The HST ended the exemption and in effect created a new 7% tax cycling. Just over a year ago squeakywheels.ca brought together thousands of cyclists from across BC who opposed the HST and the new tax it put on cycling. Over 500 hundred of us rallied on the front steps of the Legislature and I submitted a petition to the Speaker of the House with over 5000 signatories. With the HST referendum ongoing, now is the time for cyclists to again come together and send a strong message: Vote Yes to extinguish the HST on bikes in BC!

Can the B.C. Liberal government explain how jacking up the price of a bike is going to help make B.C. more sustainable or encourage people to make healthy lifestyle choices? And how does a new tax on cycling possibly advance B.C.’s Climate Action Plan? Getting people out of their cars and onto their bikes will reduce carbon emissions. It also means less traffic congestion, less wear and tear on our roads and lower health-care costs. A government that increases taxes on green transportation is traveling in the wrong direction. Join me for a ride on Thursday and let’s help turn this thing around! If you cannot attend, remember to Vote Yes to extinguish the HST on bikes in BC!

Lana Popham
MLA, Saanich South