Taxpayers lobby group stops in Kamloops to talk pipeline capacity and tax revenue loss - InfoNews

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Taxpayers lobby group stops in Kamloops to talk pipeline capacity and tax revenue loss

Canadian Taxpayer Federation directors Franco Terrazzano, left, and Kris Sims stand in front of a live ticker that displays the federal losses due to pipeline restrictions. The pair held a media event in Kamloops, Wednesday, June 5, 2019.
June 05, 2019 - 1:34 PM

KAMLOOPS - Canadian Taxpayers Federation directors made a stop in Kamloops today as part of the lobby group's cross country tour to point out how much money taxpayers are losing due to a lack of pipeline capacity.

Franco Terrazzano, the group's Alberta director, was joined by B.C. director Kris Sims at the Canco gas station on Tranquille Road for a media event today, June 5.

Terrazzano has been travelling across the country to share the federation’s findings on the federal losses of revenue due to restricted pipeline usage. He spoke about how much money has been lost in previous years, and what that money could have been used for.

“We’ve had a good reception for the most part,” he says. “When people hear about the cost of the lack of the pipelines, they think initially of lost jobs or harm done to the economy in specific regions or provinces. A lot of Canadians we’ve been talking to are surprised how much government revenue we’re losing out on.”

According to Terrazzano, the country has lost out on $6 billion since 2013, and the money the federal government is missing out on reaches $3.6 million per day. He put the figures into perspective by illustrating what the money could do for citizens.

“With all this money lost between 2013 and 2023, we’d be able to build at least six new hospitals based on the cost of St. Paul’s hospital in metro Vancouver,” he says. “We could fully fund 26,000 new teaching positions for ten years, or exempt all residents of Kamloops from paying federal taxes for 17 years.”

The duo stress that it’s important for citizens to make their voices heard in order to create change. They suggest people contact their Member of Parliament and members of local government, to share their thoughts about the pipeline issue.

“Be polite, be firm, be clear,” Sims says. “Say things like ‘I won’t vote for you in the next election, or I will door knock against you and tell my neighbours not to vote for you.’ That’s what activism really is.”

Although they believe it is important for citizens to use their voice and votes, they claim it is an impartial problem. 

“From a taxpayers perspective, this is a non-partisan issue,” says Terrazzano. “Taxpayers just need a workable regulatory system.”

They stress the problem affects many more citizens than Canadians often believe. Although lost jobs are a visible issue in some provinces than others, they believe it is a problem that affects the whole nation.

“I know tonnes of people that work in the energy industry, and they live back here,” Sims says. “Even though (Albertan’s) are our friends and neighbours and family, and we’d care for them anyways, it’s British Columbians that are hurting too.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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