The owner of Sonshine Car Wash and Gas shares his plight.
CTF Director Lee Harding explains that Regina's first urban reserve means lost revenue for school boards.
A Canadian Taxpayers Federation news release has shed light on an emerging issue. In Saskatchewan, more than $329 million provincial tobacco and fuel tax dollars have been rebated to on-reserve businesses since 2000. The rebates have grown from $6.7 million that year to $67 million today as tobacco taxes for off-reserve businesses has risen and urban reserves have spread. Given that provincial taxes on fuel are 15 cents per Litre, federal excise taxes are 10 cents/L, GST is applied, and provincial tobacco taxes are 18.6 cents per cigarette, off-reserve businesses have been locked out of any chance to meaningfully compete for Status Indian customers. Tax-free input costs mean cheaper overhead and lower costs for non-Aboriginal customers as well.
The future bodes worse for the province as Regina has its first urban reserve, with more in the process of receiving such status. The first, now the land of Piapot First Nation, is a site for the Cree Land Mini Mart. Its many competitive advantages have brought predictable results for nearby off-reserve businesses. One claims a 70 percent loss in customers and three employees let go since the Cree Land Mini Mart opened. This was reported on a CBC French report (This page is translated with video at the top of this post.)
On January 6, CTF Saskatchewan Director Lee Harding did 45 minutes of live radio on CKRM Regina on the topic. The audio is available here.
And there's more. Many weighed in on the issue after a Saskatoon radio station publicized the CTF release. A CTF report "Apartheid: Canada's Ugly Secret" authored by Tanis Fiss, a Metis lawyer, explains problems with current Aboriginal policy.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
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