From the Vancouver Sun: An anti-tax coalition in Vancouver has launched a campaign demanding the B.C. government give business owners extra votes in local elections.

Yes, you read that correctly.

  • According to the Postmedia-owned Vancouver Sun, a group calling itself the “Business Tax Alliance” is working with a Texas law firm that helps corporations pay lower taxes to campaign for the reinstatement of a law (which was abolished in 1993) that allowed corporations — or, more accurately, their owners — to vote in municipal elections.

The group’s case for giving business owners more votes than regular citizens hinges on its complaints about property taxes, which the group claims are too high.

  • As noted by the Sun, the group’s partnering law firm, Ryan LLC, works with massive multinational corporations such as BP and Walmart to lower their taxes.

The Sun interviewed a member of the anti-tax alliance — which also includes more than a dozen “business improvement associations” — named Mike Jeffs, who owns several Vancouver restaurants, including Nook and Oddfish.

  • In a job posting from July this year, Nook sought 12 full-time cooks to be paid “$15.20 to $19.00/hour” depending on their experience. $15.20 per hour is the minimum wage in B.C.

According to the Sun, the B.C. Chamber of Commerce has long supported giving business owners more votes than ordinary citizens.

  • As recently reported by The Maple, the B.C. Chamber is among the business lobby groups currently trying to stop legislated paid sick leave for workers.

The B.C. Chamber represents dozens of major corporations, including the Hyatt Regency hotel in Vancouver.

Postmedia, which owns the Vancouver Sun, is also a member of the B.C. Chamber.

Read the Vancouver Sun’s full story, published Monday, here.

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