Basran: Not overly optimistic after meeting with premier

Mayor Colin Basran says he's not holding his breath after meeting with Premier John Horgan about the speculation tax on Monday.

Basran says his meeting along with West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater didn't yield any breakthroughs.

"I have to say, (I'm) not overly optimistic that anything will change. (Horgan) did say that his government was pretty locked into this proposal moving forward, but you know what, we'll keep doing what we can to have them potentially change their minds, and we'll see where things go," he said.

"Overall, happy he was able to share some time with us, happy he listened to what we had to say, but now we'll see whether or not he makes any changes as a result of what we put forward."

He says Horgan committed to bringing their concerns back to the finance ministry, but that it sounds like the province has already made up its mind.

"He was pretty clear that they're pretty locked into moving this forward, so maybe some tweaks perhaps, would be welcomed. Obviously we'd like to be exempted entirely, but we'll just have to wait and see whether they're willing to make any further changes," he said.

Basran says at this point, the best thing the city can do is to continue to lobby that Kelowna be exempt from the tax when it's implemented.

"There wasn't any new information that he was able to provide us, so from that standpoint, it wasn't anything we haven't heard before from him or the finance minister. But like I say, at the end of the day we welcomed the opportunity to be able to share our concerns, we believe they're valid concerns, and we hope that the provincial government will take them into consideration moving this forward."

Last week, Basran said that Horgan had initially turned down a meeting with him in lieu of a discussion with the finance minister, before finally agreeing to the conference with Findlater.