In a strange development, the B.C. Government has determined that the Georgia Straight must pay over a million dollars in taxes, on the basis that the popular weekly publication is not a newspaper.

The Ministry of Provincial Revenue has determined that the Georgia Straight is not entitled to the exemption from social service tax that is available to newspapers despite the fact that it is published on newsprint, is distributed from newsstands and its publisher has won a lifetime achievement award for journalism. The Straight does not share the enthusiasm displayed by Vancouver’s two major dailies for the current provincial government, making the imposition of the tax appear like a hamfisted attempt to muzzle criticism.