Public pressure really does work

Editor’s Note:

MLA Norm Macdonald is in Revelstoke on Sept. 8 to meet constituents at the Community Centre from 1 p.m. on and is also speaking about the HST at an Open House and Public Forum organized with the Chamber of Commerce later that afternoon.  This event will begin at 5 p.m. at the Revelstoke Community Centre.  Presentations and time for questions will start at 6:30 p.m.

MLA Norm Macdonald
MLA Norm Macdonald

If you think the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is a bad idea, and you want to stop it, the following headline in the Sept. 3 Vancouver Sun is very good news.

Victoria backs down on arts funding cuts after outcry

Here is proof positive that if people speak out loudly and strongly, even the most out of touch government can be forced to react.

Non-profit organizations across the province have been reeling from the news that their funding agreements with the provincial government had been cancelled.  And when some of those organizations threatened to sue the government, all of a sudden, the government decided to reconsider.  With a bit of pressure applied in the right place, the government was forced to live up to its obligations.

How does this apply to the HST issue?  The BC Liberals were re-elected in May based on the promise that they did not support the HST.  Immediately after the election, the BC Liberals announced that they were implementing the HST.  They made an agreement with the electorate, and then they broke that agreement.

The lesson that can be learned from the experience of these non-profit organizations is that if you fight back, you just might win.

So, when people ask me what they can do to stop the HST, I say they need to stand up and fight.  If you believe that the BC Liberals were wrong to mislead British Columbians about their plans for HST, you have responsibility to say so.

If we allow governments to lie to us without consequence, we will get the government we deserve.  We are responsible for supporting and protecting our democratic system and that comes from an engaged electorate that demands honesty and integrity from government.

Take a moment today to speak out on the issues that matter to you.  Become an active participant in your democracy.

Sign a petition.  Attend a rally.  Send an email.  Whatever you do, do not accept that duplicity and dishonesty are just a natural part of the political system.  Because, if you do accept that, duplicitous and dishonest government is exactly what you will get.

Norm Macdonald MLA for Columbia River- Revelstoke can be reached by phone at 1-866-870-4188 and by e-mail at