Bill Vander Zalm, the former premier who is leading the fight against the Harmonized Sales Tax has congratulated campaign canvassers for doing what many predicted could not be done: reaching the required 10 per cent in all 85 provincial ridings.
“Congratulations to all our canvassers,” he said in a statement. “In just half the allotted time, we have already achieved success greater than anyone could have imagined.”
The 10-per-cent level is the minimum percentage needed to make the petition valid.
“We have confounded and amazed the pundits, the academics, the naysayers, and yes – even the government,” Vander Zalm said. “We have hit our internal threshold of 15% in 57 of the 85 ridings, and are very close to that in many remaining (ridings).
Fight HST lead organizer Chris Delaney said the petition broke 600,000 signatures province-wide this past weekend. He says 71 ridings have hit 15% or better, including Finance Minister Colin Hansen’s own riding of Vancouver Quilchena.
This means that, if all signatures are validated by Elections BC, the anti-HST petition will become true political dynamite. And the fuse is burning. In our own riding of Columbia River-Revelstoke, 7,934 registered voters have signed the petition. That’s more than 30%. There are similar numbers in many ridings. And even Point Grey, Premier Gordon Campbell’s home riding has reached the 10 per cent mark.
When the petition campaign is completed in July the government will be forced to either hold a province-wide referendum or hold another vote in the Legislature.
If it opts to hold the vote it will do so with the full knowledge that the anti-HST campaigners are very prepared to initiate recall campaigns against BC Liberal MLAs, starting with Campbell.
“Let’s push our numbers as high as we can this weekend, and send the government a message they can’t ignore, Vander Zalm said.”
To find out more about the campaign please go to http://fighthst.com