By David F. Rooney
The numbers of British Columbians signing gthe Bill Vander Zalm petition to repeal the HST is achieveing tsunami strength as it hit the 400,000 signature mark this past Monday — up from 300,000 about nine days before.
Chris Delaney, one of the central organizers for the province-wide campaign, says the petition has achieved the 10% Elections BC threshold in 56 out of a total of 85 ridings across the province. He says that 34 ridings have reached the Fight HST internal threshold of 15% of registered voters or more.
“What is really exciting about this report is the big jump in signatures in both Vancouver and Burnaby this week,” he said. “We were a little slow getting started in those ridings, but they are catching up quickly, with signature gathering in those regions keeping pace with all other regions now.”
With just over 8 weeks left to go in the 13 week signature gathering campaign, Delaney says the Fight HST petition is poised to hit the 500,000 signature mark, equivalent to over 1/3 of all the voters who voted in the last provincial election.
“This is the largest sample of public opinion ever done in the history of BC,” he said. “It shows a deep, pervasive and across the board rejection of the government’s policy to implement the HST. It has become much more than just a legal petition to repeal the HST. It has become a referendum on the tax and the government that gave it to us.”
You could see that here on Revelstoke’s downtown streets on Wednesday. People virtually lined up to sign when they spotted MLA Norm Macdonald talking with local canvassers.
“We have to get rid of this,” said Heather Sutherland as she signed the petition.
Canvassers had to turn away eager would-be signers who were either not registered to vote or who did not live here.
“You have to applaud their determination,” Macdonald said after a young couple was told they had to be registered voters and live in the riding.
If you are a registered voter and haven’t yet signed the petition you can do so at one of the following locations in town:
- Silverline Auto Repair, 770 Lundell Road, 8 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday
- Spice o’ Life Emporium , 106 Orton Avenue, noon – 7 pm, Monday-Saturday
- Conversations Coffee House, 205 Mackenzie Ave, 8 am – noon, Monday- Saturday
- Daspy Fashions, 555 – 9 Victoria Road, 9:30 am – 6 pm Monday-Saturday, 9:30 am – 9 pm on Thursdays
- Grizzly Book & Serendipity Shop, 208 Mackenzie Avenue, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday-Saturday
Canvasser James Walford also says people who want to sign the petition can stop by his house at 217 4th East or phone him at 250-837-4465 and he’ll go to their house if they can’t get out.