On the eve of its delivery to Elections BC for verification and final tabulation, the Fight HST petition comes in at just over the 700,000-signature
mark. It was signed by 705,643 individual registered voters representing 44 per cent of all voters in the last election.
Under the rules of the Citizens Initiative Act the petition needed the signatures of just 10 per cent of the men and women who voted in each riding. It is being delivered to Elections BC on June 30. You’ll be able to watch its deliver on television.
“We are extremely happy as we prepare to deliver the petitions to Elections BC this Wednesday,” said Fight HST’s Lead Organizer, Chris Delaney.. The Initiative was an extraordinary success. We have an enormous number of signatures, and are even able to deliver it a week early. Congratulations go to all of our regional organizers, captains and canvassers who worked so hard, and of course to British Columbians, who signed up in droves to send a loud and clear message to their government: Repeal the HST now!”
Delaney says there has never been anything like the Citizen Initiative petition to repeal the HST in BC or Canadian history.
“Full credit goes to former BC premier Bill Vander Zalm, who introduced the Referendum, Recall and Initiative Acts while he was in office,” Delaney explained.
Delaney says British Columbians owe a debt of gratitude to the former premier for having the courage and vision to provide them with a set of truly democratic tools to hold governments accountable between elections.
Back in 1992, Vander Zalm’s BC Referendum legislation forced the federal government to conduct a nationwide referendum in an attempt to ratify the Charlottetown Accord constitutional amendment.
“Prime Minister Mulroney decided the only way to stop BC from vetoing his Accord was to counteract the ability of British Columbians to vote directly on the proposed amendment by holding a national referendum,” said Delaney. “The Charlottetown Accord was defeated, due largely to Bill’s unique and progressive Referendum legislation, which allowed the people to stop what many believed would result in an unbalanced and unworkable federation.”
“Now, he has done it again with the Initiative Act by completing the first successful petition. The only thing left to be tested successfully is Recall. And we’ll get that chance in November.”
Delaney says the BC government reaction to the petition has been so incompetent and dictatorial, that British Columbians have essentially abandoned the Liberals as a political force. “The people are getting ready for Recalls to begin in the fall. It is clear to everyone that the Liberals are prepared to commit political suicide rather than listen to them, so people are going to oblige them.”