Fight HST Leader Bill Vander Zalm says Premier Gordon Campbell’s refusal to conduct the upcoming referendum to repeal the HST using “binding legislation” before the end of this year will result in Recall campaigns against a number of BC Liberal MLAs starting as early as November 15.
Launching what he calls the MLA Survivor Recall – Vote them off the Island campaign, Vander Zalm said Monday that 18 ridings have committed to compete to see which MLAs will be recalled first.
Taking a page from the popular TV series, Fight HST Lead Organizer Chris Delaney says Fight HST will hold a weekly contest to see which ridings can sign up the most canvassers between September 27 and November 15, the first day Recalls can begin.
“Each week, the riding with the least canvassers signed up will move to the back of the line,” Delaney said in a statement released Monday, September 20. “At the end of the contest, the top three ridings with the most canvassers will win the right to conduct the first Recalls under the Fight HST banner. A new Recall will then launch every month after the first three, in the order of how many canvassers they signed up.”
He called it is “a great way of inspiring a friendly competition,” while at the same time using democratic means to determine who will be Recalled.
“We had so much interest from so many constituencies, we decided this would be the fairest way to determine who gets to go first,” he said. “It will also help gauge interest in each riding and build an army of volunteers to ensure success.”
Vander Zalm says Premier Campbell can call off the Recall plan by meeting the following conditions for the upcoming referendum:
1. It must be a simple majority
2. It must be binding on government
3. It must be held under the legally binding Referendum Act (or such other legislative means to give effect to the results and regulate campaign spending by all parties).
4. It must be held this year.
5. The question must be drafted by Elections BC and approved by both the government and Fight HST.
Vander Zalm says any other approach is fraught with peril and does not enjoy either the consent of the legislature, or the approval of the public. He says the premier’s “trust me” approach is not good enough.
“No one, not even a premier, can overrule legislation without the approval of the elected MLAs. Saying he will personally abide by the results of the referendum is not sufficient, since the legislature could decide to vote otherwise once the referendum is completed. The simple solution is to conduct the vote under the Referendum Act,” said Vander Zalm.
Vander Zalm says that British Columbians of all walks of life from businesses to consumers, citizens, labour groups, seniors and working families, all want a settlement to the HST issue now. “The damage to the economy and to consumers from waiting will be too great for the province to bear.”
Delaney says 18 constituencies have signed up so far for the MLA Survivor Recall – Vote them off the Island recruitment drive as follows (in no particular order) with local organizers listed after:
Donna Barnett / Cariboo Chilcotin – Charlie Wyse (250) 392- 7215 / Eric Freeston (250) 303-1975
Ida Chong / Oak Bay Gordon Head – Colin Nielsen (250) 812-6593
Terry Lake / Kamloops North Thompson – Chad Moats (250) 376-6186
John Slater / Boundary Similkameen – Donald Rudzcki (250) 689-0051 James Demetrick 498-3879
Marc Dalton / Maple Ridge Mission – Corisa Nicole Bell (604) 466-9477
Colin Hansen / Vancouver Quilchena – Colleen Garbe (604) 604-263-1047
Bill Bennett / Kootenay East – Doug Cosier (250) 427-4005
John Les / Chilliwack – Benjamin Besler (604) 991-8094
Bill Barisoff / Penticton – Ron Barillaro (250) 493-8850
Steve Thomson / Kelowna – Mission – Justin Neufeld (250) 808-7150
John Rustad / Nechako Lakes – Mike Summers (250) 567-3395
Ron Cantelon / Parksville Qualicum – Terry Hand (250) 756-9821
Eric Foster / Vernon Monashee – Roderick Baziw (250) 549-1512
Don McRae / Comox Valley – Kathryn Askew (250) 338-9843
Norm Letnick / Kelowna-Lake Country – Al Romanchuk (778) 478-1863
Jane Thornthwaite / North Vancouver – Seymour – Eddie Petrossian (604) 618-4100
Joan McIntyre / West Vancouver Sea to Sky – Kelly Marie Carson (778) 888-9649
Ben Stewart / Kelowna Westside – Chris Bullard (778) 754-1057