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NEWS RELEASE · 8th March 2010
Chris Delaney - Delta
Vander Zalm says his group’s emails were blocked

Former BC premier and Fight HST leader, Bill Vander Zalm, says some internet providers are being used by opponents of his group to try to thwart his efforts to communicate and organize volunteers for the Citizen Initiative petition to end the HST in BC.

In a correspondence with Shaw Internet, Vander Zalm says it was confirmed to his group that Fight HST’s messages were being flagged as spam, and stopped from delivery as a result of complaints by some people receiving them.

“We believe these servers are being used by Liberal infiltrators to our campaign who are complaining about “unsolicited” messages sent by Fight HST. But this is not possible, since our communiqués only go out to media, MLA’s, MP’s and those people who have contacted us and requested they be included,” explained Vander Zalm.

The Initiative Act requires opponents of a Citizen Initiative to officially register with Elections BC in order to ensure a fair and level playing field in the process of carrying out the Initiative. Vander Zalm says people using their internet provider to act as a de-facto opponent is a political dirty trick that attempts to do an end run around the law.

“Hundreds of our volunteers have not received important information about registering with Elections BC as canvassers, or about how to conduct the canvassing according to the Initiative Act regulations. How can we comply with the law if an internet provider stops us from doing so?” Vander Zalm asked.

Vander Zalm says after much back and forth, Shaw has lifted the filter on Fight HST’s messages.

“We are grateful for their cooperation now, but concerned about this kind of thing happening again, and about who is doing it. If we weren’t so busy getting the thousands of volunteers we have registered with Elections BC, we would investigate it.”

Vander Zalm says he has reported the abuse to Anton Boegman and Nola Western at Elections BC, two of the key officials charged with enforcing the Initiative legislation.

“We want to make sure they are aware, so that if this happens again, they can investigate to see if any action is warranted. The Initiative Act is clear: all opponents must be registered with Elections BC and must operate according to the guidelines that apply to all.”

“I call on Premier Campbell to condemn such tactics, and to endorse a clean and fair process regarding the petition so British Columbians can be certain it is being conducted according to the rules,” Vander Zalm concluded.

Read About Vander Zalm's Northern Tour Here