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NEWS RELEASE · 7th June 2010
Chris Delaney
Vander Zalm refutes former BC Liberal Attorney General Plant

The Fight HST petition continues to steamroll forward, adding another 9 ridings to the 15% of registered voters’ signatures for a total of 80 of 85 ridings to meet the Fight HST internal threshold.

Fight HST Lead Organizer, Chris Delaney, says the total signatures gathered is over 620,000, more than double the Elections BC threshold of 300,000 signatures required across the 85 electoral districts in BC.

“Even with a rainy Vancouver weekend, we were still able to close the gap in another 9 ridings. We are extremely pleased, and will work hard to complete our internal threshold of 15% in the remaining ridings next week,” said Delaney.

Fight HST Leader, Bill Vander Zalm, said the BC Government has become desperate in the face of the overwhelming success of the anti-HST petition. He says they have stooped to new lows to try to fight the people of BC, and are now making up bogus arguments about the ‘legality’ of the petition.

“They started off trying to tell everyone the HST was the best thing they could do to stimulate jobs and the economy in BC. When nobody bought that, they started saying we were misinforming people. When they couldn’t back that up, they began looking for another angle. Now they’re trying to say the petition and accompanying legislation, which was legally vetted by lawyers at Elections BC is ‘illegal’. They are right out of orbit,” said Vander Zalm.

Vander Zalm says a recent article by former BC Liberal Attorney General, Geoff Plant, characterizing the petition legislation as illegal would be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic and obviously political. He says Plant’s key assertion, that the HST is federal and can’t be terminated by BC cannot be taken seriously.

“If that were true, then the federal government could simply create the HST in any province it wanted, without even asking them. They could set it at any rate they wanted, and could apply it to anything they wanted.”

“But the reality is, both BC and Ottawa signed an agreement that can be terminated by either side. Our petition, if passed by the Legislature, will terminate the Agreement that created the HST, thereby extinguishing the HST in BC. It’s not rocket science. The federal government will have no choice but to respect the will of British Columbia voters – only a Liberal Plant would suggest otherwise,” concluded Vander Zalm.
And now we have...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 10th June 2010
...the latest Angus Reid Public Opinion poll.

The online survey of 1,612 British Columbia adults suggests that if petitioners are successful in forcing a referendum on the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), and if that vote were held today:
76 per cent of British Columbians would vote to abolish the HST,
17 per cent to keep it, and
7 per cent are undecided.
No Steve.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 8th June 2010
It doesn't mean that. It means that there is enough concern to warrant getting approval from the electors through a referendum. That was the way the legislation was designed. It was not to be too easy and to be hard enough that if you got 10% signed up in every riding within 60 days according to all the constraints then it was a good indication maybe the public was not behind the initiative.

Perhaps if the Liberals had argued that the legislation was not democratic or even legal back in the early 90's they might have a point. They argued that it was too hard to get 10% so there is no room for obtuse logic or playing the devil's advocate with the other 90% now.

Sometimes the positions you take when in opposition come back to bite you as they have the government. Funny I don't feel for them one bit.
on the other hand
Comment by Steve Smyth on 8th June 2010
Just to be the Devil's advocate in all of this, does this mean that 85% of registered voters either support, or don't care about the HST? Just wondering ....
Not legal?
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 7th June 2010
It is interesting that none of the points or questions about the "legality" of the process were argued by the liberals back when they debated the initial legislation. All their arguments were about how it was too difficult and they would make it easier to reach the threshold required. I detect a certain hypocrisy.