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NEWS RELEASE · 4th October 2010
Chris Delaney
Oak Bay, Kamloops North and Saanich North & The Islands lead the pack

Chris Delaney, Lead Organizer for Fight HST, says the contest to recruit canvassers for Recalls in BC got off to a strong start in its first week, as 19 ridings compete to see which will win the right to be among the first three to conduct a Recall under the Fight HST banner after November 15 2010.

Delaney says over 1,500 canvassers from all ridings across the province have signed up so far, with the highest concentrations coming in the ridings of Oak Bay - Gordon Head, Kamloops North and Saanich North & The Islands, where a total of 381 canvassers have volunteered between them.

“This is an even better start for canvassers than we had in the first week of recruiting for the Initiative petition,” said Delaney. “That tells me first that there is a very strong desire for Recall, and second that we are much better organized this time than when we started the petition against the HST.”

“We now have people everywhere who were able to hit the ground running. That made a huge difference coming out of the gate with such positive numbers.”

Delaney says people from all over BC, even in ridings not officially participating, have signed up indicating a willingness to go to other ridings to help out with Recalls. He says the numbers are even more impressive considering that most ridings were able to obtain thresholds of 20%-40% of registered voters’ signatures on the Initiative Petition with an average of just 75 volunteers each.

“To have over 100 canvassers already signed up in three of the 19 ridings in week one is huge. We have six more weeks to go before Recalls can begin. That is a lot of time for those ridings to add more volunteers, and for the other ridings to catch up. It’s going to be an exciting contest,” said Delaney.

Delaney said there have been expressions of interest from other ridings wishing to join Recalls with Fight HST. He says this could help make up for the loss of Nechako Lakes which had to drop out of the contest after their Recall organizer suffered some serious health issues last week.

“Fortunately, our organizer there is recovering, but has had to relinquish his duties in Recall as a result. That means Nechako Lakes has decided not to participate in the Recall process, leaving the other 18 ridings still in the contest, as follows:

1. Ida Chong - Oak Bay Gordon Head – 151 Canvassers
2. Terry Lake – Kamloops North – 118 Canvassers
3. Murray Coell – Saanich North & The Islands – 112 Canvassers
4. Ron Cantelon – Parksville Qualicum – 77 Canvassers
5. John Slater – Boundary Similkameen – 62 Canvassers
6. Colin Hansen – Vancouver Quilchena – 62 Canvassers
7. Don McRae – Comox Valley – 60 canvassers
8. Joan McIntyre – West Vancouver Sea to Sky – 40 canvassers
9. Marc Dalton – Maple Ridge Mission – 32 canvassers
10. Norm Letnick - Kelowna Lake Country – 31 canvassers
11. Steve Thompson – Kelowna Mission – 28 canvassers
12. Donna Barnett – Cariboo Chilcotin – 28 canvassers
13. Bill Barisoff – Penticton – 25 canvassers
14. Ben Stewart - Kelowna West Side – 23 canvassers
15. Bill Bennett - Kootenay East – 12 canvassers
16. John Rustad – Nechako Lakes – dropped out.

Ridings not reporting this week:

John Les – Chilliwack
Jane Hawthorthwaite – North Vancouver Seymour
Eric Foster – Vernon Monashee

Delaney says the contest is a “running total” meaning any riding that falls behind in any given week has a chance to catch up the following week.

“That way, no riding is ever ‘out of the running’ until the contest has ended,” Delaney explained. “They can keep signing up volunteers and overtaking other ridings as the contest progresses. The more people we sign up, the greater the chance of success for all of us.”