Thursday, February 04, 2010
Fight HST launches BC citizens Initiative after approval from Elections BC!
I am very pleased to tell you that Fight HST's citizens petition has been approved by Elections BC, it was announced today. The Initiative signing period of 90 days will run from April 6 to July 5, 2010.
I am working with former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm and a wide range of other people from every political persuasion - or none - to try to stop the unfair 7% Harmonized Sales Tax from being imposed by the BC Liberal government.
Below is today's news release from Fight HST - a photo from the news conference is above with myself, Chris Delaney and Sal Vetro pictured - please sign up in your riding!
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 4, 2010
BC CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE APPLICATION BY FORMER PREMIER BILL VANDER ZALM TO KILL THE HST APPROVED BY ELECTIONS BC FOR APRIL
Vancouver, BC – A British Columbia citizens’ Initiative petition to kill the BC Liberal government’s proposed 12% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on virtually all goods and services in BC, has been approved by Elections BC, former Premier, Fight HST leader and petition applicant Bill Vander Zalm announced Thursday.
Fight HST, the group started by Vander Zalm, said the Elections BC approved citizens’ Initiative can begin signature collection on April 6, 2010.
If implemented on July 1, 2010, the HST announced last year by Premier Gordon Campbell would add an additional 7% tax on everything from restaurant meals, haircuts, bicycles, and gym memberships to golf fees, airline tickets, funeral services, new homes over $525,000 to professional fees like accounting and much, more.
Vander Zalm is currently travelling on business in California but issued a statement.
“The citizen's Initiative petition is our first move and it is the people's opportunity to tell the governments that we are still a democracy and not totally an elected dictatorship,” Vander Zalm said. “The Initiative is also the people's opportunity to kill the HST.”
Fight HST spokesman Bill Tieleman said that: “The citizens’ Initiative petition is a legally-binding petition, which if successful will require the government to either conduct a province-wide referendum on the HST or to present an Act to repeal the HST in the legislature.”
Tieleman explained that the Fight HST group must collect the signatures of 10% of registered voters in all 85 BC electoral districts in 90 days to be successful.
“We will have to collect all those signatures between April 6 and July 5. We have over 1,500 volunteers from across the province who have already agreed to canvass for signatures, and we expect that number to increase dramatically as we approach the start date and people see that the HST can indeed be stopped,” he said.
Chris Delaney, Lead Organizer for Fight HST, said that the proposed legislation for the citizens’ Initiative would nullify the HST agreement between the federal government and the province, thereby extinguishing the HST in BC.
“We would return to the Provincial Sales Tax as it was applied before the surprise HST announcement,” said Delaney. “Our legislation would be effective retroactively from June 30, 2010, the day before the proposed implementation of the HST. This means the government will have to refund all extra HST revenues they collect over and above what they would have received under the PST, to British Columbia taxpayers. It’s their money after all,” said Delaney.
Delaney said Fight HST is calling on Premier Campbell to tell British Columbians whether he will abide by the voters wishes and repeal the HST if the petition is successful.
“British Columbians deserve to know if their Premier, the same man who has repeatedly expressed support for grass roots democracy and effective Citizen Initiative legislation, will abide by it when it is applied to his government.”