Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Total Recall! Elections BC verifies success of Fight HST citizens Initiative petition - but won't act because of big business court action!



Top - Bill Tieleman, Bill Vander Zalm & Chris Delaney of Fight HST at news conference Wednesday August 11 - Stepan Vdovine photo; bottom - Bill Vander Zalm reads letter from Elections BC verifying success of Fight HST citizens Initiative - Bill Tieleman photo

Fight HST declares war on BC Liberals - total recall campaign against government MLAs after Fight HST petition verified but Elections BC won't act - because big business coalition is going to court!

Words can't describe how elated all of the Fight HST team felt today - and how furious we were at the same time after Elections BC verified the historic first-ever in Canada successful citizens Initiative campaign - and then refused to follow the legislation as you can see in acting Election BC Chief Electoral Officer Craig James letter to Bill Vander Zalm.

The stated reason - because a big business coalition is attempting to take legal action to block the entire Initiative process - a bogus excuse for refusing to do their duty as required.

Let's be clear - there is no legal impediment for Elections BC to proceed - the big business coalition filed an extraordinarily late attempt to overturn the Fight HST petition just one day before it was filed - on June 29.

The big business organizations who all stand to benefit by gaining millions of dollars in HST revenue transferred from consumers to their pockets have never obtained nor even attempted to get a court injunction to stop the Initiative.

Failing that, Elections BC has no reason to block the next step - sending the draft Initiative petition legislation called the HST Extinguishment Act to a Select Standing Committee of the BC Legislature.

The Recall and Inititiative Act is extremely clear - if the petition is verified as having met the threshold, then " ... the chief electoral officer must send a copy of the petition and draft Bill to the select standing committee."

Not "may". Not "whenever he or she feels like it". Not "after business groups take a legal run at the petition" - the Act says the chief electoral offier "must" - no ifs ands or buts.


The whole situation is absolutely outrageous and I'll have much more to say - as I hope you all will - in the days ahead.


Meanwhile, here is Fight HST's news release:


Fight HST Media Release


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER THWARTS DEMOCRACY BY RULING THAT HISTORIC FIGHT HST CITIZENS INITIATIVE
PETITION TO END HARMONIZED SALES TAX IS VALID, BUT HE WILL NOT ACT.

Fight HST to Launch Total Recall

Vancouver – In a stunning move riddled with suspected political interference, acting Chief Electoral Officer, Craig James, today said that the Fight HST Initiative to End the Harmonized Sales Tax in BC has successfully passed the required 10% threshold in all 85 ridings - but that he has decided not to act upon the results.

As a result, Fight HST leader, Initiative proponent and former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm announced the organization will launch a “total recall” campaign against all BC Liberal MLAs starting November 15.

According to the Initiative Act, a successful Initiative petition will result in the petition Bill being sent to a Standing Committee of the Legislature who may submit it to the Legislature for a vote, or send it back to the CEO with instructions to conduct a non-binding, province wide Initiative Vote.

But late today Craig James privately told Vander Zalm that Elections BC will not submit the successful petition to the Standing Committee until a final decision has been reached by the courts regarding a lawsuit by a big business coalition attempting to quash the petition.

Vander Zalm was furious with the decision and its implications.

“Craig James' refusal to submit the successful petition Bill to the Standing Committee means that he has effectively destroyed the democratic process,” Vander Zalm said. “James is opening the door for any group opposed to a Citizen Initiative in future to thwart the democratic will of the people simply by launching a challenge to that petition in court.”

“It is outrageous, and reeks of political interference by the government and their friends in big business, and we are not going to allow it,” fumed Vander Zalm.

“It is clear to even a casual observer that the government will use any means to get their way, including even the process adopted by Elections BC. It is time to clean out Victoria.”

“We are going to launch a total recall of the entire BC Liberal caucus, beginning on November 15. We will stagger the recalls so that maximum pressure is brought to bear on the government. They have lost their moral authority to govern. We need a new election and a new government,” said Vander Zalm.

Vander Zalm says Recalls will be designed to drive MLAs from office by marginalizing them their own communities so that they cannot carry out their duties, and the government cannot function.

“This is the worst kind of political meddling I have ever seen in all my political days. It challenges the credibility of the Chief Electoral Officer, and that of the entire organization of Elections BC. It must be stopped. This only strengthens our resolve to restore democracy in BC. And that starts with overturning the government starting on November 15.”

Vander Zalm says his group will also look at obtaining a court order to release the results of the petition. He says a court order may be the best way to get the CEO reverse his decision and to submit the results of the draft Bill to the Legislature.

-30-

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Norman C. said...

Each of us should make at least one phone call to a BC LIEberal MLA.

And repeat that the day after to the same MLA, or another LIEberal MLA.

And the day after.

And the day after.

And again next week.

Every week.

Until the message gets through to Gordo's Gang:

--- GET OUT OF OFFICE

Now do people understand how damaging it was when Campbell changed our democratic system to an election only every 4 years??? (without even asking us)

And, do people get it when they hear, see, read Mainstream Media always making comments about how "No one wants an election...."

Damn it, I do! And I want one now!

Norman C.

The Skeptical Guy said...

this stinks, from the premier's(?) office, I hope you guys go for the court order to make this right...It's an insult to BC'ers, and its' not democracy as we know it....this is dictatorship at it's best...or worst...time to get these arrogant thieves out of office....

Anonymous said...

I just heard CAROLE JAMES on CBC-AM say . . . "she doesn't blame Elections BC or its recently appointed chief officer" !

Then tell me, Carole dear, who is to blame . . . the tooth fairy?!

Because of you, and yes, I mean personally you, we have a Campbell-Howe Street dictatorship in BC.

You hold as much blame in this as Neville Chamberlain has for letting Hitler start World War II.

You are just another in a long line of foolish and dangerous APPEASERS.

RESIGN NOW!

The GREAT SATAN

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank acting chief electoral officer Craig James for his brave decision to do the right thing... Thank you Mr. James for throwing gasoline on the 'Recall in the Fall' campaign fire.

The BC electorate is very vested in the anti-HST petition. When a person signs a petition it still means something in this age of electronic swipes, P.I.N. pads, and virtual worlds.

The anonymous ballots that will be filled this fall will not be stopped by special interests.

Stacy said...

Shame on Elections BC! This is typical government - they try to wear you down and wear you down until you just give up/in! TOTAL RECALL!!

D. Blair said...

Looks to me like a straightforward mandamus application should overcome this.

The attorney general has power to intervene in any action, and could intervene in the big-business court action and ask the court for an injunction (a losing action, I would hope, but I think that is likely to be the right procedure.)

On balance, I think the delay is going to help the ultimate cause as my impression is that the decline to forward was a grave misjudgment that will result in further embarrass the government.

Eleanor Gregory said...

If the Chief Electoral Officer had simply followed the procedure set out in the Recall and Initiative Act the two pending court applications--the one launched by the business groups against the anti-HST petition and the one brought by Van der Zalm--would have proceeded anyway. Both applications are to be heard in the week of August 16.

Section 10 of the Recall and Initiative Act obliges the chief electoral officer, if he has determined that the initiative petition meets the requirements of the legislation and that the proponent has complied with the legislation, to send a copy of the petition and draft bill to the select standing committee.

There's a "must" in that legislative directive, not a "may".

In any event, under section 11, the select standing committee has 30 days within which it must meet to consider the initiative petition and draft Bill. Following that the standing select committee has 90 days to either table a report recommending that the draft Bill be introduced at the earliest practicable opportunity, or refer the initiative petition and draft bill to the chief electoral officer.

So by my count the standing select committee wouldn't have had to meet to consider the initiative petition and draft bill until the second week of September, more than three weeks after the first court hearing date.

Seems straightforward to me.

Crim 304 said...

The decision of the ACTING Chief Electoral Officer of Elections B.C. not to forward, to government, the results of the Citizens Initiative against the HST is an effort to subvert social justice and pander to politicians. As a volunteer I walked my socks off getting signatures; stood on street corners for hours in the blazing sun and sat on a wooden chair in a mall on Mother's Day. I want my efforts to count! I want the signatures of 700,000 angry British Columbians to count! I want the results forwarded to government and I want the ACTING head of Elections B.C. reduced to Former Acting Head of Elections B.C.

Norman C. said...

Let these organizations who have launched that court action against the Anti-HST Petition know how you feel:

p://www.conveniencestores.ca/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contac...

Independent Contractors and Businesses Association
http://www.icba.bc.ca/about_icba/contact_us.htm

Council of Forest Industries
http://www.cofi.org/about_COFI/contact_us.htm

Mining Association of B.C.
http://www.mining.bc.ca/contact_us.htm

Coast Forest Products Association
http://www.coastforest.org/contact.html

B.C. Chamber of Commerce
http://www.bcchamber.org/about/contact.html

Anonymous said...

I can now see why the CEO for Elections BC was too afraid to make the announcement himself, as he should have.

Regardless of yesterday's outcome, the future for the Liberals is bleak. If the CEO proceeds with petition process, government is forced to deal with it sooner, keeping the HST spotlight on. By bowing to the big business lawsuit, it raises more anger and conspiratorial suspicions in minds of voters and will add fuel to recall campaigns.

There's no good news here for Campbell, Hansen et al. Yesterday's decision may turn out to be a hidden blessing for the Fight HST movement.

Anonymous said...

Complete bullshit! This is a corrupt government, a corrupt leader, trying to forestall the inevitable. Gordo is a criminal, and this again proves it. RECALL IN THE FALL!

Also....

I have over 2000 people now boycotting all the sponsors on nw...

MSM, also cowards, as well as liars. NO balls, sucking up to gordo the impaler. It is sickening. This fight in now on! Power to the people. Maybe time for tar and feathering? Naa, to good for them all.

Kam Lee

Anonymous said...

Typical posters, and that includes you Tieleman. Think you know all but know very little, if anything at all. Most of you have no clue about law. What law school did you attend Bill? Another great day in Tahiti.

Anonymous said...

I knew this would happen. If Elections BC didn't stall us, one or more of them, would have lost their jobs. Harry Neufeld, had to make the decision, according to law, to disallow Hansen to mail out his propaganda HST brochure. Hansen tattled to Campbell and, Neufeld was told, he would not be reappointed. Just another famous, Campbell and Hansen vendetta. The judicial system, RCMP, newspapers, FOI, some TV stations, ministers, and a host of more. Anyone of them, opposing Campbell and Hansen, will have a vendetta against them. Every BC citizen has seen, Campbell and Hansen's dirty tactics, they fit in so well, with Harper's. The dots, are easy to connect. However, we can be thankful, Fadden of Canadian Intelligence, is keeping a close eye on BC, for very good reason.

Anonymous said...

Would you believe, businesses are trying to hide, the fact, they are registered with the Chamber of Commerce. I had gone into a store, quite some time back. There had been a sign in the window, they were registered with the Chamber of Commerce. Yesterday, that sign was gone. It seems, the C.O.C. is destroying their businesses. I confronted the man about, his missing sign. He said, he was not going to register again. He said he was going broke, because of belonging to the C.O.C. and, the HST, was killing him, and, so are other businesses failing. So people, it pays to boycott, because, we were stabbed in the back by, the C.O.C. and I hope the C.O.C. will be dissolved, for hurting the citizens, who have already lost, everything they had, because, of Campbell and Hansen.

Anonymous said...

Bill, how do we donate to help fund court costs?
Thanks

Crankypants said...

To donate to the cause go to www.fighthst.ca and follow the links.

Anonymous said...

Vaugn Palmer writes an informative column on the possible future 'mechanics' of the HST petition.

Anonymous said...

golly gee campbell has so much in common with awnold,they both have had an encounter with total recall.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:42

Notice though that Vaughn Palmers article does not allow for comments. The Sun risks what credibility they have when they use these tactics of censorship.
Additionally it makes their editorials regarding transparency and accountability as hollow as their collective souls...YELLOW!!!

Bill Tieleman said...

To Anonymous 12:15 p.m. You state: "Typical posters, and that includes you Tieleman. Think you know all but know very little, if anything at all. Most of you have no clue about law. What law school did you attend Bill?"

Hmmm - let's see.

I have a master degree in political science from UBC, worked as communications director for one premier, am working right now with a former premier with a totally different political background, ran a very successful NO STV campaign last year, played a key role in a very successful Fight HST campaign this year and have been a political columnist since 2000.

Oh, and I've run a successful consulting firm for 12 years.

You? A bitter Anonymous poster without the courage to put your name to your own comments, let alone tell us your accomplishments.

But you are still welcome to post them here - from Tahiti or wherever - I'm sure many readers find them highly amusing!

As to law school - read lawyer Eleanor Gregory's comments above, which inform my own.

Anonymous said...

Silence is Golden,
perhaps in this case it is just permissive

-----

Delivery of notices

166 A notice that is required or authorized under this Act to be given to an individual or organization is deemed to be given if it is delivered to the applicable address provided for this purpose under this Act.

-----

I don't see anything that says who can/must deliver the notice... do you?

But, then again, the original direction is very explicit...

-----

the chief electoral officer must send a copy of the petition and draft Bill to the select standing committee.

-----

Would a BC Liberal majority accept the petition if is not delivered by the (acting) chief electoral officer?

Bill Tieleman said...

John Wooden - try again without referring to Willy Pickton and you just might get posted.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is somewhat off topic. We really have to fight extra hard, to stop Campbell and Hansen. Please, everyone read Rafe Mair's blog, the Common Sense Canadian.

This province, is under another attack. However, I think BC citizens should know, the gruesome twosome, are targeting, 700 BC rivers.

The battle over the HST, must be won, other wise, we will be living in a wasteland.

I have made a donation, to help with court costs. I wish, it could have been more, but, if everyone pitches in, the amount adds up.

Anonymous said...

Apparently John Slater MLA Boundary-Similkameen is going to accept the HST list in a vain effort to save his ass:

read more about it here:

http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/top_story.php?id=287042&type=Local

Bill Tieleman said...

Thanks Anon 10:29 p.m. but Slater has already recanted his Saturday comments and now says - NO NO NO!

Slater told radio reporters Sunday that he now believes only Elections BC can send the Initiative to the Committee!

Wonder who got a call from the Premier's office Saturday night!

Anonymous said...

@Bill re: John Slater


Wow, that's one of the fasted about faces in Campbell's tenure. I wonder how he blackmails people?

Anonymous said...

Housing market feels impact of HST introduction

The new harmonized sales tax introduced in British Columbia and Ontario last month had an immediate impact on the housing market, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The Ottawa-based group, which represents 100 boards across the country, said July sales plunged 6.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis from a month ago, a decline “almost entirely the result of fewer sales in British Columbia and Ontario.”


Garry Marr, Financial Post

Anonymous said...

@Bill re: John Slater

I notice this did not make the MSM at least not CBC