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May 17, 2010
The organizers of B.C.’s anti-HST petition say they only have only 13 ridings left in their campaign to collect enough signatures to trigger a provincewide vote on the tax.
Fight HST head organizer Chris Delaney says the group has collected about 500,000 signatures from across the province.
“This is monumental,” said Delaney.
So far, the group has collected the required 10 per cent of signatures from voters in 72 of the province’s 85 ridings, leaving seven weeks to collect the remaining signatures by the July 5 deadline.
Most of the ridings where they have yet to collect the required 10 per cent of voters’ signatures are in the Metro Vancouver area, including Premier Gordon Campbell’s riding of Vancouver Point Grey, where petition organizers say they have collected about 2,000 of the 6,000 needed signatures.
Delaney said the group is not concerned about its low numbers in the Metro Vancouver ridings.
“Those ridings started late, and were behind in previous reports. Now, they are not only catching up, but are tracking faster than the majority of other ridings did during their peaks,” he said in a statement released Monday by Fight HST.
The Fight HST campaign’s leader, former premier Bill Vander Zalm, said he was extremely encouraged by the results.
“I was out campaigning this weekend in Vancouver, Richmond and Delta, and everywhere people wanted to sign the petition. There has been no loss of interest at all, and in fact, it just seems to keep on growing. It’s fantastic!” he said.
But Vander Zalm said the Metro Vancouver ridings have proven more difficult for campaigners.
“It’s much more difficult to do in an urban area than in a rural area. In some small town we can set a table up anywhere and before you know it we’ve got a lineup a block long. In Vancouver, that’s a little tougher,” he said.
“For one thing, we’re not allowed to go into apartments without permission of the owner and that makes it tough because many of the apartment owners are out of the country,” said Vander Zalm.
Under B.C.’s Recall and Initiative Act, if the petition meets the requirements, the provincial government would have to either present a bill in the legislature that repeals the HST or hold a non-binding provincewide vote on the tax.
If the anti-HST forces win that vote, the government would then have no choice but to introduce a bill repealing the HST, although MLAs could vote it down.
With a Liberal majority in the legislature, the bill likely would not pass, but still would present a major political embarrassment to the government.
The 12 per cent HST, which combines the PST and the GST in B.C., is expected to come into effect on July 1, well before the petition could trigger any votes.
Source | See also under Taxation: HST rage puts B.C. Liberals in a spot | Privacy commissioner outlines concerns surrounding Ontario’s Smart Grid plan | Harmonized tax could cost Ontarians $5.9B a year | Canada, EU at loggerheads over bank tax | HST will cost families, McGuinty finally admits | New austerity measures essential, says Greek PM | HST begins taxing Ontario on Saturday | Auditor General produces new warning on E Health record plan | Flaherty wins delay in decision on global bank tax at interim G20 meeting | Unconstitutional? Ontario government slips another new energy tax in under the radar | Bankers Prepare To Assault Americans With VAT, Transaction Taxes | First Nations protest against HST | Montreal flirting with road tolls | GTA road tolls are inevitable, professor says | Global bank tax urged by IMF | Canadian taxes fastest-growing expense: Report | BC Govt, Anti-HST Campaigners Dispute Legality of Pro-HST Leaflet | Flaherty stands firm against new bank tax | Toronto mayor David Miller uses subway PA to push for funding | Electricity rates surge in Ontario | Up to 50,000 protest Charest’s tax hikes | Paul Volcker: VAT, Carbon taxes may be necessary | Nova Scotia budget hikes HST rate | Newfoundland residents protest national park fees on ‘traditional’ land | HST fight makes allies of B.C. political foes | Ottawa busker bylaw enforced | Thousands protest Quebec budget | HST legislation introduced in B.C. | Nicolas Sarkozy under fire after carbon tax plan shelved | More stimulus spending coming | MP Charlie Angus Introducing Private Copying Levy Bill, Flexible Fair Dealing Motion | Former premier Bill Vander Zalm rallies against the HST in BC | Ontario tax collectors get $45K severance, keep jobs in HST federalization deal | MEPs vote overwhelmingly for an EU Tobin Tax | Green energy bubbles threaten to pop at both Federal and Municipal levels | IMF chief calls for quota-based global warming slush fund | Frustrated Icelanders vent rage by voting no in referendum | EU considers general carbon tax | UK: Spy chips hidden in 2.5 million dustbins, councils plan 60% tax hike | Greece unveils radical austerity package | Tories hand out $75 billion worth of ’spending restraint’ | Obama unveils newest health-care plan | Gordon Brown’s plan for global bank tax ‘a step closer’ | EU leaders reach secret Greek bailout deal | HST ad campaign debuts in Ontario | The US budget: Barack Obama’s $3.8 trillion red ink blueprint | Global Bank Insurance Levy Wins Support over Transaction Tax at Davos | Cellphone fines up to $500 for Ont. drivers start Monday | IMF warns against retreat from stimulus spending | Terence Corcoran: Ontario puts $10B in the wind | EU urged to adopt bank supertax | Flaherty’s economic plan blasted as leading to taxation or cuts | Obama ponders bank transaction levy to recoup bailout shortfalls | Running a red light? It’ll cost you big time now | See more in The Memory Hole — Taxation