Back in the saddle…and gunning for the good fight : Vote Yes to Say No HST rally in Surrey Thursday June 16th.

“It takes guts and integrity of motive to fight the good fight. It takes a passionate interest in life itself. It’s easy to stand on the sidelines, shaking your head and commenting on how tragic things are. But if you really care, you are going to be in the ring, trying to make the world a better place. And only from that position will your words and your thoughts and your insights have weight. When you live an engaged life, your sense of self gains depth and power and authority, and your philosophy is no longer abstract. You become a person who can really make a difference, because you are actively participating, you are digging deep, and you are pushing up against the edge of your own potential.

 …And in order to fight the good fight, we have to engage, we have to get into the ring, not just stand outside it and be philosophers.”

~Andrew Cohen



Democracy comes in small packages

This is a photo of Aart Looye standing with Sybil Rowe -a woman who has clearly decided what she believes in and had the courage to stand alone and be counted. She’s a proud 75 years old and stands a diminutive 4′ 10″, but don’t let that fool you.

Last week Sybil was confronted by a bylaw officer while planting anti HST signs along 32nd avenue here in Surrey. He told her they were in violation of the cities bylaws, that she would have to cease her illegal activities, and the signs would  be confiscated and destroyed if not removed or placed on private property only.

Sybil was both heartbroken and appalled, and while this incident, and the ensuing flurry of calls to city hall and anti-HST organizers was underway, I had my confrontation with a city of Surrey employee…

Walking to pick my son up from school, I came across a fellow tossing an HST sign into the blackberry brambles of an empty lot, quite beyond reasonable reach without suffering mortal  thorn wounds! I asked him who he was and for some identification, since he was driving a city of Surrey car, and he refused. I asked him if he was allowed to toss the signs and he said they were illegally placed – which they were not. Of course, I had to continue on my way to school to get my son in time, but did manage to have the sign retrieved later on by a very brave soul whose legs  still bear the evidence. I called and spoke with anti HST organizers and thus found out about Sybil and others experiences as well.

In the end, the city of Surrey relented and the bylaw department was ordered to give back all the signs they had removed -a victory for not only the Fight Hst team, since  several other municipalities are refusing to allow the signs to be posted anywhere except for private property – but a victory also for democratic process.

The government has spent millions of taxpayer dollars on high priced ad campaigns being featured on television during the Stanley Cup, and yet has given the Fight HST team only $250,000 to present their side. To have cities ban or otherwise impede a legal, democratic process is a disgrace and a mockery of citizens rights, and while the city of Surrey has recognized this, other mayors need to stand in support of the process itself and allow the signs to be posted as per guidelines.

Fight HST has by and far, relied on the power of the people of BC to get their message out, and it has been a phenomenal effort by all to this point, by organizers and volunteers alike. I commend them all for their tireless and sometimes unseen work!

 I agree with those behind the Fight HST group, and wholeheartedly believe that in the upcoming referendum, British Columbians needs to Vote Yes to get rid of the HST. That is why I am hosting a rally in Surrey – to help get the message out and give the people an opportunity to stand up for what they believe in.

I believe, that getting rid of the HST, is a step in taking back our B.C. !

Anti HST Rally – Thursday June 16th, 4pm – 5:30 pm, Surrey- Panorama Ridge riding ( exact location to be posted soon- email below for details now)

 Transit accessible and parking available.

 Bring your signs and posters, Vote Yes to say No to the HST, signs downloadable  from the FightHST site

Email to RSVP and for more details


From the BC government website, this press release:


 VICTORIA – The independent panel reviewing and reporting publicly on the pros and cons of the HST and returning the PST/GST system wants to review relevant research from interested parties.

 Until March 4, 2011, interested parties can provide fact-based submissions related to the panel terms of reference:

  • The consumer impacts to individuals/families of each option.
  • The expected impact of each option to B.C. businesses and B.C. economic competitiveness.
  • The fiscal implications of each option to the provincial budget in both the short and long term.
  • Relevant information and analyses from other jurisdictions.

 Submissions can be sent electronically to, or faxed to
604 775-0727.

 Submissions within the panel terms of reference will be reviewed and provided publicly as part of the panel reporting process. Duplicate submissions will be noted and provided once in the reporting process. For more information on the independent panel and its terms of reference, visit

**** I posted this to Chris Delaney via facebook, and this was his response. Worthy of posting here, with his permission:

“This panel is totally rigged.

 First Campbell tried a province-wide tour – that failed.

Then Hansen tried to sell it on the airwaves – that failed.

 Then they sent out their brochures – those failed as everyone threw them in the garbage.

 Then… they set up the HST Propaganda Office with John Les – that failed.

Now this group of shills for the Liberals will “take submissions” – and do what with them? Tell everyone it turns out the HST is no good afterall? Right. Its pretty rich having a former Alberta Finance Minister where they have no PST tell everyone in BC we need a bigger one! I’d laugh if it wasn’t such a serious problem for so many people.”

Something wicked this way comes…

And it comes in the face of the Elections BC denial of Ida Chong’s recall paperwork…

An enterprising individual has. Speaking from experience in researching government documents,this is not something new. Be sure to read the comments for additional evidence of a new PDF file being created. From that site :

Looking at the google cache for the Elections BC website you can clearly see that the “Number of words in proponent statement” does not appear on the website on November 23rd:

November 23, 2010

Elections BC, November 23, 2010 Elections BC, November 23, 2010

The page, as it appears on November 25, 2010, contains the “Number of words in proponent statement” clause:

Elections BC, November 25, 2010 Elections BC, November 25, 2010

The “Number of words on proponent statement” link was certainly added after November 23, 2010.

 See the evidence for yourself, at this link:

While this does not indicate the 200 word limit rule was not included in another information link, it does indicate that Elections BC felt a specific clarification was needed on this issuem most likely to avoid any further challenges.

Methinks an investigation is required, sooner than later.

**** thanks to RossK for the following screen shots, as he details below!

HST to blame for drop in GDP…But where was that headline in the local news?

Nowhere, because it simply doesn’t jive with all the hoopla being shoved down the throats of British Columbians by the local propaganda floggers…

However, Ian Reid rides to the rescue with this outstanding mention:

Earlier I posted about the important role the HST has played in the slowdown of the Canadian economy.  Statistics Canada reported this morning that the Gross Domestic Product fell over the last quarter, the first time since August 2009.

I noted that the TD bank was blaming the HST for the drop.  Now, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, The Royal Bank and Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have chimed in and they all agree – the HST carries a big part of the blame.  It seems like we have a bandwagon.

There are two things about that.

The HST impact is concentrated in two provinces, BC and Ontario.  That suggests the slowdown is much greater in our province and in Ontario.  In other words ‘the greatest thing we can do for BC’s economy’ is turning into the greatest thing we can do for lost profits and jobs.

Here’s the second.  You’d think this would be a big story in BC, front page, top of the broadcast news.  It seems to meet the criteria of a story.   It’s current, it affects every British Columbian and it’s not just speculation, there’s proof.  Plus there’s the little thing that BC and Ontario are dragging the entire national economy into negative territory.  Add it all up and it seems big to me.

But I’m a blogger.  What do I know about a real story…

Go read the rest of this post , Reality used to be a friend of mine, now.

Information is the currency of democracy – Thomas Jefferson

I am here, but busy with the yearly back to school rush, which in my house is no small thing. This year I have one returning to second year university, one entering grade 12, one starting grade one… leaving me only one here at home. 

So, as I make sure everyone has what they need and are all ready to start a year of education, I would like to direct you to today’s new post over at Honestly Shared Taxation:


Straight from the horses mouth: Premier Campbell and Huggies Hansen tell it like it was – back in 2008.

Watch this video, and listen carefully. Listen to Gordon Campbell talk about how bad the economy is, and how changes will have to be made. Listen to Colin talk about how if a P3 financer can’t get financing, another company can step in because so many are out there waiting.

Now, this is from 2008. Not at all in line with Campbell’s repeated claims post-election that he had no idea how bad the economy really was.

And Colin has some explaining to do now, doesn’t he?

Because in this video he states the taxpayer will never end up on the hook for any P3 project due to financing, because there are so many other companies out there willing to step in and take over….. which is exactly what I have been saying about the failed P3 Port Mann all along. Why did the taxpayers end up on the hook, if another company could have jumped in with financing?  Stinky, stinky, stinky Colin!!! Have huddle with the premier and get back to me on that, won’t you?

But wait… I have more for you.

FROM THE HORSES MOUTH… those organizations who have been lobbying and pushing for the implementation of the HST… and some advice for Manitobans…lol.  Quite a telling sound bite, no?

And while we are still on the topic of the HST… here is a press clip from Harper on the subject. You have to listen carefully as the clip continues  to add in other press bits on the HST..


Last, but not least, the most under reported story of  August was Gordon Campbell’s trip to California to speak to their Assembly. Powell River Persuader was the first to write about it, and a couple other bloggers mentioned it after he did, but there was very little if any real coverage by the MSM.

 Why is this news? Because his address is no more than outright pandering to his corporate IPP friends – a PR promotion for all those horrific run of the river projects.  

Watch Campbell deliver his address, and then tell me he isn’t trying to sell this province down the river… and watch for a cameo of the most gossiped about woman in BC politics at the very beginning   ;  )

BC Liberals wanted HST – despite high level warnings of job loss, wage loss and productivity loss for up to 5 years

Cross posted from Honestly Shared Taxation, another blog I co-author with writer Norman Farrell.

Jonathan Fowlie of the Vancouver Sun has breaking news this September 1st,2010. Here is an excerpt:

FOI documents: B.C. government adopted HST despite warnings of negative impact on the economy
13 months after Freedom of Information request, heavily censored documents reveal discussion surrounding harmonized sales tax

VICTORIA — The B.C. Liberal government pushed ahead with a harmonized sales tax despite warnings at the highest levels that such a move could lead to at least five years of increased unemployment, lower wages and depressed productivity.

“While the long-term economic gain [of the HST] is relatively clear, harmonization will cause a short-term loss in GDP and unemployment,” says a briefing note prepared by the top official in the B.C.’s tax policy branch for Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

“[A C.D. Howe] study suggests that it may take five or more years before the impact on GDP is positive and even longer for real wages and job numbers to recover,” the note said.

“Given current economic conditions, this could be a concern.”

The revelation came Wednesday in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Those documents also reveal that top bureaucrats in Victoria were discussing a possible move to the HST as early as March 2009 — a month and a half before the provincial election and far earlier than the Liberal government has ever acknowledged.

Campbell and Hansen have repeatedly said the HST was not on the government’s “radar screen” until after the May 12, 2009 provincial election.

Read more:

The Sun has posted those documents online here:

What more can I say? How about this:

If this were any other country,people would be flooding the streets in anger.There would be a general strike. There would be mayhem and people would storm government offices. Think Greece, Italy.

But this is British Columbia,and as much as I feel actions like those would certainly allow anger to be voiced, what else would it accomplish?

We will Recall in the Fall, and we will demand Honestly Shared Taxation.

The government knew it might take up to and over 5 years to recover from the job loss, the wage loss and the productivity loss the implementation of the HST would create,and they still felt giving big business priority over the people who elected them was the answer.

Let me tell you, they were wrong. Dead wrong and we must all send a message any way we can.

Money apparently is the only thing Gordon Campbell and the Liberals understand,so we have to speak to them using that language.

There is a  growing HST consumer boycott action underway in BC.  Many people have chosen to boycott both  the companies who supported the big business legal challenge that failed,as well as  boycott any business who  has supported only  the BC liberals through corporate contributions over the years Campbell has been in power.  It is a personal choice as to who one chooses to boycott, and why.

Political contributions are public information, and can be searched through this database:

I can not stress enough how important it is to notify each company you are boycotting as to why you will no longer be supporting their business. If you do not,you have wasted the power you have to put pressure on those big businesses who can pressure the government to repeal this tax, and pressure the Chamber of Commerce to stop promoting the HST.

The Harder the Battle, the Sweeter the Victory

*** cross-posted from the group blog created with Norman Farrell

Gordon Campbell must be kicking himself right now.

What welcome news that the anti-HST petition is valid, and can be forwarded to the legislative committee! The judge used Gordon Campbell’s own statement in his ruling ,stating that since the premier had already said that the anti-HST petition was a success for democracy, to deny the people the right to proceed would rob them of that victory.

However, today’s announcement does not mean that we should sit and relax, and immediately forget why this court action was launched,or who launched it.

Not on your life.

This is exactly the moment to put intense pressure on the businesses who support the HST,and support the BC Liberal party who lied and deceived each and every one of us.

These associations drew a line in the sand when they launched this action, a line that put all of us on the the other side.

I won’t tell you who to boycott, because for each of you that will be a personal choice. We have provided you with the lists of the businesses in the BC Chamber of Commerce, and we hope that you think twice about who you are ultimately supporting when you go to buy that new set of tires, or simply go for a burger. Many of the businesses behind the associations that launched the legal review are known Liberal party supporters, and donate regularly to them.

I made a choice long ago, not to support the BC liberals in any way, where possible. But, sometimes there is no other choice of where to do business in small community.

I have created a list of companies that I am no longer supporting with my business,in protest of the HST, and the BC Liberals handling it. Until the HST is gone, this list remains the focus.

Canadian Tire – member of the Western Convenience Stores association,one of the 6 associations behind the legal challenge that fully supports the HST.

7-11 – also a member of the Western Convenience Stores Association, and a large contributor to the BC Liberal Party

Kal Tire – member of the BC Chamber of Commerce,and a corporate contributor to the BC Liberal party

Shato Holdings Ltd.( White Spot and The Vancouver Giants) – Member of the BC Chamber of Commerce and a contributor to the BC Liberal Party.

All Pacific Western Brewing Beers – A member of the BC Chamber of Commerce, and a very large corporate contributor to the BC Liberals, this choice really hurts me because this brewery is from my home town of Prince George.

These are my personal choices, but I also think they make good sense for many people throughout BC,because of many locations in most communities across the province.

I have advised Canadian Tire and 7-11 of my boycott, and warned them they may be the targets of a provincial boycott for the reasons stated above, and I will be sending emails to the other companies momentarily.

I urge each and every one of you to use your power wisely, make the most of it, and let each business know via email, in person, or by telephone, of your choice.

Please feel free to add to this list over at , but again,a small group of large companies that take the brunt of a consumer backlash,will be more effective than small actions all over.

As well, please take time to look at our other site for a full listing of all the businesses behind the associations that support the HST ! I have also posted links to all of this on my facebook, and you can locate more anti HST links and photos from where it all started on my Fight HST page link at the top of this blog.

Ode to my fellow bloggers, friends and readers…

“Here’s to the crazy ones.
 The misfits.
The rebels.
The trouble-makers.
 The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.
 But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things. They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
 Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. “

~ Jack Kerouac

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  Someone please send this along to Gordo, will you?  : )

We cordially invite you to visit our new blog: ” Honestly Shared Taxation”

This is how history happens, people. I’ve learned that real leaders aren’t always the men and women making deals on Howe Street, nor are they always those charged with the care and growth of our province.

Real leaders are regular people like you and I, who have extraordinary determination. I think that sounds a lot like all of you! On that note, on behalf of Norman Farrell and myself, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new blog, Honestly Shared Taxation (

A few experienced BC bloggers will use this space to provide information about HST in British Columbia. We support withdrawal of HST and believe the people have already spoken clearly. The initiative that gathered signatures in every riding of the province was successful but a representative of Gordon Campbell’s government sidelined the measure. We must demonstrate that BC Liberals cannot continue to ignore the clear will of its citizens.

This week a coalition of big business groups who have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the B.C. Liberal Party will be in B.C. Supreme Court in a legal action that could invalidate the Fight HST citizens initiative petition signed by 705,643 voters. 

It is our intention to identify corporations that actively work to oppress public sentiment and encourage the government that imposes HST without voter mandate. That includes the Council of Forest Industries, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, the Mining Association of B.C., the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Coast Forest Products Association and the Western Convenience Stores Association.
We invite citizens to withdraw from business dealings with those who encourage BC Liberals taxation policies.  Most of the large corporations of this province are financing court action in opposition to the citizens’ initiative. We will go beyond the front organizations and list their funders. That means that every member of the BC Chamber of Commerce and its affiliates must feel the economic wrath of consumers through boycott


Norman and I look forward to your comments, emails and feedback along the way, and feel free to let us know other companies we may have missed as we go along. It is, and will be a work in progress.  We also look forward to hearing what kind of responses you are getting back as a result of letting these companies know you will no longer be doing business with them.