Fight for B.C.- Fight the HST! Elections BC gives approval to begin Citizens Petition April 6th – sign up now!!


Wonderful news  for all of you HST haters out there, and it was no surprise to anyone came on one of the warmest, sunniest days so far this year!    

Elections BC has given approval to the Citizens Initiative Petition, which gives  FIGHT HST organizers 90 days to collect 10% of registered voters  signatures in all ridings – starting April 6th, until July 5th of this year!  All to kill the HST ( Hated Sales Tax)!  For full details of the press conference, head over to my friend Bill Tielemans blog : 

If successful, the petition will force the government to do one of two things:  hold a province wide referendum on the HST( in essence, the opportunity to say yeah or nay to the HST ) – OR –  legislate an end to the HST in the legislature. 

Either way, over 1500 volunteers have already signed up, and now that Elections BC has given approval to this petition, even more  people are likely to see how easy it can be to stop this tax  by  the very simple task of gathering signatures  from other registered voters who are outraged at the prospect of yet another dig in their wallets. 

This is an important moment in BC, one that  must signify to Premier Gordon Campbell that we are indeed a democracy in B.C., and the people will have their say. In my experience, there is nothing more powerful than a group of people working together for a common goal, and this is your chance to be a part of history and say ” No More! ” to  Campbell.   What could be simpler than handing someone a pen and asking them to say No with you? 

If you would like to sign up and volunteer along with myself and thousands of others across BC, head on over the FIGHT HST website and click on the Volunteer banner highlighted in red near the top. It’s that easy. You don’t even have to know your riding, all you need to know is that you want to stop the most Hated Sales Tax ever, the HST !! 


September 2009 Stop the HST rally - Vancouver


Now, scroll down and see one of the most interesting reports on the 2010 winter Olympics I’ve read yet.

15 thoughts on “Fight for B.C.- Fight the HST! Elections BC gives approval to begin Citizens Petition April 6th – sign up now!!

  1. This is prolly to announce that Bill Vanderzalm has filed a petition to stop the HST. It is clear that the “elected” politicians don’t really want the public usurping their perogative. The people of BC now have a mere NINETY days to secure signatures of 10% of the registered voters in EVERY riding in the province or the whole exercise is of no import.

    The rate we are going, it may not be possible to get 10% of the electorate to even vote in some ridings before long – right now Lord Gord is Dicktator based on maybe 25% (tops) of the eligble voters and look at what he does!


  2. Hi Laila,

    I’ve got my proof-reader’s hat on this a.m. Line #1 in “Fight HST …” s/b “major” instead of “mayor”. [You’re welcome]

    Best of luck with your morning’s project.


  3. Haha Mary, thanks for catching that- I relied on spellcheck this morning and that’s what happened.

    Thanks- I’m running on black coffee and vitamins, with two nights no sleep thus far… This one’s a long haul, but the end result will be more than worth it.

    Koot, nice to see you! I trust you are taking care of all around you, as usual- just don’t forget yourself.

    I look forward to assisting the petition effort in any way I can, and considering the demeanor of voters around the province, I think it shouldn’t be hard to do!! In fact, I’ve never seen so many people fired up for this, more so than the Olympics.. lol


  4. Thanks for the link Laila!

    Volunteering accomplished, letters to Cathy McLeod and Terry Lake in the works…think I’ll send one to Harper while I’m at it.

    If you’re going to p*ss one of them off…might as well get them all in one swat.


  5. Hi Laila,

    Do you know why did premier Bill Vander Zalm waited so long to repeal the HST petition? See rules below.

    A. GeneralA1. What is an initiative petition?
    An initiative petition is a process under the Recall and Initiative Act that allows registered voters to propose new laws or changes to existing laws.

    A2. Is an initiative petition the same as a referendum or initiative vote?
    No. If an initiative petition is submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer with enough valid signatures and the proponent has complied with the financing rules, it is referred to a Select Standing Committee of the Legislature, which may choose to have an initiative vote held on the topic of the initiative petition. An initiative vote, if required, is held every three years in September. The next possible date for an initiative vote is September 24, 2011. The rules for an initiative vote are different from the rules for a referendum, and they are conducted under different legislation.

    A3. How many initiative applications have been approved since the Recall and Initiative Act came into force in February of 1995?
    The Chief Electoral Officer has approved in principle six initiative applications.


    B. OrganizingB1. Can an initiative petition be on any topic?
    No. An initiative petition may only be on a topic within the jurisdiction of the provincial legislature. Therefore, initiative petitions cannot be issued for matters within federal jurisdiction, such as national defence.

    B2. Who can apply for an initiative petition?
    Only a registered voter can apply for an initiative petition. Applications will not be accepted from organizations or unregistered voters.

    B3. How do I apply for an initiative petition?
    Applications are available online from Elections BC website or can be mailed if requested. A complete application consists of a completed and signed application form, a non-refundable $50 application fee and a draft Bill.

    B4. What is a draft Bill?
    A draft Bill is draft legislation. The Recall and Initiative Act establishes that a draft Bill that accompanies an application for an initiative petition must be on a matter within the jurisdiction of the provincial legislature and must be clear and unambiguous. That means that someone reading the draft Bill has a clear understanding of the law or amendment being proposed. The draft Bill must be in a suitable form to be introduced to the Legislative Assembly. It must, if appropriate, refer to the existing Act which is to be amended and clearly establish the amendments to be made. If the proposal is for a new law, the draft Bill must clearly describe how the new law is to function.

    B5. What happens if an application is approved?
    If an application for an initiative petition meets the requirements of the Act, the Chief Electoral Officer advises the applicant (now called the proponent) and publishes a notice in the B.C. Gazette. The initiative petition is issued to the proponent 60 days after the notice is published in the Gazette. The Chief Electoral Officer also publishes advertisements in newspapers throughout the province to advise the public that a petition has received approval in principle. The public notice includes information on how an individual or organization can register as an opponent to the initiative petition.

    B6. What does a proponent have to do in order for their petition to be successful?
    Proponents have 90 days from when the petition is issued to collect the signatures of more than 10 percent of the registered voters in each of the province’s 85 electoral districts. The proponent must submit the signed petition sheets to the Chief Electoral Officer within the established time frame. Proponents must also file an initiative financing report within 28 days of the end of the petition period (the date the petition is delivered to the CEO), and not exceed the expenses limit. An initiative petition campaign will fail if the expenses limit is exceeded by the proponent, even if they collect enough valid signatures.

    B7. Should proponents collect more signatures than the 10%?
    It is recommended that proponents gather as many signatures as possible to ensure that any ineligible signatures do not result in less than the 10% required in each electoral district. In urban areas, proponents may find that high mobility and uncertainty regarding a voter’s correct electoral district can result in many ineligible signatures, so allowing a considerable margin for error is recommended.

    B8. What is the 10% threshold based on?
    The 10% threshold of signatures required in each electoral district is based on the number of registered voters resident in the electoral district on the day the petition is issued. The proponent is advised of the thresholds when the petition is issued. The thresholds are not changed during the canvassing period or verification period to ensure that the number of signatures required is known to the proponent and to provide a basis for the calculation of initiative petition expenses limits for the proponent and any opponents.

    B9. Can a petition be submitted before the end of the 90 day canvassing period?
    Yes. However, when the petition is submitted the canvassing period ends and no further signatures will be accepted.

    B10. Why do I have to wait 60 days after it’s approved before collecting signatures?
    The Recall and Initiative Act establishes a 60 day period between approval in principle and issuance of a petition to allow for the registration of opponents.

    B11. Can I combine the 60 and 90 days for a longer time to collect signatures?
    No. All signatures must be collected during the 90 day canvassing period, and must be on the official petition sheets issued by Elections BC to the proponent.

    B12. Can I use my own petition form?
    No. Signatures must be gathered on copies of the official petition sheets issued by Elections BC. Separate sheets must be used for each electoral district, and all petitions must include a cover sheet issued by Elections BC that contains a summary of the draft Bill and information about the proponent and the initiative petition process.


    C. Collecting SignaturesC1. Who can collect signatures on an initiative petition?
    The proponent may be helped by volunteers to gather signatures. The volunteers are called “canvassers”, and must register as canvassers with Elections BC. Elections BC issues identification cards to canvassers, who must carry the card with them when canvassing. The proponent must approve of all canvasser applications. Signatures collected by unregistered canvassers will be disqualified during the petition verification process. Proponents may not pay anyone to collect signatures on an initiative petition.

    C2. Who can register as a canvasser?
    Canvassers must be registered voters and have been a resident of British Columbia for at least six months before the date on which they intend to begin canvassing.

    C3. Can a proponent be a canvasser?
    Yes, but the proponent must register as a canvasser.

    C4. Who can sign a petition?
    An individual who was registered to vote on the date the petition was issued may sign a petition. A person may only sign a petition signature sheet for the electoral district in which they are a registered voter at the time of signing. Every signature on a petition must be witnessed by the individual who canvassed the signature (a registered canvasser).

    C5. Can I remove my signature from a petition? If so, how?
    Canvassers and Elections BC cannot remove signatures from a petition. If asked, a proponent may agree to remove a signature from a petition before it is submitted, but proponents are not required to do so.

    C6. What information do I have to provide when I sign an initiative petition?
    Every signature on an initiative petition must be accompanied by the residential address of the individual who signed. Postal addresses, such as P.O. Box numbers, are not acceptable. Signatures not accompanied by a residential address will not be counted. You will also be asked to provide a phone number.

    C7. Why do I have to provide my phone number when I sign the petition?
    Although providing your phone number is voluntary, it is important to the initiative process. You may be called by Elections BC to confirm that you signed the petition, or the proponent may need to contact you to ensure your information is correct so that your signature can be counted. You can provide a work or personal number. You can request to have your address and phone number obscured on the public inspection copy of the petition. Simply check the box to the right of your signature line.

    C8. If an individual has signed the petition with their new legal name, but their previous legal name appears on the provincial voters list, how do they ensure their signature is counted during the verification process?
    Before the petition is submitted to Elections BC, the voter must update their registration. That can be done online, by phoning Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683, by downloading, scanning and emailing, faxing or mailing an update form to Elections BC, or by visiting the Elections BC office or any Government Agent or Service BC location. The voter must provide their former name and current name when updating their registration.

    C9. If an individual has changed their residential address and signs the petition with their new address, but their previous address appears on the provincial voters list, how do they ensure that their signature is counted?
    Before the petition is submitted to Elections BC, the voter must update their registration. That can be done online, by phoning Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683, by downloading, scanning and emailing, faxing or mailing an update form to Elections BC, or by visiting the Elections BC office or any Government Agent or Service BC location.

    C10. My street has two names, which should I use?
    You should use the street name you normally use. Elections BC maintains a list of common alternate street names. If you are concerned that Elections BC may not be aware of alternate names for your street, you should advise Elections BC by phone.

    C11. Can canvassers demand access to apartment buildings or strata properties to collect signatures?
    No. Canvassers are not guaranteed access to rental or strata properties. Access may be granted at the discretion of the landlord.

    C12. Can canvassers demand access to malls and recreation centres, etc., to collect signatures?
    No. The Recall and Initiative Act does not require a landlord or owner to provide access to canvassers. Permission must be obtained from the property owner or manager.

    C13. Can canvassers canvass for more than one initiative petition?
    Yes. A separate canvasser application must be completed for each initiative petition.

    C14. If I sign a petition, will my personal information be made public?
    If a voter signs a petition sheet, their name, address, signature and phone number will be available for public inspection at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer. The voter may request that their residential address and phone number be obscured from public inspection checking the box next to their signature on the petition. If anyone wishes to view or obtain copies of the petition sheets, they must sign a declaration stating that the personal information will only be used as permitted under the Recall and Initiative Act and the Election Act.


    D. VerificationD1. How long does Elections BC have to verify the petition pages containing signatures?
    When the Chief Electoral Officer receives the petition from the proponent, Elections BC has 42 calendar days to complete the verification process.

    D2. If a petition is submitted early, does the 42 day verification period then start?
    The verification period begins as soon as a petition is submitted. If a proponent submits a petition before the end of the 90 day canvassing period, they cannot continue to collect and submit signatures.

    D3. How does the verification process work?
    The first stage of the verification process is a preliminary count of the signatures. If the preliminary count shows that there are enough signatures (more than 10% of the registered voters in each of the 85 electoral districts), verification proceeds to the next phase. In the next phase, Elections BC verifies that the voters who signed the petition were entitled to do so. Signatures that do not include the residential address of the voter who signed the petition will not be counted. Petition sheets are also checked to see that all signatures were witnessed by a registered canvasser. Following this review, a random selection of voters whose names appear on the petition sheets are contacted to verify that they did, in fact, sign the petition.

    D4. How does Elections BC check to see if I signed a petition?
    Petition lines are first compared to the provincial voters list to ensure that the names and residential addresses on the petition match. A random sample of individuals who signed a petition is then contacted to confirm that they signed the petition.

    D5. What if the verification process shows that sufficient valid signatures are on the petition?
    If there are sufficient valid signatures and the financing requirements have been met by the proponent, the Chief Electoral Officer sends a copy of the petition and draft Bill to a Select Standing Committee on Legislative Initiatives. The Select Standing Committee must meet within 30 days of receipt of the petition and draft Bill. From their first meeting, the Committee has 90 days to consider the draft Bill and either table a report recommending introduction of the draft Bill, or refer the Bill to the Chief Electoral Officer for an initiative vote. After the Bill is introduced in the Legislature, the requirements of the Recall and Initiative Act have been satisfied, and any subsequent readings, amendments and passage of the Bill will proceed as with any other Bill, with no guarantee of passage.


    E. FinancialE1. How are initiative petition expenses limits determined?
    Expenses limits for proponents and opponents are based on the number of registered voters on the provincial voters list as of the date on which the petition is issued. The expenses limit is $0.25 per registered voter, plus an adjustment for changes in the Consumer Price Index. The same expenses limit applies to all the registered opponent groups together. The expenses limits only apply to expenses used during the initiative petition period; potential proponents and opponents may incur expenses before an initiative petition application is approved in principle. For more information regarding initiative expenses, please refer to the Guide to the Initiative Process.

    E2. Are there limits on initiative petition advertising?
    Yes. Other than proponents and opponents, sponsors of initiative petition advertising must register with Elections BC. All initiative petition advertising must identify the sponsor. Registered advertising sponsors must not sponsor advertising with a value of more than $5,000 in relation to an initiative petition. For more information regarding initiative petition advertising, please refer to the Guide to Initiative Communications.
    ENUMERATION 2009Enumeration 2009
    VOTINGOnline Voter Registration, Voter Registration Opportunities, Who Can Vote, Provincial Voters List, Know Your Electoral District, Electoral Maps/Profiles, Location Index, Electoral Boundaries Commission Reports.
    CANDIDATES / POLITICAL PARTIES / CONSTITUENCY ASSOCIATIONS / ADVERTISING SPONSORSCandidates, Political Parties, Constituency Associations, Advertising Sponsors.
    REFERENDUMS / RECALL / INITIATIVEReferendum on Electoral Reform, Status of Initiative Petitions, Guides & Forms, and Status of Recall Petitions, Guides, Reports & Forms




    ELECTORAL FINANCEPolitical Contributions System, Filed Financial Reports, Forms, Guides, Newsletters, Prime Interest Rates, Frequently Asked Questions.
    STUDENTS & YOUTHInformation for students and youth – How elections work
    RESOURCE CENTRELegislation, Reports, Statistics, Surveys, Quality Audit, Electoral History.
    ABOUT ELECTIONS BCOur Role and Mandate, What We Do, Our Vision/Mission/Mandate/Goals, Organization Chart, The Chief Electoral Officer, Annual Reports, Service Plans, Employment Opportunities
    NEWSROOMNews Releases, Media Advisories, What’s New


  6. Do you know why did premier Bill Vander Zalm waited so long to repeal the HST petition? See rules below.

    Cuz it took that long to read the rules!

    Actually it is probably for the best to wait until after the Owelympics, Harper going ProRogue and the onset of the Five Ring Hangover to try getting signatures. How will they get enough in Happy Fundie Land in the Fraser Valley? The entire petition/recall process is another deceptive appearance of access to democracy, just like current FOI and court information access are a cruel joke.

    It would be worse if the clock was already running starting yesterday……


  7. Hi kootcoot,

    My question should have been written, “Why did…” rather than “Do you know why did…”

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I agree with you when you write that the entire petition/recall process is another deceptive appearance of access to democracy, just like the FOI…”

    Speaking of FOI, have you ever tried getting a complete copy of your dental records? I have. I found important information such as some periodontal maintenance visit reports were missing and all periodontal recall visit reports missing–what’s the big secret?


  8. Hi Olga-

    The olympics did play into it, but also remember that in many areas of BC, winter does actually happen!!

    Bill really couldn’t ask people in those areas, often rural, to be trudging around in the snow,ice and cold to collect signatures. Keep in mind that where I grew up, the houses are faaaar apart, and the roads not often plowed, and it is the same all over the interior and up north,

    By waiting until spring,the weather will be better, the snow should be mostly gone, and the olympics fallout will have begun…

    All in all,a fantastic combination of factors that will lead to better success at the process.

    And yes, the process is faulty, as is most government process, but it’s the first step. Better to get out there and get those signatures rather than sit and complain about the way things are done. With approximately 4500 people in each riding, all it takes is about 50 people in each to get 100 signatures to achieve success. Of course, some ridings down here on the coast will be more dense, but there are a lot of pissed off people out there waiting to get rid of this tax.

    Bill T. said it best on his blog, in reference to someone saying we could use that big payout from Harper, and might suffer if the tax is repealed and we lose it.

    It’s not the one time, Harper pay-off that we will all be missing, it’s the billion we will be paying out in tax back to the government every year after that will really be the issue!

    As for dental records, I’ve never had an issue getting records of any sort, but best of luck to you in dealing with that!


  9. Hi Laila,

    Thank you for explaining the delay–I used to live in Prince George, Aldergrove and Langley–I wouldn’t want to canvass in those conditions either.


  10. 3rd party stupidity forever has its roots in the mass media, both LMS and conservative. They are the sole ones lecturing about it. Tea partiers do not have this in their ideas. All they desire is small-scale governance, lower taxes, sharper protection for the land and an adherence to the Constitution. The medias job is to get people all mad about anything and always overlooking the point. How many times must Sarah say to the rest of you third political party crusade types that this is not a political party? Right this red hot minute, those rationales really live on in the Republican Party platform. Not so much in the Democrats. Its becoming rather boring for Sarah to have to carry on telling the mass media what she says and means. She invariably says what she means and means what she states. This is not a massive secret. There are way too many people that call themselves journalists that have comprehension troubles.


  11. Sarah Palin is an idiot who has comprehension troubles herself, never mind the journalists.

    What any of this has to do with the HST is beyond me. Wrong country Viki.


  12. HI Laila,

    I agree with all that has been said and yet I am very concerned that Scampbell will try and find a way to “can this” as well.

    Knowing how devious, dishonest, deceitful that man is and what he is capable of doing, it would indeed be great if this petition could actually do something. Campbell has already grabbed the $1.6 billion dollars, so where else do we go to do anything.

    I feel the only other alternative that will drive home the message, would be a general strike call. Sad but true, Campbell is full of bluffs, threats and bullying but when faced with a serious threat to his little dream world, he has been known to reconsider – the Coquihala highway might be an example to look at.

    No matter what, this obsessed politician has to wake up and see and experience the damage he is causing in British Columbia.

    Sorry I can’t offer more advice – this is all new to me as well.

    Keep up the good work.


Comments are closed.