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 firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and for more details