Electoral Officer’s Ruling MUST Be Challenged

The decision by B.C.’s “Acting” Chief Electoral Officer Craig James to stall the anti-HST petition until court cases are dealt with MUST be challenged in court.

I believe he’s wrong; he made a mistake;  he went far beyond his proper role in validating a petition.

 He has in effect destroyed B.C.’s democratic  petition legislation, because if his decision is allowed to stand, no petition could EVER be passed: ANYONE or ANY GROUP could stop any petition by launching a court case or a series of court cases … delaying petitions for months and years …in effect killing off the public’s will.

In my view, the Acting Chief Electoral Officer mistakenly violated the Petition Act.  It calls for his office to verify the validity of the petitions’ signatures … and if that requirement is satisfied, the petition MUST be forwarded to the legislature.

It’s none of his business whether anyone is challenging any BC law in court.  Let the government and the courts deal with that. Not a bureacrat making unilateral decisions and declarations.

The petition was validated; the signatures are legitimate, and the results should be forwarded to the politicians to deal with … pass it or defeat it ..but at least deal with it!

If we let a bureaucrat unilaterally decide that the public’s will  should still be set aside, delayed possibly for years and basically killed, then our democracy has been turned into a dictatorship by unelected offiicals. 

This ruling MUST be fought in court and with our politicians.  

The legislature should accept the petition as validated, respect the will of the people and move to consider it forthwith. 

And make no mistake about it … the Liberals will only make the voters even angrier (who would have that possible?) if they hide behind the Electoral Officer’s decision to stall the petitition. 

 It’s in the government’s own interest to deal with the matter NOW.

The real question is whether they are smart enough to realize that?

Harv Oberfeld

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35 Responses to Electoral Officer’s Ruling MUST Be Challenged

  1. blueberi2 says:

    Your reasoning is logical and persuasive. However, your are facing the strength of cunning politically-appointed bureaucracy, which is the blinding power behind poliiticians. This morning we caught a segment of a radio reporter’s interview with finance minister Colin “Huggies” Hansen, who argued that he is powerless to act while the HST question is before the courts” and his boss is in California. (I gather there are no telephones in California, which is the reason Gordon Campbell could not speak to the matter himself at this time.)
    If our provincial political structure were less absurd we might stop laughing long enough to get on with the serious business of recall. The primary question is, with what group of muppets do we replace the present lineup?

    (Response: I also wonder about what recall would give us … real reps or just another bunch of follow te leader puppets? Surely they must have all learned something from all this. h.o.)

  2. Lynn says:

    So where do I mail my donation to help finance the court challenge?
    I share Bill Z’s anger. The electoral officer has reached beyond his duties (edited…h.o.) or he is too incompetent for the position.
    This latest debacle will now ensure a complete removal of all current elected liberal mla’s if and only if some remain after the recall.
    Way to go gordie, and harper for letting this get even uglier. Thank you Bill for sacrificing so much in the spirit of standing up to a wrong!

  3. Thanks for this Harvey – and for Lynn and others, go to http://www.FightHST.com to get info on donating.

    It’s very important to clarify two things -first – the big business coalition trying to stop the HST has not obtained or even tried to get a court injunction stopping Elections BC.

    In other words, there is no legal reason for Craig James to not fulfill his duty.

    Second – the separate court action Fight HST has undertaken with veteran lawyer Joe Arvay has nothing to do with James’ excuse – his letter is solely concerned with the big business case, not ours.

    Our court petition seeks to have the entire HST ruled unconstitutional because the BC Legislature never voted on imposing the HST – only repealing the PST.

    I strongly believe the business groups want to prevent any further votes on the HST – even the non-binding vote that the citizens Initiative might force – because they know the BC Liberals would have to vote to prop up the unpopular HST.

    Thanks again Harvey – Bill Tieleman, Fight HST Strategist

  4. Ruraidh says:


    The collateral damage to the Liberals will be considerable and long lasting. For a citizen initiative to be derailed by the unchecked arbitrary and capricious actions of a servant of the legislature (allegedly), is stunning.

    There is every reasonable prospect that the political legacy of Gordon Campbell and his cabinet, will be the destruction of the public trust in the independent agencies that serve the public interest. One by one, they are seen as ineffective, tainted by bias and self serving.

    The ruling classes (for that is what they now are) have lost all tolerance, it seems, for the concept of democracy.

    A sad day for B.C. citizens.

  5. blueberi2 says:

    So – there are telephones in California! A few minutes ago we
    caught a radio news clip of Gordie “Pinocchio” Campbell, speaking by telephone from California, affirming that he and his government will follow “the letter of the law” concerning the HST.
    He did not specify which or whose law. Do you or any of your respondents have any idea what he meant? Might he be referring to Murphy’s Law?

  6. Kam Lee says:

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

    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.

  7. Keith says:

    Ayup Harvey,

    yes it is a travesty and I do believe they will hide behind the electoral “officer” and the now familiar” it’s before the courts” routine.

    As for furthering angering the voters – they couldn’t give a toss. Dealing with the matter immediately – not a chance. Are they are smart enough to realize that – yes they are, but couldn’t care less, democracy, so what.

    For sure they are toast (hopefully sooner rather than later,) and realize it. Gordo and his gofers have their pensions, jobs for for services rendered when the party is over so why would they want to stick around when the province is going to hit 60 billion on debt in the not too distant future.? Better to take a time out and let the next bunch of deadbeats have it on their plate, come back to save the day 2 elections from now.

    Many thanks to Bill Vanderzam, Bill Theilman, Chris Delaney and everyone who made the effort.

  8. Toby F says:

    Harv, I note that this is an “acting” chief electoral officer. Unless I’m mistaken, Harry Neufeld was never replaced. Was this manipulated?

    (Response: I don’t think this was manipulated … the NDP as far as I know have never objected to the new Electoral Officer’s appointment. I believe he simply made a mistake and stuck his nose, and his neck, out much further than he had to. He should have checked the signatures, validated the result and sent it on to the legislators as the Act specifies … period! h.o)

  9. sunshine coast girl says:

    Isn’t it absolutely mind-boggling how if the Libs and their cohorts are faced with an intelligent decision or a dumb decision, that they unfailingly go with the dumb one? Recall will be a pleasure.

  10. Ruraidh says:

    Gordon Campbell speaking today (August 12th) to the California State Assembly

    “often it is easy to talk about what we
    should do and bow to what is easy, as opposed to what is right”

    Can he really tell right from wrong ?

  11. Genuine says:

    thats why (he) ..edited h.o) replaced the old appointee a few months ago,does this all seem familiar out with non insiders in with one that plays along,I knew as soon as this insider was appointed something was up ,same old same old,it’s before the courts can’t comment.My question is when will this corrupt group be before the courts or will they ever?

  12. SB says:

    The HST fight was a public initiative which was a sure success and of course not what the Campellites and associated carpetbaggers thought so what next , do what they can to stall the process thus spit in the voters who signed it faces , Campbell talking about doing right wow drunk driver , contract breaker and budget liar now speaks truth , recall cannot come fast enough i cant wait to see what MSM does when they are speaking to ex liberal ministers removed by taxpayers .

  13. Stan Mortensen says:

    Well, as a former candidate for office, I must admit to being absolutely stunned by the EBC decision. It was wrong and has created a situation the I feel calls into question the independence of EBC.

    I understand why they may think this may fall under an “extraordinary circumstance” but that should not be their call to make. To me, that phrase would apply more to “acts of God” or some natural unforeseen situation.

    Clearly, they would have had to make this decision sometime well prior to the expiry of the 42 days and the final count being known.

    Having dealt with EBC in 1996, they are known to be somewhat “anal” when it comes to dotting i’s and crossing t’s and try to err on the side of caution to avoid political pitfalls such as this.

    At this point I truly hope that “Total Recall” goes ahead. Although, I suspect that if Liberal MLAS’ are in danger we could see a similar situation arise with EBC as there will likely be court challenges to the individual campaigns which could stall attempts to dislodge them.

    I, for one, would not want to be a BC Liberal at this juncture in BC History. There is the potential now to put them back where they were during the WAC Bennett years, just staring at power from a distance for a generation or two.

    I believe in the ultimate power of grass roots democracy and surely this petition process has probably motivated more people politically than anything else over the last 20 years.

    I dismiss totally the ease with which HST arrived in Ontario. I suspect that had there been similar legislation there that we have here for Initiative and Recall they would also be facing a much more massive dissent. Folks I speak with in Ontario are just as steamed as folks here but they just do not have the same options.

    (Response: No one likies new taxes…but I find people in Ontario aren’t so angry because their government didn’t promise not to do it before the election …but then get to work on bringing it in so soon after! h.o)

  14. D. M. Johnston says:

    It was to be expected,’ Gordon the Great ‘ or should I say, his ego could not stand any an about face. ‘Gordo the Great’ is never wrong!

    Well I think (edited..h.o) Elections BC has now made it certain that the simmering hatred for the HST (according to my wife, since the HST was implemented, costs to have risen over 15%!) that the once fanciful Recall in the Fall campaign is now a dead certainly.

    I have said many times, that history will treat Gordon Campbell as one of the worst and most vile premiers this province has seen. I also beleive we do not live in a democracy, rather a benign Autocracy where the rule of law has little or no meaning for the political elites of this province.

    I’m afraid recall will fail as the same (edited..h.o.) elections BC will make it fail and then what will be left?

    A simmering population who will begin to see that the only way to get rid of Gordo and his pals is a total annihilation at the polls, a la the NDP; but I’m afraid for some that will not be soon enough and other horrors of corrupt government will be born in BC.

    We are in a mess in this province and it seems that the entire Liberal caucus are so corrupted, so inept, so vacant in the mind that they can’t rid themselves of this troublesome Premier and again they are too cowardly to resign.

    Reminds me of Hitler’s Bunker in Berlin in April 1945!

  15. Doesn't apply to me says:

    Forgive me for saying this but how many people are still referencing the NDP to Glen Clark. I will challenge those that are bad mouthing the NDP because of the past.

    I am certain that if we laid the disgraceful acts of the Gordo government along side of Glen’s deck or any NDP government, it would make the NDP’s issues seem paltry in comparison.

    What do people think the minority opposition, Carol James and the NDP can do, when Gordo and the boys can manipulate the results of the ‘peoples’ voice in the manner that they displayed on Wednesday.

    I think that people need to stop believing that the only gender that can be a good leader is ‘male’. God help us if that is the issue because look at the record of the male leaders throughout history.

    I think that it is time for people to take a good look at the real record of this Liberal government. They have done nothing for this province except line the pockets of their wealthy supporters and themselves.

    Remember, most of us are not the wealthy, we are the hardworking people that are not getting pay raises, working longer hours, and for what . . . to allow this government to privatize everything that is important to all of us, our natural resources, our health care system, our education system, our railways, etc., so that only the rich can afford them.

    It is time to stop believing the propaganda that is constantly spewed all over the NDP. Get involved and make this province better.

    Do we want this province to continue to be lead by a lying band of egocentric thieves.

  16. Paul says:

    Well I DO think that this was manipulated.

    Does everyone remember Bill Vander Zalm’s press release on June 16 when he requested that the RCMP investigate the BC Government HST website promoting the HST?

    Bill Vander Zalm: “Elections BC will not hold government to account for violating Initiative Act, so we must.”

    So on June 3rd we get a temporary civil servant electoral officer and on June 16th Vander Zalm files a complaint with the RCMP.

    Why was Harry Neufeld denied an extension to his term?

    Why did the government go outside of Elections BC and install a civil servant as a temporary chief electoral officer?

    Why didn’t the government simply elevate Harry Neufeld’s deputy on a temporary basis?

    Why in the final hour of the spring sitting did Gordon Campbell government house leader Mike de Jong announce that instead of putting Neufeld’s deputy temporarily in the job, he had already unilaterally appointed a new temporary head without even consulting the NDP?

    Mike de Jong: “… whilst Mr. James has agreed to serve in this acting capacity, he will not be a candidate for the job on a full-time or permanent basis.”

    So in other words, Craig James is simply taking an LOA from his regular government job as a legislative clerk and will be going right back into it when a permanent successor for Harry Neufeld is named.

    This civil servant was anointed by the Liberal government without the courtesy of an all party agreement.

    Well, we can all forget Election BC’s “non-partisan Office of the Legislature” crap now can’t we.

    Whether Craig James is being unduly influenced by the government or not, public perception is everything.

    I believe that this TEMP worker has tainted Elections BC’s neutrality beyond repair.

    How are people now going to trust any election results?

    I believe that Harry Neufeld was denied an extension to his term because he ruled in favour of the citizens initiative petition and against the Campbell government on the Pro-HST mail out.

    Craig James may be a respectable guy but he knows who pays for his bread and butter and he won’t be creating waves like Harry Neufeld did, or he may not have much of a job to back to.

    That’s what I believe.

  17. D. M. Johnston says:

    What I find so sad is that the government is so afraid of the people. A government that is afraid of the people is a cowardly government and cowardly governments are dangerous.

    I am a we bit testy today. My mother is in extended care and she is on a minimum pension; I have been informed that the health authority will no longer have a nurse for ‘foot-care’ but have now privatized the service and now please buck up an extra $43.50 a month.

    Small potato’s for many but her monthly income is all but exhausted. I do hope all those people enjoying the $500 million+ retractable roof at BC Place remember it funding came in part from eliminating foot care to the poor!

    It is the death by a thousand taxes that is killing BC and it seems the Chambers of Commence and the BC Business Council don’t give a damn about the common people but prefer to lurk in the shadows with high paid lawyers to thwart the will of the taxpayer.

    No wonder there is a groundswell of public hatred for all things government and their cronies.

    (Response: The issue involving your mom puts the roof spending in clear perspective: how many times has the government cut important programs and community services, while lavashing hundreds of millions on pet projects! But I don’t think they are afraid of the citizens: otherwise they wouldn’t ignore them so blatantly. I think they think themselves SUPERIOR to the citizens, who they view as resources to be mined, getting the tailings, while the government’s big business backers get the minerals. h.o)

  18. Crankypants says:

    Paul, I think you have hit the nail on the head.

    I remember reading somewhere that Gordon Campbell told the party faithful that he would retain power by any means possible. Thus we got the bogus budget before the last election, the restaurant association got the no-HST response to their questionaire before the last election, and finally Harry Neufeld was replaced with their own hand-picked stooge.

    If anyone still believes we live in a democracy, then I say they are delusional. It is a democratic dictatorship, nothing less.

    Hopefully this latest twist thrown at the 700,000+ people that took the time to register their displeasure with the HST and the government will only serve to strengthen their resolve. Maybe when the recalls begin to happen, the electorate will be so upset with the lack of respect they have been shown, that they will continue to make history.

  19. A Dave says:

    Harvey, as a veteran reporter, I wonder what you make of Vaughn Palmer’s columns this week? I cannot for the life of me understand why James, who refuses to comment publicly, refuses to even issue a public press release about his decision, and only gave Vander Zalm a brief 2 paragraph letter, nevertheless provided written comments for Palmer to publish? This seems totally bizarre given that he won’t even say or write a single word about it in his official capacity.

    This is the excerpt from Palmer’s column yesterday:

    James left it to Vander Zalm to announce the news to the public. He also provided me with the following comments for publication:

    “With respect to the reason why I am going to hold in abeyance any further involvement with Mr. Vander Zalm’s petition until after the resolution of the court cases, it is important to note that counsel for the [business] group contended that even continuing with the vote count might be seen as an abuse of process in view of the pending court application. Whereas Mr. Vander Zalm’s position was that the verification process should continue uninterrupted.

    “Under the circumstances, and given due respect to the court proceedings, it seemed appropriate to complete the vote count within the time frame mandated by the Act but to thereafter place matters in abeyance pending the court outcome.”

    What the heck is going on here? Why on earth would James maintain absolute silence everywhere else and yet provide this carefully crafted bit to Palmer? Has he been coached by PABbots to do this?

    It seems to me that publishing this “explanation” is both a cop-out by James, and a little too cozy for Palmer. Despite his scoops and digging, Palmer still seems to be doing his best to defend James’ decision, and doesn’t once raise the VERY key issue which is central to your post above – that James’ decision creates a very dangerous precedent that runs counter to the spirit of the Act and could easily derail any future petition or recall, rendering the legislation completely useless.

    Anyway, Harvey, I wonder what you, as a veteran reporter, think about this?

    (Response: I am dismayerd by the whole process and the lack of openness. The Acting Chief Electoral officer should not hide: when he makes a decision that in my view virtually kills a piece of legislation, he should at least hold a press conference and explain himself and take questions. I believe he went far beyond his responsibility in handling this petition. Issuing a written statement to a select few makes it even worse. And I think the media should be camping out on his doorstep ,demanding answers about what right does a bureaucrat have to deny members of the legislature their right to decided for themselves whether they proceed to consider any item, whether there are court cases on the topic or not. h.o)

  20. Genuine says:

    Harvey,can you rename this piece,campbell and co. testing the will of the peoples resolve?

    (Response: 🙂 h.o

  21. brian in kelowna says:

    Vander Zalm: “If the Chief Electoral Officer won’t do his job, we will do it for him.”

    Delta – Fight HST leader and Initiative proponent Bill Vander Zalm says that given Elections BC’s refusal to follow clear legislation outlining its responsibilities, his group has decided to submit the successful Initiative petition and draft Bill to End the HST directly to the Select Standing Committee for Legislative Initiatives so that the process can continue.


  22. Paul says:

    About Vaughn Palmer – WOW

    How about this piece written by David Schreck two days ago.

    Elections BC Provokes Outrage



    “What wasn’t expected by anyone except Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer was that Elections BC would announce that it would not refer the petition to the standing committee on Legislative Initiatives until the court challenges are complete.”

    On August 10th Palmer wrote:

    “But the next step in the process will probably be hostage to the court challenge, which is scheduled to go ahead on Monday.”

    On August 11th Palmer wrote:

    “But the law, which mandates specific timetables for most steps in the initiative process, is silent on how soon the petition should be forwarded to the committee.”

    “The lapse, whether intentional or not, has given rise to speculation about possible grounds for delay.”

    “Craig James, the interim chief electoral officer, has signaled a determination to remain “neutral” in the looming court battle over the HST and the initiative.”

    “On that basis, James may decide to hold off sending the measure to the committee, pending the outcome of the proceedings in court.”

    David Schreck: “Palmer is a very insightful observer of BC politics. He may have realized on his own that James was about to frustrate over 700,000 British Columbians who signed the petition by refusing to forward it to the legislative committee, but it is also possible that someone whispered that suggestion in his ear.”


    And today on CKNW Vaughn Palmer was telling everyone how honourable and above board Craig James was.

    Well I do believe that someone whispered that suggestion into Vaughn Palmer’s ear.

    I also believe that the Vancouver Sun and The Province newspapers both represent Gordon Campbell.

    Why did CANWEST (Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province) donate $50,000 to the BC Liberal Party in 2005?

    Charlie Smith from the Georgia Straight tried to ask that question in a taped interview with Gordon Campbell.

    Charlie Smith: “What do you say to someone who wonders if the government has directed government advertising to Canwest in return for political contributions?”

    Off camera Bridgitte Anderson, Gordon Campbell’s Press Secretary interrupted and objected to the question while Gordon Campbell sat there with a stupid look on his face.

    Here’s the clip


    BTW, I notice that Gordon Campbell’s Press Secretary Bridgitte Anderson has announced that she’s quiting in a couple of weeks.

  23. Paul says:

    Here is Fight HST’s Submission letter to Terry Lake, Convenor of Select Standing Committee (PDF)


  24. blueberi2 says:

    This H.O. blog is democracy in a handbag.
    Paul, in quoting David Schreck’s observations re Vaughn Palmer, again reminds us what a teeny little closet of a world we live in. The HO blog is a 22nd century approach to keeping a light shining into the old coats that are hanging there. Notwithstanding obscenities that are edited out – and which merely indicate the degree of frustration felt by those whe lack the skill to express themselves in temperate language – everyone with a keyboard gets to speak their lines as the universe unfolds.
    The recent Paul/Schreck/Palmer messages in particular have focussed our attention on the fact that power and recognition are commodities that may be bought and sold. Canwest selling out their editorial space to Gordon and gang in return for advertising revenue? It certainly wouldn’t have hurt a publication that was going broke. Vaughn Palmer pretending to have ESP powers instead of citing anonymous sources for an innocuous message? He’s never before been a source of luminescence, why should anyone imagine he’d change at the stroke of a confidential message from an acting civil servant?
    Its up to everyone of us to keep the light focussed on the dark forms squirming on the closet floor.

    (Response: I started this blog as a hobby…at the suggestion of a computer-wise friend …as a bit of fun for me to rant and as a place where we could get discussions going on issues. It clearly has worked. In fact, I wish there were more blogs offering a real critical independent examination of the political AND media scene here in B.C. and outside. And I ‘ve learned an awful lot from my readers! Yes, sometimes to keep the discussion civil … and legally defensible … I edit out personal invective etc ..but I really try to keep as much in as possible.And my site is always available to those who are crticised to respond. h.o )

  25. sunshine coast girl says:

    I still read the MSM to find out what they think is news (case in point – yesterday’s Sun headline – boat full of possible terrorists tracked) but when I want to find out what really is going on and to use my eyes and my brain to decide for myself how I feel about subjects, I go to the Internet. To blogs just like this one. And there are a lot of them Harvey. Just gotta find them.

  26. Crankypants says:

    I think that Blueberi2 has hit the nail on the head. Harvey, your site has not only been informative, but also shown a respect for common decency. Your posts have not displayed any character assassinations, nor undocumented innuendo. You have identified your subject and related your view on such subject without having to get in the gutter, which is very refreshing.

    No matter what we may think, none of us know all the answers nor everything there is to know about everything. The exchange of ideas and views can only make us stronger as a whole. This is a good thing and I’m glad your friend convinced you to get this site up and running.

    Keep on Keeping on!

    (Response: Thanks. You’re not so “cranky” after all. 🙂 h.o.

  27. Doug B says:

    I think challenging the decisions of the Electoral Officer is the right thing to do.But before people trash this man to much,it should be noted that he has a good reputation and has always worked well with people seeking information.If he got this wrong,so be it.But he is no fool,nor his he corrupt.
    Questioning the credibility of Gordon Campbell is like picking the low hanging fruit.He should have been gone a long time ago.However, there is now way on earth I will follow Bill Vanderzalm.Him calling Campbell corrupt is like the pot calling the kettle black.He was the most evil premier we ever had in BC, and despised by the NDP.Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows.
    And finally,ask your NDP candidate if they are going to axe this tax,or the carbon tax.Record the answer and hold them to it.Frankly,all I expect from Carol James is a cancellation of the income tax cuts we got a coup[le of years back.
    Yes.Let’s turf this clown.But let’s not cut off our noses to spite our faces.The NDP are remaining silent on their plans for very good reasons.I doubt anyone wants to go back to the “dreadful decade” we had the last time they were in power.They are an incompetent bunch indeed.They have proven it both times they ruled over BC.Public sector unions ran the show,got very wealthy on our tax dollars,and scorched the province when they saw they had no chance to win again.
    Both of these parties need to be burned to the ground.But be very careful here.If you think it’s can’t get much worse,you are simply wrong.It has been worse before,and it can be wore again.

    (Response: You’re right…l the NDP have only said they would give notice they want to renegotiate the HST ..not get rid of it. That I think says a lot about the so called revenue-neutral aspect of rhe tax. And I agree about the Acting Chief Electoral Officer..there has been absolutely nothnig to suggest corruption. As I said I believe he made a terrible mistake and now that has to be fixed. Maybe the legislative committee should send him a message..they want to receive the petiition. h.o)

  28. Dominic says:

    This Liberal Government of BC has become everything they despised about the prior NDP government of BC. Transparency? Open and honest government? This group of dictators (with only one greedy pea brain allowed to make decisions) has become the very worst goverment the province has ever seen.

    The public has lost it’s right to participate in the democratic process with a neutral and virtually anonymous bureaucrat making such universal and presumptuous decisions for the voting public. 700,000 petition signatures is a message sent loud and clear to the goverment that the HST is not going to be accepted by the public. Let a future Conservative government of BC rise from the ashes and maybe we can rediscover ethics in office. Decency and the best choice for the publics’ concerns and views to be implemented in all political decision making. Good riddance Emperor Campbell.

    P.S. Renovations to BC Place are the biggest waste of money that this province has ever spent. (Excluding the fast ferries fiasco.) A 40,000 seat Empire Stadium is all the biggest little city will ever need for outdoor sports. Over half a billion dollars? Ludicrous. I will never become addicted to gambling either. A newer social disaster waiting to happen.

  29. SC says:

    Harv, you said in response to Doug B.: “As I said I believe he made a terrible mistake and now that has to be fixed. Maybe the legislative committee should send him a message..they want to receive the petiition”

    That would imply that the Liberals actually have the juice to do that. As Mike Smyth in The Province, I believe, rightly states: “But the Liberals don’t want to placed in a position where they’d be forced to vote against the wishes of 700,000 British Columbians. So their allies in the business community are serving as their surrogates, by trying to scuttle the petition in court.”

    The voters are getting restless…. it’s only a matter of time now.

    (Response: Mike would be right ..IF the legal challenge succeeds. But if it fails …it’s just a lot more coverage making the business surrogates and the Libs look bad …prolonging the public anger … and then there would have to be a vote anyway. Maybe politically, better to get it dealt with as soon as possible …and get it as far behind as possible bwefore the next electioneering starts. h.o)

  30. Alphonse says:

    The liberals will pull a rabbit out of the hat and get re-elected again in 2013 we are all suckers!

    (Response: Not at all out of the realm of possibility. A lot depends on: tax kickback cheques to public from HST “excess income” revenues (my prediction) ; a new leader: economic growth; the NDP’s leader; the campaign promises; the debates; and, and don’t forget the big business MSM pro-Liberal coverage/editorials that will likely increase as the election draws nearer. h.o.)

  31. Paul says:

    “The Liberals don’t want to be placed in a position where they’d be forced to vote against the wishes of 700,000 British Columbians. So their allies in the business community are serving as their surrogates, by trying to scuttle the petition in court.”

    “The lawsuit against the petition was brought by business groups that have collectively donated $381,500 to the B.C. Liberals since 2001.”

    – Michael Smyth (The Province), Aug. 13, 2010

  32. Fred says:

    I didn`t sign the anti-hst petition,though I oppose the main objective of the hst to transfer more of the tax burden from big business to the consumer. It is still the governing parties right to impose taxation on the us poor ol saps as part of their mandate. That said there is in B.C. a mechanism in place for the people to rally around what ever issue they they find particularly offensive and through the petition process demand their elected officials give it another look. No civil servant should be attempting to subvert this process.I didn`t support the petition but I have to support the process as it is our right.

    (Response: Well put. The process is more important than the tax itself. An unpopular tax is one thing, but our society needs an honest, open process to support our democaracy. And when that is threatened, we must ALL shout like hell … because we can see many countries where the democratic process is a sham, we sure can’t let our system go in that direction. h.o)

  33. Ruraidh says:


    English language devotees will recognize this phrase (courtesy Wikipedia)

    The term Götterdämmerung is occasionally used in English, referring to a disastrous conclusion of events.

    There is a whiff of a scorched earth approach in how events as set by the provincial Liberals are unfolding and coalescing.


  34. Genuine says:

    Doug .B how on earth can you possibly imagine that willy zam was the worst premier,are you out of your mind definitively one of the worst but to say the worst come on now ,campbell has won that hands down our children s, children have been afflicted by that dude wake up and call a spade a spade and as for you Harvey the ferries you speak of were not a disaster they were used as a political pawn in one of the first games the party in power ,(alliance )aka liberals,same as our feds the (alliance)cons and if you or anyone else cant see that then your being willfully blind or handicapped mentally.

    (Response: Any reference I make to them as a disaster relates to the cost overurruns. I agree the Libs used them as a political pawn, but that doesn’t excuse the horrible job the NDP did in assessing costs, planning and building them. Incompetence in budgetting/spending public funds IS incompetence …no matter whcih party has done it. h.o)

  35. Steve says:

    Whatever happened to the HST being unconstitutional case? The last I heard years ago was that the judge was holding back on releasing his ruling. Did a ruling ever get released?

    (Response: The challenge was dismissed by the BC Supreme Court in Sept. 2010. h.o)

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