Fight HST organizers fuming after first recall campaign rejected
Bill Vander Zalm is calling for the resignation of the acting chief electoral officer after the first application to recall a Liberal MLA was rejected on the grounds that it was too long.
In a letter to Michael Hayes, the proponent of the campaign to recall Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong, acting chief electoral officer Craig James wrote that the statement submitted with the application "exceeded the 200 word limit".
Chris Delaney, one of the Fight HST campaign organizers, said the application was rejected because the acronyms MLA and HST were considered to be eight words, rather than two.
Fight HST organizer Bill Vander Zalm is calling for James’s resignation following the rejection of the application.
“It’s sort of the straw that broke the camel’s back, this pattern of obstruction from Elections B.C. ever since Craig James became acting electoral officer,” Delaney told the Straight by phone. “It’s a deliberate attempt to sabotage the recall process.”
Michael Hayes, the proponent of the Oak Bay-Gordon Head recall campaign, said he delivered a revised application to Elections B.C. in Victoria today, and he has requested a meeting with the acting chief electoral officer.
"We're extremely angry at what we see as a continued manipulation of the process and interference from Mr. Craig James," he said.
Hayes said he has re-filed the application with a revised petition statement, but they were told they couldn't use the 150 signed canvasser applications that were submitted with the original submission.
"The issue that is outstanding for us is that Mr. James is saying that the canvasser applications...are now invalid, that they were attached to the original application and that we must now get new canvasser applications from everyone," he told the Straight by phone today (November 25).
"We've asked to be shown where in the act that's stated, and we haven't had a reply to that yet."
An Elections B.C. staff member said they would not be making any comment.