HST recall campaign targeting Liberal MLA Terry Lake moves forward
Elections B.C. has approved in principle an application for a recall petition targeting Liberal MLA Terry Lake over the harmonized sales tax.
“The petition will be issued on Thursday, February 3, 2011, and at that time, registered canvassers may begin collecting signatures,” acting chief electoral officer Craig James says in a news release today (January 31).
“The petition must be returned to this office no later than Monday, April 4, 2011,” James adds.
Recall canvassers will have 60 days to collect the names of more than 15,200 registered voters in Lake’s Kamloops-North Thompson riding.
Under provincial legislation, a successful recall effort requires support from at least 40 percent of registered voters in the electoral district to trigger a byelection.
In a statement submitted to Elections B.C., recall proponent Chad Byron Moats says the campaign to unseat Lake is warranted because the MLA “supported the deceptive introduction of the harmonized sales tax”.
Moats says Lake “refuses to represent the clear wishes of his constituents”, noting the success of last year’s provincewide anti-HST petition.
Moats continues: “Instead, he [Lake] has chosen to represent the interests of the British Columbia Liberal Party and their supporters in big business over those of his voters in Kamloops-North Thompson.”
“Therefore, the voters of Kamloops-North Thompson wish to recall Terry Lake and elect a member of the legislative assembly who will better represent them.”
Lake said he still supports the HST, but acknowledged its introduction was an example of “bad politics”.
“I don’t plan on launching a big anti-recall campaign,” Lake told the Straight today by phone. “I don’t think that’s money well spent.”
“I’ve always said the best response is to stand on your record as an MLA and continue working hard for your constituents,” the former Kamloops mayor added.
Last year, Lake chaired the legislative committee that recommended holding a provincewide referendum on the HST. That vote is set for September.
Lake said he doubts the recall campaign in his riding will succeed.
“I think most people recognize that recall is not the best tool if you want to have your voice heard on the HST, with a referendum in place,” he said.
Lake is among a group of Liberal MLAs targeted for recall by the anti-HST group led by former B.C. premier Bill Vander Zalm.
A recall campaign against cabinet minister Ida Chong has been under way in her Vancouver Island riding since December.
Canvassers there are struggling to reach the 40-percent signature threshold before the February 4 deadline.
Earlier this month, a recall petition application targeting Don McRae, the Liberal MLA for Comox Valley, was approved in principle by Elections B.C.
You can follow Stephen Thomson on Twitter at twitter.com/thomsonstraight.