Sensible B.C. calls on businesses to help keep its canvassers out of the rain
With the onset of the West Coast’s long wet season, Sensible B.C. is asking businesses for a hand keeping its volunteers dry.
“As it starts to rain, it gets harder for people to work the street,” campaign director Dana Larsen told the Straight. “So if there is a friendly business that will let us set up a little table outside of their storefront for certain hours of the day or certain days of the week, that’s great for us.”
“Any business that wants to support us, they don’t have to become canvassers; they can simply give our canvassers a place to go,” he said on the phone from the Sunshine Coast. “And we’ll be driving traffic there, so maybe it will be good for businesses as well.”
The province’s chief electoral officer has already accepted a bill drafted by Sensible B.C. that provides for the decriminalization of marijuana via an amendment of the Police Act. As of September 9, the group had 90 days to collect the signatures of 10 percent of registered voters in each of the province’s 85 constituencies. If Sensible B.C. can get those estimated 400,000 signatures, the bill goes to a legislative committee, from where members can put the bill on a referendum, which would take place on September 27, 2014.
Larsen said that as the winter sets in and as the campaign moves north, rain turns to snow, and that makes it more difficult for canvassers to interact with people and collect signatures.
“Luckily, a lot of those northern districts have a much smaller population compared to the Lower Mainland,” he noted. “So it can be a matter of just getting a few thousand people to sign onboard.”
Larsen conceded that Sensible B.C. has so-far only collected about one-third of the number of signatures required to get its bill in front of a legislative committee, which means there’s a lot of work to cram into the second-half of the campaign. But he said he’s optimistic the group will achieve its goal.
“We knew that we were going to be seeing growth through the campaign,” Larsen added. “We did not expect to be halfway through at the halfway point…so I think it’s definitely doable, but we’ll see how things unfold over the next couple of weeks.”
Yesterday (October 18), the Sensible B.C. campaign bus returned to Vancouver from the Sunshine Coast. It's scheduled to travel to Squamish today.