Vancouver park board allows HST petition canvassers in community centres
Organizers of the official petition campaign against the harmonized sales tax say they have collected the amount of signatures they need in every riding across the province.
That didn’t stop Vision Vancouver and COPE commissioners from voting at the park board meeting last night (June 7) to allow anti-HST campaigners to collect names in community centres.
In the 5-2 vote, park board chair Aaron Jasper and his Vision colleagues Raj Hundal, Sarah Blyth, and Constance Barnes joined COPE’s Loretta Woodcock in voting in favour of the idea.
“This is an issue that affects every British Columbian,” Hundal said, introducing his motion at the end of a meeting that ran four hours at the Strathcona Community Centre.
However, Green commissioner Stuart Mackinnon listed his concerns, primarily that the motion is “risky and is unfair”, as campaigns to recall MLAs over the HST are set to begin in the fall.
“This is into the realm of partisan politics,” Mackinnon said.
Stuart Mackinnon claims his Vision colleagues are involved in "risky" politics.
NPA commissioner Ian Robertson voted no along with Mackinnon, adding that the anti-HST initiative has been successful, negating the need to put time and effort into allowing the canvassers the free rein they are allowed in other municipalities.
“My concern is that, if we open it up to this, there will be other opportunities for other groups very well deserving that would require the use of our community centres for their specific activity,” Robertson said.
Former Vancouver city councillor and park commissioner Mae Brown also showed up to speak against Hundal’s motion.
Ian Robertson explains why he can't support allowing anti-HST petitions in community centres.