Premier Gordon Campbell is being warned that he could face a recall effort if his Liberal government ignores public opposition to B.C.’s impending harmonized sales tax.
Former premier Bill Vander Zalm is leading a provincewide citizen initiative campaign to repeal the 12-percent tax, which is scheduled to go into full effect on July 1.
Vander Zalm's goal is to get at least 10 percent of the registered voters in each of the province’s 85 electoral districts to sign a petition. A successful result could lead to a vote in the legislature on repealing the HST.
In a May 2 media release, Vander Zalm cautions Liberals—who hold a 13-vote majority in the legislature—that if the petition is successful and they still vote to keep the tax, opponents of the HST will push for MLA recalls.
He adds that Campbell’s recall alone may be enough to get the B.C. government to end the agreement with Ottawa to merge the seven-percent provincial sales tax with the five-percent federal GST.
In the release, Vander Zalm also challenges the idea that the HST is a done deal, arguing that the B.C. government can legally back out of its arrangement with the federal government.