Recall petition organizers say they have failed to collect enough signatures to potentially unseat B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong over the harmonized sales tax.
Since Elections B.C. issued the petition in early December, canvassers have been scrambling to collect signatures from at least 40 percent of registered voters in Chong’s Vancouver Island riding.
Organizers of the recall campaign today (February 3) admitted they have fallen short of that target after only gathering around 8,800 unverified names, according to a news release.
According to Elections B.C., support from more than 15,300 eligible Oak Bay-Gordon Head voters would have been required by the February 4 deadline to unseat Chong.
Under B.C.’s recall legislation, the collection of enough valid signatures would lead to an MLA byelection.
Chong, who has represented Oak Bay-Gordon Head in the legislature since 1996, released a statement today thanking constituents, anti-recall volunteers, and Liberal party colleagues for their support.
The recall organizers have blamed a number of factors for the unsuccessful petition.
Among them, they claim some voters were reluctant to sign because their names would become public and others simply could not be reached.
They also suggested an out-of-date voters list has not reflected the smaller number of potential signatories available in the riding.
But organizers have also claimed a degree of victory. They say the recall bid made the HST a key issue in Liberal leadership race and the petition possibly played a role in Premier Gordon Campbell’s resignation.
Meanwhile, Liberal MLAs Terry Lake and Don McRae still face recall campaigns in their ridings.
You can follow Stephen Thomson on Twitter at twitter.com/thomsonstraight.