700,000 Signatures on Successful Anti-HST Petition Demands Action

NEWS RELEASE - August 16, 2010

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver - August 16, 2010) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls on the Chief Electoral Officer to take immediate action to the overwhelmingly successful anti-HST petition; over 700,000 BC residents signed the petition and forward the HST bill to the legislature.

Last week, through the Fight HST Campaign and Bill Vander Zalm, Elections BC confirmed the success and legitimacy of the anti-HST petition. According to BC legislation, the province must now hold a new vote on the HST in the legislature, or hold a referendum; however, the acting Chief Electoral Officer notified Vander Zalm that he would not move the petition forward until today’s court action initiated by a coalition of business and resource industries against the petition is dealt with.

"There should be no doubt that big business obviously has big influence not only on the Government of British Columbia but also on the 'independent' office of Elections BC" said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. "Whether it is preferential access to land and resources or big tax breaks, it is clear that big business will push through at the great expense of First Nations and 700,000 British Columbians to increase their profits."

Grand Chief Phillip further stated “Gordon Campbell and the Liberal Government should be accountable and openly debate the HST in the Legislature. Let every MLA register their support for the HST or their support of 700,000 British Columbians.”

By Resolution 2010-21, the UBCIC Chiefs Council unanimously confirmed support to the Fight HST campaign in exploring legal options to the implementation of the HST. Vander Zalm said he and supporters will now move to begin recalls on several Liberal MLAs in the province. Under the Recall and Initiative Act, if 40% of voters in a riding sign a recall petition, the MLA is automatically recalled, and a by-election is forced.

Media inquiries:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Phone: (604) 684-0231

UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.