Aug 24, 2010

Recall BC Legislature now, put HST before MLAs for free vote says CUPE BC

BURNABY—Today’s ruling by BC Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman that the anti-HST initiative petition and accompanying legislation are legal clears the way for Premier Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberal government to respect the wishes of British Columbians and recall the Legislature for a free vote on the HST, CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill said today.

“This campaign was able to do what almost no one thought possible, and the chief justice recognized the magnitude of that accomplishment in his ruling,” said O’Neill. “Premier Campbell now needs to do the right thing, respect the clear will of British Columbians and allow MLAs from both parties to actually vote on whether the HST is the right thing to do. And if the Liberals have the courage of their convictions, then they should make it a free vote so that British Columbians can see which elected officials truly have their interests at heart."

“In the meantime, if Mr. Campbell won’t respect the democratic will of the people, the interim Chief Electoral Officer no longer has any legal impediment to forward the initiative to the legislative committee. He should do so immediately, and the committee should meet at the earliest possible opportunity to take the next steps: either putting the legislation before MLAs for debate or a province-wide referendum,” said O’Neill.

O’Neill encouraged CUPE BC members and other opponents of the HST to write to their BC Liberal MLA to demand the government recall the legislature to debate the HST.

UPDATE: O’Neill wrote to Premier Gordon Campbell today to tell him the Legislature should be reconvened to allow MLAs to debate the HST and hold a free vote as soon as possible.

COPE 491