Anti-HST petition is popular

  • Apr. 19, 2010 8:00 p.m.

More than 700 North Coast residents have signed the anti-HST petition since it started circulating a week ago, organizer Gina Clark told the Observer Friday (April 16). “People have been lining up to sign it,” Ms Clark said. “We’ve gathered quite a few.” The organizers need to collect 10 percent of the signatures in each riding before July 5 for the petition to be successful. In the North Coast, that means 1,550 signatures, although Ms Clark said they are aiming for 2,500 in case some are disallowed. (Only qualified voters can sign.) The petition, a province-wide effort spearheaded by former premier Bill Vander Zalm, has also attracted several more canvassers, she said. Here on the islands, three more people signed up as official canvassers for a total of six: Ed Robinson and Shirley Baker of Masset, and Frieda Montgomery of Old Massett. They join Skye Cantin, Betty Stewart and Marion Pierce. If the petition succeeds, the government could be forced to hold a referendum on the HST. The new 12 percent tax replaces the 5 percent GST and 7 percent PST, but will be applied to several items previously exempt from PST such as restaurant meals, haircuts, and phone bills.