Prince George area voters sent a clear message during the anti-harmonized sales tax petition.
With the Supreme Court ruling that the petition must go to a legislative committee, Elections B.C. has released the numbers.
In Prince George-Valemount, held by Transportation Minister Shirley Bond, 6,017 voters signed the petition out of 34,270 eligible, or 17.5 per cent of the electorate. The threshold for success was 3,427 signatures.
In Prince George-Mackenzie, held by Forests Minister Pat Bell, 5,771 residents signed the petition out of 32,427 eligible, 17.7 per cent. The threshold for success was 3,243 signatures.
In the Nechako Lake riding, held by MLA John Rustad, 3,088 signatures were gathered, from 16,145 eligible, or 19.1 per cent of the electorate. The threshold for success in that riding was 1,615 signatures.
It has to be very, very difficult for MLAs to ignore those kinds of numbers. There are all kinds of calls now for a free vote in the Legislature this fall.
It that going to happen? Unless Premier Gordon Campbell intervenes, it’s doubtful. The legislative committee that now has the petition on its agenda likely won’t meet until mid-September. Then, they have 90 days to decide what to do. That puts it into mid-December.
Like I said, unless Campbell wants to do something like adhere to the wishes of the electorate, there won’t be a vote any time soon.
In the meantime, BC Stats says the cost of living in British Columbia increased by two per cent in July, largely due to the harmonized sales tax. Oh, there were other factors too, such as the increased cost of fuel due to the carbon tax increase.
And speaking of carbon, here’s an interesting thought (at least to me).
The province has committed itself to being carbon neutral. Government employees everyone from the premier on down track their carbon footprint. The province has created the Pacific Carbon Trust, which is tasked with ensuring the province is carbon neutral. So, every time Shirley Bond or Pat Bell fly to Victoria, the Pacific Carbon Trust buys the commensurate number of new trees to offset their carbon footprint. Okay, it’s a little more complicated that that, but you get the idea.
The forest fires ravaging the land are spewing tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Is anyone trying to figure out how much carbon dioxide the fires are emitting?
Now for the big question. Given that most of the trees burning are on Crown land, is the Pacific Carbon Trust going to buy enough carbon credits to compensate for all the smoke?