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FIGHT HST ASKS ELECTIONS BC TO RULE IF GOVERNMENT ADS “FRAUDULENT”

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FIGHT HST TAKES ADVICE FROM BC OMBUDSPERSON, ASKS ELECTIONS BC TO RULE IF BC GOVERNMENT PRO-HST ADS ARE “FRAUDULENT” UNDER ELECTIONS ACT

Former Premier Bill Vander Zalm asks Election BC to immediately halt ads

VANCOUVER – Fight HST has taken advice from the BC Ombudsperson and filed a complaint asking Elections BC to rule if misleading pro-HST BC government ads are “fraudulent” as defined by the BC Elections Act.

Bill Vander Zalm, former BC Premier and Fight HST leader, is also asking Elections BC to order an immediate halt to BC government HST advertising while the independent office of the BC Legislature investigates the complaint.

Vander Zalm said BC Ombudsperson Kim Carter has told Fight HST that her office does not have the jurisdiction to investigate BC government advertising but that Elections BC could investigate whether it is persuading votes through “fraudulent means”.

“The Ombudsperson has rightfully not offered her opinion about whether our complaint that the BC government’s HST ads are misleading and deceptive, as we believe, but she has given us a very clear indication that Elections BC should consider our complaint, which we have now filed,” Vander Zalm said.

In her letter to Fight HST, Carter wrote: “Section 256 of the Elections Act is included in Schedule 2 of the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) Referendum Regulation.  It appears to provide an option for an individual or group that believes another individual or organization through fraudulent means is persuading an individual to vote for or against a specific response to the referendum question to bring that complaint to the attention of the Chief Electoral Officer.”

In his complaint, Vander Zalm asks Acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James to immediately order the BC government to cease all pro-HST advertising while an investigation takes place.

“British Columbians are being deliberately misled every day by government advertising that says if they just vote ‘NO’ in the referendum, the HST will magically become 10% afterwards – that’s completely untrue and is intentionally deceiving voters,” Vander Zalm said.  “Elections BC can quickly undo some of the damage done by this advertising by stopping it immediately and before the referendum ends while it investigates.”

Vander Zalm’s complaint states that government advertising is deliberately misleading because it does not indicate whatsoever that the “10%” rate would not take effect for three years and is entirely dependent on the current government being re-elected and keeping its promises far into the future without regard for potential changes in BC’s economy or finances.

“The government ads don’t tell the truth and are so blatantly misleading that no other advertiser could get away with such deception – and they are using more than $5 million taxpayer dollars to do it,” Vander Zalm said.  “Elections BC is not being asked to take sides in the referendum – it’s being asked to decide right and wrong on a fundamental issue.”

Vander Zalm said Fight HST has also sought clarification from the Ombudsperson regarding her jurisdiction, arguing that while the Ombudsperson Act may not specifically allow a complaint against government as a whole to be investigated, it does permit complaints against any ministry to proceed.

Vander Zalm said the Ministry of Finance is in charge of the HST campaign, including advertising, and therefore could be the subject of a revised complaint.

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7 Comments »

Comment by Donna
2011-07-15 11:24:59

Are you kidding me? We have to rely on Elections BC and Colin Hansen, for a reliable and fair decision?

In the first place. What degree of honesty, will we ever get from that duo?

Hansen’s lie, the HST wasn’t on his and Campbell’s radar. Include Hansen and Campbell’s lie, the small provincial deficit.

Elections BC’s tampering with recall wording fiasco and lies. Kash Heed. Christy with her umbrella, outside the doors of the Point Grey by-election.

Honesty and fairness, isn’t even in their, “radar”.

 
Comment by Gloria
2011-07-16 12:14:38

I have very grave doubts Craig James of Elections BC, would rule in the citizens favor. What he has done to the BC people in the past, certainly says what he really is.

BC has been a corrupt province, since Campbell has been in office. We can all see, nothing has changed. Christy uses every dirty tactic in the book, just as Campbell did.

Campbell twice lied, to win two different elections.

Christy lies to the people too. Her TV ads are shameful and false. Christy’s presence at the Point Grey by-election. The non-stop harassing of the re-call canvassers. Craig James changing the wording on the re-call, after the fact.

How can we expect any different treatment now? This is Craig James, we are having to contend with. The same Craig James, we had to put up with in the past. His underhanded tactics, are known by our entire country. Even other country’s know. All the BC Liberals dirty dealings, are sent to friends and relatives, to the U.S. and abroad.

BC is the laughing stock of the century.

 
Comment by Linda
2011-07-17 17:10:17

While the Fight HST and the citizen’s follow and obey the laws and rules, regarding the HST, the BC Liberals do not.

It seems the Minister of Finance thinks, BC is a bottomless pit of money. The stick man TV ads, have to be costing an utter fortune. Perhaps big business is paying Christy as they did Campbell. TV ads don’t come cheap.

As far as asking Elections BC, to rule on Christy’s falsehoods, and misleading the BC people….I hardly dare to think, Craig James would rule in favor of the BC people.

If Craig James activities, during the recall are remembered…I don’t think there is a ghost of a chance, there will be any honesty and fair play, in favor of the people.

 
Comment by Sick and tired
2011-07-18 23:24:45

A good read from Winnipeg.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/more-at-stake-in-hst-referendum-than-money-125731518.html
Further, the real lie is that the HST will drop to 5% on so many of our daily things.
As far as the refund for these making under $40k per year, that is also a red herring because there was something called the GST refund.

 
Comment by Julie
2011-07-19 13:02:11

Stopping the BC Liberals from misleading the BC people, I think, will be an exercise in futility.

Falcon was on the news, misleading the BC people again.

In his statement, he said how the HST has created many new jobs. However, stats Canada named the provinces, that had job gains. BC was not mentioned.

All the other western provinces gained jobs. BC did not. Grant G’s research said. In June, BC lost 12,000 jobs.

There are also peoples, HST ballot envelopes screwed up. Many households, had only one envelope with, both man and wife living in the house. Some people had blank pages, some of the inner envelopes were missing. Some apartment buildings, just had a stack of ballots in the lobby’s. Anyone could have taken all of them, and voted multiple times.

We have been seeing ridiculous ways of voting these days. But, these ballot envelopes take the cake. There is no way, those ballot envelopes can be considered, as fair and honest voting.

There could be hundreds of ballots sitting in Elections BC, signed however. I don’t have a lick of faith in Elections BC. Craig James altered the recall, after the fact.

We have been living a litany of the BC Liberals lies, for well over ten years. Why would it be any different this time? There are still lies, deceit, misleading the people, and out and out cheating.

 
Comment by Kathryn
2011-07-28 15:08:33

I have not received my ballot – called Elections Bc July 11 – they sent a replacement ballot – still did not get one. Missed the deadline for a replacement for the replacement because I was away and now I won’t be able to vote.

I’ve called BC Elections, my local MLA and Canada Post – no solution.

There is no provision for lost ballot packages. Why can’t BC Elections have electoral officers providing ballots to those who want to vote at the drop-off centres set up for receiving the ballots.

 
Comment by margaret
2011-08-07 12:52:58

I had the same problem. Contacted Elections Canada and I was also unable to cast a ballot. Same thing happened to me also…contacted EC beginning of July and followed up later…still no ballot.

Shame on you Mr. Cambell and Elections Canada! After this I will NEVER support you!

 
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