Apr 10, 2010
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1. The Initiative Petition: The first phase of our strategy is to successfully complete the first Citizen Initiative in BC (and Canadian) history by obtaining the required signatures of 10% of registered voters in every riding.
Once that is completed, the government has two options – vote on the legislation proposed by us (The HST Extinguishment Act) or:
Conduct a province wide referendum (Initiative Vote) on the question of extinguishing the HST in BC.
If the government tries to use its majority to vote down the successful initiative petition legislation, we will conduct phase 2 of our plan:
2. Recall: Recall can only be conducted 18 months after an election, which brings us to November 2010. If MLAs vote against the wishes of their constituents as expressed in the petition, we will target them for Recalls.
A Recall requires 40% of registered voters to sign a Recall petition. Once the signatures are complete, the MLA is automatically recalled. There is no other step required.
By the time we are finished the petition, we will have an army of volunteers (we already have over 5,000) that we can mobilize in specific ridings to effect Recalls. Some have suggested we may onyl need to Recall the premier himself to make our point.
3. Legal Challenge: The third component of our strategy may involve a legal challenge to the HST. Several lawyers have contacted us to say that they believe the HST contravenes both the Constitution Act 1867, which gives exclusive authority for direct taxation within the provinces for the raising of a provincial revnue to the provincial Legislatures only.
The HST may also contravene the Excise Tax Act which forbids the federal government from implementing an “unequal” tax within the provinces. Since the HST is a different rate in each province (ie: 12% in BC, 15% in Nova Scotia, 13% in Ontario) it may also contravene the Excise Tax Act.
A legal challenge to the HST would be accompanied by an application for an injunction to stop the tax until the court can determine its legality.
Lawyers who have reviewed the subject believe an injunction may be viewed favourably by the courts. The prospect of the provincial government proceeding with an “illegal” tax in BC for the two years it could take to hear the case would have them collecting over $16 billion in HST during that time. If the tax were found to be illegal, it would bankrupt the treasury to repay it all.Share on Facebook
Tags: canadian history, citizen initiative, constituents, constitution act 1867, excise tax act, federal government, HST, initiative petition, injunction, legal challenge, legislation, mla, nova scotia, phase 2, provincial legislatures, referendum, registered voters, signatures, taxation, volunteers