Dec 10, 2010 Press Release
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS AND BUSINESS ASSOC. REMOVE MEMBERSHIP LISTINGS FROM WEB SITE
Delaney: ICBA demands accountability from Recall proponents, but hides who they represent to voting public
VICTORIA (December 10, 2010) – In a bizarre and cynical move, the Independent Contractors and Business Association (ICBA), led by their political activist president Phil Hochstein, have removed the members listings from their web site only a day after Fight HST announced a boycott of ICBA companies, says Fight HST Lead Organizer, Chris Delaney.
Delaney says the ICBA’s decision to hide their members’ names from voters is a cynical attempt to thwart public accountability for their opposition to Recall. However, Delaney says it’s too late to deceive anyone since Fight HST has copied the entire ICBA list and have posted it on the Fight HST web site.
“It is astounding that the same group who is accusing us of a hidden agenda has hidden who their supporters are. Phil Hochstein talks a big game but it’s all bluster and hot air. The decision to shield who he represents proves our point that it’s the big business lobby who have the hidden agenda,” said Delaney.
Delaney says Fight HST is concerned that the ICBA is violating the Recall and Initiative Act with their assertion that voter information could be used for purposes other than Recall.
The ICBA stoprecall.ca web site warns voters:
“Signing the Recall petition means giving your [information] to people you don’t know. They won’t tell you what their plans are for using your personal information.” The site goes on to describe canvassers as “fringe”, “disgraced”, “opportunists”, “defeated” and falsely describes all canvassers as being members of a single political party.
“This is clearly designed to intimidate voters to persuade and compel them not to sign the petition, and that is illegal,” said Delaney. “We have asked Elections BC to review the ICBA ‘stoprecall.ca’ web site to determine if any regulations are being broken.”
Section 157 of the Recall and Initiative Act specifically prohibits the use of intimidation to persuade or compel an individual to refrain from signing a petition, as follows:
157 (1) An individual or organization must not intimidate an individual for any of the following purposes:
(a) to persuade or compel an individual to sign a petition or refrain from signing a petition;
(b) to punish an individual for having signed a petition or having refrained from signing a petition;
(c) to persuade or compel an individual to vote or refrain from voting in an initiative vote;
(d) to persuade or compel an individual to vote or refrain from voting for or against an initiative;
(e) to punish an individual for having voted or having refrained from voting as described in paragraph (c)
(2) An individual or organization must not, by abduction, duress or fraudulent means, do any of the following:
(a) impede, prevent or otherwise interfere with an individual’s right to sign a petition;
(b) compel, persuade or otherwise cause an individual to sign a petition or refrain from signing a petition;
(c) impede, prevent or otherwise interfere with an individual’s right to vote in an initiative vote;
(d) compel, persuade or otherwise cause an individual to vote or refrain from voting in an initiative vote;
(e) compel, persuade or otherwise cause an individual to vote or refrain from voting for or against an
(3) An individual or organization prohibited from doing something by this section must not do the prohibited act directly, indirectly or by another individual or organization on behalf of the individual or organization who is subject to the prohibition.
(4) An individual or organization who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable to one or more of the penalties referred to in section 156 (6).
Delaney says the BC Government and its supporters in the big business lobby were quick to come to the defense of Elections BC when the Chief Electoral Officer decided to withhold the Initiative petition from the Standing Committee of the legislature in September. “They even supported Elections BC when the CEO sent out letters threatening senior citizens with jail terms and $10,000 fines for accidentally signing the petition twice.”
“Now the ICBA flouts the regulations of Elections BC with total disregard and disrespect. Such cynical behavior is raising a lot of eyebrows, and we hope Elections BC will hold them to account,” Delaney concluded.Share on Facebook
Tags: big game, bluster, business lobby, ca web, canvassers, chris delaney, cynical attempt, cynical move, hidden agenda, hochstein, icba, independent contractors, initiative act, members listings, members names, membership listings, opportunists, political activist, public accountability, voter information
Dec 6, 2010 Discussion
Why Recall matters now more than ever
By Chris Delaney
Lead Organizer, Fight HST
Some commentators are trying to discourage people from continuing with Recalls, saying they are unfounded, unfair, or even unnecessary. But they couldn’t be more wrong.
The pressure that British Columbians have put on their government has resulted in an unprecedented renewal of accountability and concessions toward increased democracy. But everything so far has either been cosmetic, or is based on promises to come. Promises by a government steeped in corruption and which routinely breaks its promises, starting with the implementation of the HST itself. They simply cannot be trusted.
We are told that we should all pack up and go home because Premier Campbell has resigned. Isn’t that good enough? Aren’t you satisfied now that you have the King’s head on a platter? But the fight has always been about holding this government to account by forcing them to repeal the HST, not necessarily to get rid of the person who gave it to us. Such a rationale suggests voters are primitive brutes who simply want revenge, rather than decent citizens who want justice.
We are told that we should stop fighting to end the HST now because Premier Campbell has promised us a referendum with a simple majority, binding on the government. But there are several problems with this promise:
First, as powerful as a premier is, even he does not have the power to overrule existing legislation without a vote of the legislature. Right now, the vote on the HST is proceeding under the Initiative Act, which is non-binding, and requires more people to defeat it than voted for ALL the parties who ran in the last election. Until the cabinet decides to conduct the vote under the Referendum Act, or to change the Initiative Act, Gordon Campbell’s promise is a hollow one.
Second, the vote is scheduled to be held in September of 2011, a full year after the petition was validated. This will allow the government to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to try to convince everyone to support their tax. It will also allow them to continue to collect the HST, fleecing the public of their hard earned funds for another whole year. And it is severely damaging businesses and the economy while people wait for the tax to be repealed before making new purchases. And moving the date up by a couple of months is a pyrrhic concession that will still waste $50 million when a free vote in the legislature can end it tomorrow at no extra cost.
Third, how can we be sure that Gordon Campbell’s friends in the big business lobby will not try to scuttle the results of that referendum in court again, like they attempted to do with the petition? Tying up the HST in court is just another way to ensure it is with us for years to come.
Finally, Gordon Campbell, as we predicted, will no longer be the premier when the vote is conducted. The person making this incredible promise will not even be in power to honour it. Given that the BC Government recently promised a 15% income tax cut only to rescind it a week later, public confidence in their “promises” is somewhere between nil and zero.
The only way to ensure this dictatorial government and its complicit MLAs are forced to listen to the people they are paid to represent is with Recall. Letting up the pressure now will only ensure BC is saddled with the HST forever. Those advocating that citizens stop fighting now have either not properly thought through their argument, or are really hoping for the government to win the battle against its own citizens.
Now is not the time to let up. Now is the time to apply maximum pressure by successfully Recalling MLAs one by one until the government finally listens. Victory for the citizens of BC is very close. The desperation of the arguments against Recall is all the evidence we need of that.
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Tags: accountability, british columbians, brutes, chris delaney, commentators, concessions, corruption, decent citizens, democracy, gordon campbell, head on a platter, implementation, initiative act, last election, legislation, petition, promises, rationale, referendum act, revenge