The petition campaign to have the pending HST repealed hasn’t yet reached the halfway mark, but already canvassers have collected the requisite signatures from 72 of the province’s 85 ridings.
Chris Delaney, organizer of the Fight HST campaign, said 500,000 signatures have been added to the initiative petition to axe the tax.
Elections B.C. requires organizers to collect signatures from at least 10 per cent of voters in every riding by July 4, to get the petition placed before the legislature.
Delaney and former B.C. premier Bill Vander Zalm started the drive in early April.
“We’ve got about 13 ridings left to go, and of those most are close to the target,” Delaney said. “We expect we’ll be at 10 per cent in all the ridings by the end of May, and at 15 per cent by the first week in June.”
Delaney said most of the remaining ridings are in Vancouver and Burnaby, but that’s because the campaign started late in those communities.
“The good news is they’re catching up extremely quickly,” he said.
If successful, the petition would go before the legislature in the fall, and the harmonized sales tax — which kicks in on July 1 — could be repealed.
Vander Zalm is also criticizing the province’s newly provided list of goods and services that will be affected by HST. He said it’s missing more than 30 items.
“They left out items such as catering, computer repair services, consulting services, home appraisals, investment counselling, limousine rentals and even parking fees,” said Vander Zalm.