A court hearing began in Vancouver yesterday for a coalition of British Columbia business groups trying to make Bill Vander Zalm’s anti-HST petition a moot point.

Vander Zalm said he’ll be attending court all week as lawyers for the business group argue the petition is irrelevant because the HST is, in part, a federal tax so it can’t be repealed by the province.

The petition collected 700,000 signatures from British Columbians calling for the harmonized sales tax to be scrapped.

“Some time ago we introduced a law that allowed the people a democratic process,” Vander Zalm said outside court. “The government is there to respond to the will of the people.”

The businesses — which support the HST — said they simply want to bring “clarity” to the issue of the petition’s validity.