Bill Vander Zalm vowed yesterday to recall all of B.C.’s Liberal MLAs after the province’s chief electoral officer refused to act on a successful petition against the harmonized sales tax.

“We will recall every Liberal MLA in the province, if that’s what it takes,” said Vander Zalm after announcing that his petition, which called for the elimination of the new 12 per cent tax, passed the required threshold of 10 per cent of voters in each of the province’s 85 ridings.

However, Chief Electoral Officer Craig James told the former SoCred premier he will not send the successful petition to a legislative committee until a lawsuit against Vander Zalm’s group is settled.

The lawsuit was launched by a number of business groups and was headed by the Coalition of Forest Industries. Vander Zalm said it could be years before the suit is settled.

“There’s no provision for the chief electoral officer to do what he did. I’m very disappointed.”

Fight HST lead organizer Chris Delaney said petitioners would seek a court order to overturn the decision.

Finance Minister Colin Hansen said he expected the petition to pass, but was also surprised by James’ conclusion.

Recalls are set to begin after Nov. 15.