Anti-HST campaigners busy

Most people seem supportive of HST message on Highway 19A in Parksville

Volunteers Richard Young and Mike Jessen make their point on Highway 19A Friday.

Almost as soon as Anti-HST crusader Bill Vander Zalm finished speaking last Friday, opponents of the Harmonized Sales Tax in Oceanside fanned out to plant signs and put their point across.

Volunteers Mike Jessen, Richard Young and Rob Williams were typical, setting up shop at the side of Highway 19A on Friday to wave signs and talk to anyone who pulled over.

Jessen, who worked on the original campaign to force the current referendum, said he’s finding this second campaign more of a tough slog.

“The tide is turning a little bit in our favour,” he said. “However, I noticed people are not as willing to put up lawn signs as they were last year.”

Part of the reason, he said, could be to do with the intense barrage of advertising being run by pro-HST forces, as well as the awkward setup of the question, which requires people opposed to the HST to vote yes, while those who support it have to vote no.

“It’s the confusion that’s causing a lot of problems,” he said. “The no side commercials are  very contradictory, almost.”

The response on the street, however, appears positive, he said.

“I would say we got 60 per cent of people going by would wave,” he said. “We’ve only had one person give us the finger.”


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