Recall campaign against Cantelon on hold

With referendum coming up, there's no point, says organizer

 The campaign to recall Parksville-Qualicum Liberal MLA Ron Cantelon is on hold until after the referendum on the harmonized sales tax.

The B.C. government is going with a mail-in vote on the HST with a target date of June 24, and Terry Hand, Parksville-Qualicum recall campaign co-ordinator, said there is little sense in doing anything with the recall effort prior to the referendum.

Canvassers have 60 days from the start of a recall campaign to collect signatures from 40 per cent of the registered voters in a riding. Campaigns against Comox Valley MLA Don McRae and Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong were not successful, though Hand does not consider either a failure.

“I don’t think any of the volunteers in either of those ridings feel it was a failure,” he said. 

“Obviously, they were disappointed that they didn’t reach their goals, but it has resulted in a rethinking by these MLAs in the way they deal with the people.”

Hand said he will be contacting Fight HST organizers Bill Vander Zalm and Chris Delaney regarding the Parskville-Qualicum campaign.

“I’ll get a little bit of feedback from them, but I’m the one who will make the decision to move forward,” he said. “If we don’t have enough people, what’s the point?”

Verbal commitments from volunteers to become recall canvassers have not translated into people filling out application forms. The campaign has 53 registered volunteers of the estimated 250 needed to be successful.

“At this juncture, we are postponing the campaign, not cancelling it,” said Hand.

Cantelon said the people will have their say on June 24.

“If the referendum rejects HST, why would you have a recall if your objective is met?” he said.

“If the referendum passes, I would say again, the people have spoken. 

“Who are you going to recall? Are you going to recall me? Recall the people? The people will have spoken either way and it becomes a moot point.”