B.C. VIEWS: Recall descends into ugly farce

Fight HST fudged its 'Recall Survivor' contest to pick Science and Universities Minister Ida Chong as their first victim

Fight HST fudged its 'Recall Survivor' contest to pick Science and Universities Minister Ida Chong as their first victim

VICTORIA – The rough beast of recall has slouched into Kamloops and Comox, carrying with it the rank smell of the failing effort in Oak Bay.

Next up in this venomous venture is Vernon, starting on March 15, Fight HST maestro Bill Vander Zalm vowed in a swing through the unlucky North Okanagan city last week.

“More canvassers are signing up in Oak Bay-Gordon Head to help put recall over the top there,” Vander Zalm bragged in a news release describing a standing-room-only crowd in Vernon. “We had a terrific meeting in a snowy Kamloops last night with 45 canvassers to kick off that campaign, and now this! It’s faaaaantastic!”

This is a change to Vander Zalm’s tune on the bid to muscle out Science and Universities Minister Ida Chong. The previous week he posted an open letter to supporters pleading for money and volunteers, while conceding that the cherry-picked swing constituency in suburban Victoria was still less than halfway to its goal with time running out. Former Social Credit attorney general Brian Smith and former NDP premier Dan Miller both spoke out to denounce this anti-tax recall as inappropriate.

Smith told me about Oak Bay residents being approached repeatedly after refusing to sign the Chong petition. He called it “abuse.” But apparently Chong’s central message is getting through: getting rid of her won’t get rid of the harmonized sales tax.

In Kamloops-North Thompson, where MLA Terry Lake is the strategic swing-riding target, the NDP-affiliated organizer told Kamloops This Week he was concerned about recall canvassers being diverted to work on NDP leadership campaigns. Nope, nothing partisan there.

As the U.S. pondered the role of angry, threatening rhetoric in politics, B.C.’s acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James was invited on CKNW radio to describe the hate mail he received after rejecting the first version of the Oak Bay-Gordon Head petition for having too many words. (This delayed it for all of a week.)

There were hundreds of e-mails to this mild-mannered legislature clerk, urged on by a typical screed sent out by Fight HST demanding his resignation. One of the milder missives wished James a slow death from cancer. More serious threats and death wishes prompted police to provide security to his home and the Elections BC office.

Fight HST ringmaster Chris Delaney, along with the NDP-affiliated recall organizer for Oak Bay, downplayed this. Delaney suggested the timing was suspicious, as per his earlier baseless attacks on James’ impartiality.

Vander Zalm also muttered about the government working with James and unspecified elements of the “Big Corporate Media” to scuttle the recall. This is the latest vision to emerge from the Fight HST clown car of conspiracy theories. Previous scenarios featured Canada being taken over by the European Union, and the shopworn plot to impose world government in the name of global warming.

Delaney continues his frantic efforts to launch the B.C. First Party, which is coincidentally being developed in tandem with the recall campaign.

In his role as B.C. First “spokesman,” Delaney recently cranked out a new conspiracy. The B.C. Liberals are forcing BC Hydro to undertake expensive repairs to dams and transmission facilities, not to expand or prevent further blackouts in downtown Vancouver, but to make BC Hydro go broke! Then they’re going to sell it off to General Electric!

This is a variation on a loopy theory advanced by Rafe Mair, wherein Gordon Campbell plots to dam the Fraser River and then sell Hydro off to GE.

NDP leadership candidates would be wise to follow Miller’s lead and distance themselves from this increasingly toxic exercise.

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com.

tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read