Deadline nears for HST voting

Elections BC is keeping its call centre open until midnight Friday, the deadline for B.C. residents to register and request a voting package for the harmonized sales tax referendum.

Elections BC official Anton Boegman shows the mailing envelope for a vote in the HST referendum. B.C. residents have until midnight Friday to request a package.

VICTORIA – Elections BC is keeping its call centre open until midnight Friday, the deadline for B.C. residents to register and request a voting package for the harmonized sales tax referendum.

The call centre at 1-800-661-8683 has been operating from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to handle requests from people who didn’t receive their personalized voting package in the mail. That has been extended to 10 p.m. tonight and midnight Friday.

Elections BC has been kept busy with requests from people who weren’t registered as B.C. voters, have moved or otherwise had incorrect information on the voters’ list, or lost their packages after delivery. A few of three million voting packages mailed in recent weeks have had errors in printing or missing elements.

All voters who contact the call centre up to the deadline will be registered, even if they are kept waiting on hold until after midnight, Elections BC spokesman Don Main says. Phone registration takes three to five minutes.

NDP MLA Maurine Karagianis sent a letter to Elections BC Thursday asking for faster response from the phone service. She said MLAs around the province are hearing from constituents that they can’t get through.

Karagianis also urged acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James to stop disqualifying ballot envelopes where voters have mixed up the numbers in their date of birth. To be eligible, each ballot must be received in an envelope that bears the signature and date of birth of the voter.

After a labour dispute at Canada Post delayed distribution, Elections BC extended its deadline for receiving completed ballots until Aug. 5 at 4:30 p.m.

Mail delivery takes between three and seven days, with longer delivery times for northern and remote locations.

Just Posted

Distracted Driver crashes into ditch along Byng Road

Port Hardy public works department confirms the incident was caused by distracted driving.

Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign needs volunteers in Port Hardy

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign is starting up on Nov. 29… Continue reading

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

UPDATE: North Island highway crash resulting in serious injuries still under investigation

The two drivers were seriously injured and sent to a hospital in Victoria.

Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas votes in favour of eliminating overtime pay for confidential secretary

“I think when staff makes a recommendation I have to support staff’s recommendation.”

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Richard Oland was killed ‘in a rage,’ prosecutor tells son’s murder trial

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

B.C.’s HMCS Edmonton rescues two more sea turtles

Warship credited with a turtle rescue earlier in November

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Most Read