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

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

Most Read