VANDER ZALM ASKS BLOC TO ABSTAIN FROM HST VOTE
Calls on Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, to Allow “Free Vote” of BC MPs
Delta BC - Former BC Premier and Leader of the Fight HST group, Bill Vander Zalm, is calling on the Bloc Quebecois to withdraw support for the HST in BC, and to abstain from voting completely. He has made a similar request to Liberal Leader, Michael Ignatieff, asking him to allow only Liberal MPs in BC to vote on the controversial tax proposal that polls show is opposed by over 85% of British Columbians.
“We have sent formal requests to the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and Leader of the Bloc Quebecois, asking that they reconsider their positions on this hated sales tax for BC,” said Vander Zalm.
“We have asked that Prime Minister Harper and Opposition Leader Ignatieff allow only their BC MPs to vote on this issue, and that it be a free vote to reflect the wishes of their constituents.”
“We have asked Mr. Duceppe to have his MPs abstain from voting on this issue altogether, since implementation of the HST in BC is relevant only to British Columbians, and has no bearing on Quebec,” Vander Zalm explained.
Vander Zalm said that the only federal party that has so far come out in opposition to the HST is the NDP, led by Jack Layton. Vander Zalm pointed out that the recent by-election win in New Westminister/Coquitlam by the NDP was directly related to their strong opposition to the HST.
Vander Zalm says opposition to the HST in BC is growing, not diminishing as the BC Liberals had hoped. He says that it would be grossly unfair for MPs from other parts of Canada, like Quebec and Ontario, being used to support a tax in BC that is so strongly opposed by the vast majority here.
“Prime Minister Harper has said it is a provincial decision. We agree. Let the people of BC decide this issue for themselves with their own MPs in a free vote. We believe that is the only fair and democratic way to resolve this issue,” concluded Vander Zalm.
Vander Zalm has promised to post the names of every BC MP on his Fight HST group’s web site, with a record of how each Member voted on the HST. The names will also be given to local media for publication at election time to remind voters how their MP voted on the HST.
Letter to Prime Minister
Letter to Leader of the Opposition
Letter to Leader of the Bloc Quebecois
Bill Vander Zalm
Leader Fight HST
Ph: (604) 942-6265
Cel: (604) 880-4956
For further information go to:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2009
GOVERNOR GENERAL RESPONDS TO VANDER ZALM REQUEST TO CHECK CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY OF HST
Her Excellency, Michaelle Jean, Says She Wants No Part of It
Delta, BC - In a reply that came at ‘warp speed’ as Mr. Scott used to say on Star Trek, Canada’s Governor General, Michaelle Jean, told former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm and his Fight HST group that she wanted nothing to do with the issue of whether the Campbell and Harper governments had overstepped their constitutional bounds in creating an HST in BC.
Following is the reply from her office, received at 5:18am PST (8:18am EST) on December 3, less than 18 minutes after receiving Mr. Vander Zalm’s request:
Dear Mr. Vander Zalm,
On behalf of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, I am responding to your email.
While the Governor General appreciates your concerns, she feels that this issue would be best addressed by the Government of British Columbia. I understand from your letter that you have already contacted the Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia, which was the appropriate step to take.
I wish you the very best. Thank you for writing.
Antoine Morin - INFO
1 Sussex Drive / 1, promenade Sussex
Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0A1
Vander Zalm points out that Jean, the 27th Governor General of Canada, has very few actual responsibilities. However, one of them is giving “Royal Assent” to all laws and bills passed by the Parliament of Canada.
Royal Asset is the process by which the Governor General gives the seal of approval to all legislation with her signature. It is the final step in the enactment of all laws. Vander Zalm’s request to her was simple – tell the people of BC whether or not the legislation creating an HST in BC is Constitutionally legal or not.
“I guess we found out that the Governor General either doesn’t know what she is signing on a daily basis, or doesn’t care. Her response indicates it is just too much trouble for her to determine if anything she proclaims into law actually follows the Constitution or not,” said Vander Zalm.
“I’d like to know what she would do if Parliament, as it once did, declared women not persons again and took away their voting rights in a piece of legislation? Would an issue like that also be too burdensome to determine whether it was legal or not?” Vander Zalm asked rhetorically.
“We weren’t asking her to take control of the government, just to do her duty and ensure the Constitutional rights of Canadians were not being trampled. Referring us back to the trampler to get restitution is like asking a murder victim to take it up with their killer. This is a total joke and if the Governor General won’t do her duty, what is she there for?”
“Maybe it’s time we got rid of her altogether. I have never seen such a useless waste of taxpayer’s dollars in all my political life,” concluded Vander Zalm.
Vander Zalm says his group is committed to using the Citizen Initiative process to repeal the Agreement between the Governments of BC and Canada to create an HST in BC. He said he will launch the application for the petition in the New Year, with signature collection to take place in March, April and May of 2010.
For Further Information:
Bill Vander Zalm Chris Delaney
Leader, Fight HST Lead Organizer
Ph: (604) 946-1774 Fight HST
Ph: (604) 942-6265
Cel: (604) 880-4956