Ottawa can vote to tax BC without Legislature approval
Delta – Fight HST Leader, Bill Vander Zalm, says the Supreme Court dismissed his court petition challenging the constitutionality of the HST today.
Vander Zalm says Chief Justice Bauman’s decision effectively means that the imposition of the HST in BC can be done by “Order-in-Council”, rather than through the legislature as the constitution originally intended. He says it amounts to taxation without representation.
“When the court says that a single person with the stroke of a pen can legislate a tax in BC, the system is completely broken,” said Vander Zalm.
“The fight against the HST has exposed that the government doesn’t listen to the people. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court has exposed that the system not only permits this, it actually encourages it. People did not fight and die in two world wars to have taxes imposed by one man.”
Vander Zalm says that although the court ruled the HST is a federal tax, it acknowledged in its previous ruling that the province can rescind its participation.
“The only good news is we still have the means to undo this giant mess, since the first court ruling affirmed British Columbia’s right to kill the tax. We don’t have a say, but we still have a veto,” said Vander Zalm.
Vander Zalm says Fight HST will consult legal counsel to consider an appeal of the ruling.
Vander Zalm pointed out that the HST applies a new levy of 7% on a wide range of goods and services previously exempted from provincial sales taxes. He says legally that might not constitute a new tax, but in reality it is clearly a new tax imposed by the federal government at the request of BC’s Finance Minister.
“It is an unbelievable situation when Ottawa can use its votes in Ontario together with votes from the Bloc in Quebec to impose a tax in BC without the BC legislature’s approval. Quebecer’s are now deciding taxes in BC! Can you imagine if the reverse had happened? Quebec would separate tomorrow!”
Vander Zalm says after his group gets rid of the HST, he will commit himself to changing the entire system.
“After we defeat the HST, we must continue to fight to restore our democracy. It will be a short lived victory indeed if the same system that brought us this awful tax is left in place to simply carry on with ‘business-as-usual’.”
“We need a complete overhaul, and I promise to do whatever I can to bring that about,” concluded Vander Zalm.
Fight HST to begin Recalls as soon as possible after November 15.
Delta – Fight HST Leader Bill Vander Zalm says BC Premier Gordon Campbell is once again playing fast and loose with the truth regarding his promise to hold a “binding, simple majority” referendum on the HST.
“He’s been telling everyone he will make the referendum to scrap the HST truly democratic by allowing a simple majority of votes cast, and that it will be binding on his government. But he refuses to conduct the vote under the ‘Referendum Act’ rather than the ‘Initiative Act’. That means British Columbians will have to take him at his word, and that is not very reassuring given his track record so far,” said former premier Vander Zalm.
Vander Zalm explained, “The Initiative Act says the vote will be non binding, and that it requires 50% of all voters in the province to pass it, plus 50% in 2/3 of all constituencies. Those are impossible thresholds, and completely undemocratic. The premier admitted that by saying he will not require the vote to achieve those thresholds. But then he turns around and says he won’t change the legislation – we’ll just have to trust him.”
Vander Zalm says making the referendum binding and changing the required threshold is not a decision one person can make, even a premier. “Only the legislature can overrule existing legislation. This is a totally bogus promise designed to con and intimidate British Columbians into accepting the tax. We will not be bullied by this premier,” said Vander Zalm.
Vander Zalm reminded British Columbians that Premier Campbell said, “We won’t sell BC Rail” before the 2001 election – and then sold it. Who said before first being elected, “The deficit is a mortgage on our children’s future” – and then doubled it while in office. Who said, “The Olympics won’t cost a penny more than we budgeted” – and then ran up massive cost overruns that are still being calculated. Who said, “The deficit is a maximum $495 million” before the 2009 election – and then announced it was $2.8 billion after the election. Who said, “The HST is not on our radar” before the 2009 election – and then imposed it afterwards.
Vander Zalm says the problem with “trusting” Gordon Campbell besides the fact most British Columbians don’t, is that he may not even be the premier by the time the vote is undertaken. “Then what? Is a new leader bound by his promise?”
Vander Zalm pointed out that Finance Minister Colin Hansen also said on Tuesday that he supports a referendum, but that it will not include all parts of the draft legislation attached to the successful petition.
“Again, this is totally unethical if not illegal. The finance minister and the premier cannot unilaterally remove the parts of the petition Bill they don’t want. They are lawless and totally out of control. I can’t believe the audacity of these people. They are destroying what little democracy we have, and couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks.”
Vander Zalm says Sections 13 and 16 of the Initiative Act are clear:
13 (1) If the select standing committee refers the initiative petition and draft Bill to the chief electoral officer, the chief electoral officer must hold an initiative vote under this Act.
Effect of successful initiative vote
16 If the chief electoral officer declares an initiative vote to be successful, the government must do one of the following:
(a) introduce the Bill at the earliest practicable opportunity;
(b) if the Bill is for the appropriation of any part of the consolidated revenue fund or of any tax or impost,
(i) request the Lieutenant Governor to recommend the Bill by a message in accordance with sections 46 and 47 of the Constitution Act to the Legislative Assembly, and
(ii) introduce the Bill at the earliest practicable opportunity.
“The Standing Committee submitted the petition and draft Bill – the HST Extinguishment Act – to a province-wide citizen’s vote. The government cannot, during that part of the process, remove sections of the Bill. So if British Columbians vote in favour of the draft Bill to extinguish the HST and it is ‘binding’ on the government as the premier says, then the government is stuck with it. The fact Hansen is already saying they won’t abide by their own rules tells you this whole thing is a con,” said Vander Zalm.
“If the government wanted to make amendments to the Bill, they could have submitted it to the legislature for a vote there. But they chose the Initiative Vote route, and now don’t want to abide by it. They are not only dishonest, they are hypocrites too.”
Vander Zalm asked whether the NDP, who voted in favour of sending the petition and draft Bill to an Initiative Vote, also support the premier unilaterally removing sections of the draft Bill. “Are they in favour of this too? We thought the NDP were against the HST, but we are becoming very concerned in light of some of their recent actions.”
Vander Zalm says he will release a Strategy Paper on Recalls next week that will outline Fight HST’s plans to begin removing MLAs from office as soon as legally possible.
“We will move to Recalls now. It is the only vehicle we have left to hold this arrogant bunch to account. The people of BC are being manipulated, trampled on, and deceived every step of the way. We must fight back or risk losing our democracy entirely,” concluded Vander Zalm.
To Comment on this article, please visit the Website at: http://fighthst.com/press-release-campbell-deceives-public-on-referendum/
PREMIER MUST LEGISLATE BINDING REFERENDUM
Vander Zalm: Premier’s call for binding referendum requiring a simple majority vote requires legislative action.
Victoria – Fight HST Leader and former BC premier, Bill Vander Zalm, says Premier Campbell’s call for a binding referendum requiring a simple majority of votes cast to kill the HST will require new legislation or amendments to the Initiative and Recall Act.
Vander Zalm says the premier’s announcement came immediately after both the Liberal and NDP members of the Standing Committee voted unanimously to submit the “HST Extinguishment Act” to a non-binding Initiative Vote requiring an undemocratic threshold of 50% of all registered voters to pass.
“The statement by the premier shows he is starting to understand he can no longer dictate his will on the HST to British Columbians, and we welcome that if he is truly sincere,” said Vander Zalm.
But Vander Zalm says a number of issues were raised by the premier’s comments. “First, as much as we welcome this change of heart, it is not his decision to make. He must reconvene the legislature and amend the Initiative Act to allow for a truly democratic referendum that is binding and requires a simple majority vote, since the current legislation does not allow for that.”
Vander Zalm pointed out that Elections BC confirmed at the hearings today that Cabinet has the final say over the question to be asked. “If that’s true, the only way to ensure a fair and accurate question is asked that reflects the intention of petition is to allow both Elections BC and the proponent, Bill Vander Zalm, to participate in drafting and approving that question together with the government.”
As well, Vander Zalm says that the government should not use taxpayer funds to advertise its position on the HST while acting as an official “Opponent” of the referendum. “There is no way the people can compete with the government using their own money to oppose them. We say there should be a level playing field, and that both sides should make their case through public meetings and through the media.”
Vander Zalm says that with BC still in recession and the government running massive deficits that there is no point in government spending huge sums of money trying to skew public opinion. “If Premier Campbell truly wants a democratic process as he says, he will respect the financial limits of the people to fight back against his government.”
Vander Zalm says the referendum must be conducted before the end of 2010. He says it would be highly irresponsible to wait another year to vote on an issue as pressing as the HST. “The damage to the economy from waiting until September 2011 will be incalculable. It will slow spending down even more than has already happened. In the case of new home construction, investment real estate, and home renovations, it will kill those industries completely, since everyone will immediately halt major spending in anticipation of the HST being extinguished.”
“Even major municipal capital projects will be put on hold as towns and cities wait to realize huge savings from ending the HST.”
“Consumers will continue to be hurt as well, and need relief sooner rather than later from this regressive tax,” added Vander Zalm.
Vander Zalm says further damage would be caused by delaying the referendum, since the government will have to refund more than $2B in HST revenues to all British Columbians. “The HST Extinguishment Act provides for any extra HST monies to be refunded back to the taxpayers. If the government waits another year to repeal the tax, they will have to pay all that back to British Columbians.”
Vander Zalm says the provincial government has only spent half the federal transition money so far, and waiting another year to rescind the tax will see them having spent the balance. “Then they’ll have to pay that back too. Delaying the referendum could cause more damage and create even more problems than the tax already has. They must act immediately for the sake of businesses, consumers and the economy itself.”
Vander Zalm says he has sent a letter to the premier pointing out these important issues, and asking that he move quickly to resolve them in the best interests of the whole province.
“We look forward to hearing back from Premier Campbell. He has said that British Columbians will have the final say. Now we need him to ensure a process is underway to have that happen,” concluded Vander Zalm.
NEW YORK CITY, Sept. 11 – At 9:11 p.m. on the 9th anniversary of the September attacks, the members of the 1280 strong Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth lit up the skies over Manhattan with a towering 2 billion-candlepower beam of light to raise public awareness that three, not just two, World Trade Center high-rise buildings collapsed symmetrically at near free-fall acceleration on 9/11, though only two were hit by planes.
‘Why is there a Third Beam in my skyline?’ New Yorkers are asking tonight. Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth founder Richard Gage, AIA, who held a
press conference earlier in the day at the now-rebuilt WTC 7 with victims family members, states “The people of New York need to see the light – that a third WTC skyscraper not hit by any plane was destroyed on Sept. 11. They have been deceived to about what happened on that terrible day. We are shining the spotlight, literally, on the fact that the official story of what happened at Ground Zero simply cannot be true and that a
truly independent new investigation is needed both as a
matter of national security and as the key to justice for the victims of the Twin Towers.”
At the press conference, AE911truth was joined by 9/11 victims family members from the organization NYC CAN (New York Coalition for Accountability now).
Gage was in NYC speaking at a major
live-streamed symposium on “How the World Changed
After 9/11”. This event at INN World Report is taking place at 56 Walker Street, Lower Manhattan, with
national and international leaders of the 9/11 Truth and accountability movement.
“Building 7 is a ‘Smoking Gun of the 9/11 crime scene” Gage said. “We hope that after tonight, New Yorkers will see September 11th in a whole new light.”
The third beam went on at 9:11pm without a hitch! 200 people in the street with signs marveling at the 3rd beam from the perspective from the conference – where all three beams were shown in alignment. It was awesome team!
We had our folks calling the media saying “what is that third beam in the sky?” It was up for 2 hours. Then the big twin tower beams went off! So we packed up ours because it didn’t make sense to have just one beam in the sky. Then – theirs went back on again! Oh well.
We had a helicopter circle by but no real issues of police action, and no media showing up despite the press release and earlier suggestions at the NYC press conference. We hope the media will be covering the event on Monday.
For coverage from our supporters see: http://norcaltruth.org/2010/09/12/for-the-first-time-in-history-the-thir…
Huge thanks to the inspiration, dedication, logistical support, and financing – all from the wonderful Barbara Honnegar! Please support Barbara and AE911Truth with a donation to help us cover the costs for this vital awareness campaign for Building 7.
See attached 3-min interview text that we recorded on video and fed to the media. See attached press release too.
The excitement here at the Ny conference it electric over this third beam!
Richard Gage, AIA
Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth