Cariboo Chilcotin recall organizer Eric Freeston insists the recent slow down in signing up canvassers to their cause was due to the season — not a lack of interest — and they are moving ahead in their bid to recall MLA Donna Barnett.
“There was a bit of a slow down in the collection of canvassers,” Freeston says.
“That’s to be expected because it’s the biggest holiday of the year. We have some pretty committed volunteers who want to see this take place.”
Recall campaigns must apply to Elections BC for approval to proceed.
Freeston says the local campaign’s proponent (the individual who will file with Elections BC) has not yet been chosen but he expects that to happen soon and the proponent to file by the end of the month.
According to the Fight HST website, the local campaign is scheduled to begin Jan. 31.
Chris Delaney, lead FightHST organizer, expects an application for this riding to be made in mid-February.
Delaney understands the difficulty facing organizers and canvassers in reaching the more remote populations in the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding.
“Up there it’s not so much as how many (canvassers) as where they are,” he says.
“If there are remote places where you’ve got substantial populations you’ve got to have people who will work and collect them. So, I think that’s more the issue: making sure they have point people in each corner of that riding.”
Delaney is open to assisting the local campaign suggesting that individuals from surroundings ridings could assist in collecting signatures or that he and Bill Vander Zalm could attend the riding to help generate interest.
“That’s something we are prepared to do to help them but it’s their decision.
“I feel good about it. I feel they could probably get it on track with a little bit of effort,” he says.
The subject of the recall, MLA Donna Barnett, says she’s prepared but under the impression that the local campaign has been delayed.
“We (the Liberal Party) are working as though it were happening.
“We have a team in place and we have a strategy in place so we’re carrying on just as if it was going to happen,” she says.
“I’ve lived with this for months and months and if it happens we are prepared.”
In order for the recall to be successful, canvassers have to collect signatures from 40 per cent of the registered voters in a riding who were in the riding at the time of the last election.