VANCOUVER — Yesterday, Aug. 11, B.C.’s elections agency upheld a more than 700,000-signature strong petition that demands the government work to reverse the controversial harmonized sales tax, opening up the possibility for a new vote in the legislature or a referendum.According to The Globe and Mail, the province’s acting chief elections officer announced the victory in a letter to the petition’s chief proponent, former B.C. premier, William Vander Zalm, but added that he would take no further steps on the matter until a court action against the petition was resolved. The judicial challenge to the anti-HST petition was filed by a group of businesses representing some of B.C.’s biggest industries, CBC News reports.
Vander Zalm is disappointed in the delay but pleased that the petition was upheld. “It did pass, so I am extremely happy about that,” Zalm told reporters. “It made history.”
The Canadian Restaurants and Foodservices Association (CRFA) has expressed concern over the new levy, too. In fact, a recent CRFA survey of foodservice operators found that, on average, 10 per cent of respondents reported a decline in sales compared to the same period last year, before HST had been implemented.