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article imageBC: Ida Chong recall campaign stumbles

By Gibril Koroma     Jan 26, 2011 in Politics
Vancouver - Efforts to recall BC Liberal MLA Ida Chong by anti-HST activists seems to be running into some difficulties as the February 4 deadline approaches.
The recall campaign, according to the Georgia Straight, is already behind schedule as the anti-HST canvassers are finding it more and more difficult to reach people to get them to sign the petition to recall Ida, the current provincial minister of Science and Universities. Chong is one of several MLAs targeted for recall for supporting the unpopular Harmonized Sales Tax introduced by the Campbell government shortly after the last election.
The Fight HST movement needs the signatures of 15, 368 voters to unseat Chong and trigger a by-election but have so far been able to get only 8,000 signatures and they have until February 4 to get another 8,000 something Chris Delaney, one of the leaders of the campaign says is proving difficult. But despite the setbacks, Delany remains optimistic: "It's doable but it's going to be tough," he told the Georgia Straight.
He said they faced problems accessing voters living in apartment buildings, that some provincial employees are afraid of signing and the fact that there is a large number of unregistered voters in the riding.
But Ida Chong herself had not been sitting supinely waiting to be tossed out. She had been fighting hard against the recall by putting together a counter-offensive team and placing ads in the media. In a passionate letter to voters last November, Chong said the proposed recall was not about the HST but an attempt by the opposition NDP to get more seats in the legislature. Anti-HST activists have denied this, insisting that it's about punishing the Campbell government for lying to the people and other misdeeds.
Five of the current six Liberal leadership contenders (Mike de Jong, Christy Clark,Kevin Falcon, George Abbot and Moira Stilwell) openly expressed support for Chong in a press release last December, describing her as very hard working, focused and goal-oriented.
If the present trend continues, it's therefore very likely that Chong will escape recall and thereby deal a severe blow to the Anti-HST campaigners and the anti-HST movement itself. It may also indicate political savvy and good communication skills on the part of Chong counter campaign staff led by Lynne Henderson.
Ida Chong, a professional accountant, was born in Greater Victoria.
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