Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Election official dismisses finance minister's HST complaint

Chief Electoral Officer Harry Neufeld has dismissed complaints Finance Minister Colin Hansen made about the HST initiative campaign.

When Elections B.C. advised in April that a government brochure promoting the HST would be considered initiative advertising, and therefore subject to spending limits, Hansen said he was submitting a list of complaints about “misinformation” he said campaigners and the NDP were spreading.

“I appreciate these matters being brought to my attention,” wrote Neufeld. “My office is committed to applying the legislation it administers fairly, consistently and impartially.”

But in his three-page letter he dismissed each of the issues Hansen raised.

“To me it's indicative of a government that's angry its message is not being accepted by the public and they're lashing out,” said NDP house leader Mike Farnworth.

He questioned the government's timing in releasing the letter, dated May 7. “They were very public in their forwarding and sending the letter to the chief electoral officer,” he said. “[The response] comes out on a Friday afternoon because they're embarrassed with what they got back.”

Campaigners attempting to repeal the HST have until July 5 to collect enough signatures for the initiative to succeed, 10 percent of registered voters in each of the province's 85 constituencies.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus