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Angry Zalm vows to recall MLAs over HST

"All bets are off."

The Fight HST campaign, led by former premier Bill Vander Zalm, have promised to recall Liberal MLAs after his Citizens' Initiative petition against the HST was accepted by Elections BC.

Despite the success, Vander Zalm was told the government would take no action on the successful petition -- which was signed by more than 700,000 British Columbians -- until a separate HST challenge at BC Supreme Court is concluded.

On June 29, a coalition of businesses filed a challenge of the Fight HST Citizens' Initiative, saying the Elections BC has no jurisdiction over the HST, which they say is a federal matter.

The case could take years, according to a furious Vander Zalm.

"I'm terribly upset," Vander Zalm said Wednesday evening. "One government, one bureaucrat, says they can stop the will of the people. We won't stand for it."

Unless the decision not to act immediately on the petition is reversed, Vander Zalm is ready to take on the government and force an election.

"They've got to answer to the people," he said, standing at the same spot in Jack Poole Plaza where the Fight HST campaign was launched in September 2009. "The government better look out."

The controversial tax was introduced July 1.

NDP MLA Mike Farnworth hailed the petition's success but blamed "a group of friends of the BC Liberals" (the business owners who are challenging the petition) of "thwarting grass-roots democracy."

Matt Kieltyka reports for 24 Hours Vancouver.

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