I will be doing all I can on this site, time permitting, to counter this activity. I am in complete support of this boycott and will be contacting the only two businesses in my area to see if they support these actions.
FIGHT HST LAUNCHES BOYCOTT OF INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATION MEMBERS
Vander Zalm: Business lobby group is targeting canvassers and voters in smear campaign in a bid to try to stop Recall and save the HST
VICTORIA (December 9, 2010) – Fight HST Leader Bill Vander Zalm is calling for a province wide boycott of the businesses and members of the Independent Contractors and Business Association of BC (ICBA) for their attack campaign directed at the canvassers working to Recall Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong.
Vander Zalm says the ICBA, led by their president Phil Hochstein, are trying to smear canvassers in the riding and intimidate voters from signing the Recall petition with deliberately misleading comments in an advertising campaign funded by their members from across BC. He says a series of ads, together with a web site called “stoprecall.ca” encourages voters not to sign the petition because doing so “means giving your name, your signature, and your phone number to people you don’t know”.
“That is a ludicrous statement given that Elections BC requires this information and given that canvassers are required by law not to use the voters’ information for any other purpose but Recall,” said Vander Zalm. “It’s just pure intimidation.”
Vander Zalm says the ICBA goes further by smearing the citizens conducting the Recall, describing them as an “army”, “disgraced”, “fringe”, “defeated”, and “opportunists”, and then saying “Do these sound like the types of people you want to hand your personal information over to?”
“It is unbelievable that the members of the ICBA would see fit to attack the citizens of BC by funding a massive advertising campaign to stop Recall and to try to save the HST,” said Vander Zalm. “Especially when many of their contractors, roofers, new home builders, renovators and trades people who sell directly to the public have been hurt by the HST and our efforts are actually helping them.”
“You’d think they would be cheering us on, but instead they are spending mega dollars to attack the democratic process with misleading ads and deliberate smears designed to scare people.”
Vander Zalm says his group has published a list of the members of the ICBA on the Fight HST web site and will be sending it out to the Fight HST supporters list of over 7,000 members with instructions to create a viral campaign across BC using the internet. He is encouraging all British Columbians to cancel any jobs or contracts they have lined up with ICBA businesses and to seek alternative companies to work with.
“Companies like Able Roofing Contractors; Gabe’s Painting and Decorating; and Howell Electric in Kamloops, Canpro Construction; Four Flower Enterprises; PBS Contracting and Soare Contracting in Victoria, as well as hundreds of others around the province are supporting this attack campaign,” said Vander Zalm.
“We don’t have the big money of these groups, so we can only counter their efforts by suggesting a boycott. Hopefully, the ICBA members will come to their senses and let Mr. Hochstein know they don’t agree with the use of their membership dues for such a purpose.”
Vander Zalm says the ICBA has donated over $325,000 to the BC Liberals since 1996. “We challenge Mr. Hochstein to tell British Columbians just how much of his members’ money he is planning to spend to defeat the Recall.”
Vander Zalm notes that Hochstein has gone on record saying there are no limits on his groups’ spending against Recall.
“They’ve found another loop hole in the Recall legislation and are using it to act as a conduit for the BC Government to attack the Recalls. The big business lobby went to bat for the BC Liberals during the petition by trying to strike it down in court and lost. Now they’re trying again with a mega bucks ad campaign designed to subvert the ‘equal spending’ rules for proponents and opponents.”
Vander Zalm is calling on all of the BC Liberal leadership candidates to say where they stand on what he describes as an “abuse of the Recall process.”
“It is totally unfair and undemocratic. The ICBA must be held to account by the people, and refusing to do business with ICBA member companies is the most effective way to do that,” concluded Vander Zalm.