Recall bid against MLA Lake fails in Kamloops-North Thompson

Kamloops-North Thompson Liberal MLA Terry Lake won’t be making political history any time soon.

Recall organizer Chad Moats said the recall campaign against Lake managed to get 10,087 signatures, but the number is well short of the total needed for Lake to become the first MLA in the province’s history to be recalled.

In Kamloops-North Thompson, registered canvassers had 60 days to obtain the signatures of at least 15,299 registered voters, 40 per cent of the 38,246 voters registered to vote in the last provincial election.

The deadline to gather and submit the recall petition was Monday, April 4, but the campaign ended the weekend before.

Recall organizer Chad Moats said he has decided not to send all the signatures to Elections BC in Victoria to verify the results, citing the expense to get the  petition to the province’s capital and the cost to taxpayers to have officials process it.

He said since the recall failed, the process to him seemed “redundant.

However, Lake questioned whether the campaign did indeed accumulate the number of signatures as claimed by Moats and opined Moats was being “cavalier” by not submitting the signatures to Elections BC.

Lake said he views the recall campaign as he would an election.

“People fought and died for the right to vote,” Lake said.

“He’s taking the attitude that it doesn’t matter who signed it [recall petition].

“I would hope he would submit the signatures.”

Lake is not surprised that yet another recall campaign has failed.

“I think people don’t view this as an appropriate tool,” he said.

“The referendum will be held in June and opinions are still evolving.”

Despite failing to get the number of signatures needed, Moats argued the campaign was successful, given its odds.

He noted the recall effort garnered more signatures than Lake received votes in the 2009 election.

“I think we did pretty good,” Moats said, adding the campaign had the fewest volunteers of all the recall campaigns and spent the least — about  $13,000.

The failure in Kamloops-North Thompson follows failed recall bids of Liberal MLAs Ida Chong in Oak Bay, Don McRae in Comox Valley and Marc Dalton in Maple Ridge-Mission.

Another attempt to recall Cariboo-Chilcotin Liberal MLA Donna Barnett was abandoned before it began.

Even with several failed recall attempts, the fight against the harmonized sales tax is not over.

Moats said he expects to have a role with the FightHST group as the referendum on the tax draws near.

The provincial government has set June 24 as the date for the referendum which will be conducted via mail-in ballot.

By Jeremy Deutsch

Kamloops This Week