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MLA recall target is still crying foul

RECALL PETITIONERS Ross Gregson (left) and Lou Cassivi gather signatures in an attempt to recall Comox Valley MLA Don McRae. Cassivi and Gregson were spotted Saturday at the corner of Fifth Street and Duncan Avenue in Courtenay.  PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK -
RECALL PETITIONERS Ross Gregson (left) and Lou Cassivi gather signatures in an attempt to recall Comox Valley MLA Don McRae. Cassivi and Gregson were spotted Saturday at the corner of Fifth Street and Duncan Avenue in Courtenay. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK
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Though not keen on forking out $30,000 in legal expenses, Comox Valley MLA Don McRae is still considering legal action against the recall team that is trying to oust him from office, because he claims the group is spreading misinformation.

According to McRae, the recallers are saying they have collected upwards of 12,000 signatures on an anti-harmonized sales tax referendum petition, while Elections BC says the number is closer to 10,000.

“If they’re using that kind of misinformation, what else are they going to be telling individuals? It opens up a whole question of their honesty,” McRae said. “If they want to give a factual number, by all means.”

McRae planned to discuss the situation Tuesday with Elections BC.

“I’m not sure why Elections BC is allowing the recall campaign to use numbers that are blatantly false,” said McRae, who is consulting his legal team.

Recall organizer Kathryn Askew is a former teacher of McRae’s who spearheaded the local anti-HST petition.

While it holds nothing personal against McRae, the recall group says it has a problem with him as an “MLA who represents the will of his political party and its leader, rather than the will of the people who sent him to Victoria and who pay his salary and benefits,” as stated in a letter.

“How could the BC Liberals imagine that introducing a tax like the HST, which absolves major corporations of the responsibility for paying their share of taxes, and that transfers funds from the poorest citizens to the richest, could possibly be acceptable?”

A Jan. 21 letter from acting chief electoral officer Craig James, addressed to Askew and copied to McRae, verifies the signature discrepancies. The letter says the recall group states in a question to voters that it collected 12,051 signatures, but says the actual amount is 10,215.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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