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Elections BC rejects HST recall docs over word count

Fight HST Leader Bill Vander Zalm speaks to funeral directors at their annual general meeting in Victoria.

Geoff Howe For The Globe and Mail/geoff howe The Globe and Mail

When it comes to launching the first-ever recall drive against a Canadian politician, Fight HST organizers are leaning to dot all their i's, cross all their t's — and now, count all their words.

Elections BC has rejected the application for recall in the suburban Victoria riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head, saying the application contains too many words.

Fight HST leader Bill Vander Zalm says Acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James turned down the application, ruling that MLA and HST are not two words, but a total of eight.

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When the acronyms are replaced by Member of the Legislative Assembly and Harmonized Sales Tax, the application to recall Sciences and Universities Minister Ida Chong exceeds the 200 word allotment.

Mr. Vander Zalm is fuming about the rejection, accusing Mr. James of obstruction and demanding that he resign.

More than 150 canvasser applications have also been tossed but organizers aren't giving up, saying they will demand a quick decision from Elections BC when the recall petition and canvasser details are resubmitted on Thursday.

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