HST lawsuit: Business message is disturbing
I must admit: I have certain rules in handling responses from readers to postings on this blog. No libel, no swearing, no racist remarks, no name-calling.
But I do NOT try to kill off comments from people who disagree with me (although I wonder how could they!). I don’t disqualify them because their submissions have spelling mistakes; I don’t invalidate them because of grammatical mistakes; and I don’t throw them out because their writing style fails to meet some esoteric standard.
I believe the most important thing is allowing people to express their opinions, give their point of view, and provide their information.
Which brings me to the lawsuit by BC’s “business community” trying to kill off the anti-HST petition.
More than 700,000 British Columbia voters expressed their opposition to the HST: they did so democratically; they did not use violence or intimidation; they exercised their right, as allowed under the law; and they met the numbers required to achieve success.
To try to have the anti-HST petition dismissed on some technicality about wording or form shows a clear discrespect for democracy, a refusal to listen to what the public have said, and an attempt to silence the wishes of 700,000 of their own “customers” just because an “i” was not dotted or a “t” was not crossed.
No wonder their friends in the mainstream media usually just describe the lawsuit financiers as “six business groups” but seldom identify them by name: they probably don’t want to bite too hard on the hands that feed them.
HERE they are: the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Forest Industries, Coast Forest Products Association, The Independent Contractors and Builders Association, the Mining Association of B.C. and Western Convenience Stores (owners of Mac’s Stores and 7-Eleven).
This attempt to set aside the public’s democratic expression of opinion is so significant they should ALL be identified in each and every story done on this court case. The public has a right to know! Not just “six business groups”.
This lawsuit by these businesses goes far beyond taking a stand for or against the HST: THIS is trying to cast aside the expressed will of 700,000 British Columbians who signed a petition in good faith.
I believe by trying deliberately to set aside this petition these groups have disgraced themselves completely as corporate “citizens”.
It doesn’t even matter if they win or lose their lawsuit: the fact that they refuse to accept and have tried to destroy the clearly expressed desire of more than 700,000 British Columbians shows, in my opinion, their disdain for democracy and the clearly expressed point of view of enough people under the legislation to have the matter referred to our elected representatives.
Shame on them.
This column first appeared in Mr. Oberfeld’s blog, Keeping it Real. Reprinted with his kind permission.