Local senior and community advocate Joyce Fraser is angry at the way the HST ballot is being presented.  “It is misleading and may cause some people to unwittingly vote the wrong way.”

Local senior and community advocate Joyce Fraser is angry at the way the HST ballot is being presented. “It is misleading and may cause some people to unwittingly vote the wrong way.”

HST ballot causing anger

“I was flipping mad.” This was the response eighty-two year old Joyce Fraser had after opening her HST ballot last week. Fraser has been an advocate of human rights for most of her life.

  • Jul. 21, 2011 12:00 p.m.

“I was flipping mad.”  This was the response eighty-two year old Joyce Fraser had after opening her HST ballot last week.  Fraser has been an advocate of human rights for most of her life.  She founded Princeton and District Community Services and was Director of the organization for 33 years.  She is a well respected Princeton resident who is known for her tenacity and when she read the HST ballot wording could not believe her eyes.  “It’s ridiculous,” Fraser stated.  “Our government has taken what could have been a simply worded ballot question and turned it into something very misleading.”  Fraser thinks the question could easily have said, “Do you want to keep the present HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) in B.C.?  Yes or No,”  and she is not alone.

A quick poll of many community members of voting age found residents with equal dismay.  “It will probably confuse some people, there is no doubt about it,” said local resident Kay Goglin.  “I had watched on the news about it and read about it so was prepared to vote correctly, but not everyone has the time or is willing to do that beforehand.  It could definitely have been asked in a simpler way to dismiss any confusion intended or otherwise.”

“What flipping genius wrote this,” Fraser asked Elections B.C. when she phoned to complain.  “It isn’t just the ballot that angers me either,” Fraser admitted.  “The advertising campaign by our provincial government causes more confusion regarding the HST ballot by reversing the “No” and “Yes” placement.  It is very clever, if it is being used to manipulate the results.”

Fraser encourages all residents who have not yet filled out their HST ballot to make sure to take their time.  “I really encourage people to read the questions carefully before marking an X down to vote.  I don’t care how people vote, I just want them to understand how they are voting.”

A phone call to Elections B.C. confirmed that once a vote is mailed out, there is no recourse if a voter feels they have accidently voted against their own wishes.  “Once a ballot is cast, it is final,” said the Elections B.C. spokesperson.

While Fraser admittedly was very disappointed by the ballot, she is more concerned that seniors and other groups who are more marginalized will be the main victims of the referendum vote.  “In the instructions it says it is an offense to  mislead in your declaration.  The government has broken their own rule.”

Go to HSTinBCfacts.ca to make an educated decision.

 

Just Posted

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Birtch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Dan Albas
COLUMN: Reopening the international border

Governments in Canada and the United States are working towards reopening plans for the border

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Most Read