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CONTRIBUTION · 12th August 2010
Carlito Pablo at
It was not big news at the time as it appeared simply to be just another feature to the Anti HST media festival. Today this event reeks of something entirely different. Peter Ewert and Dawn Hemingway's article HERE raises a very important issue. If a Court Challenge can stop this process can any court challenge then be used to stop every bill initiated by any government. If this decision by elections BC is allowed to stand can all legislation in BC be stopped in the same manner?

The following is from published on July 15, 2010 READ IT HERE. The article quotes Gordon Robinson who was involved in attempting to bring a consortium of large industry to Terrace in 2009 before TEDA got involved and side tracked the effort. READ ABOUT THIS HERE.

B.C. Liberals’ big donors fight HST opponents

Several of the corporations represented by a coalition of business groups that’s challenging the legality of the anti–HST citizen initiative are also huge donors to the B.C. Liberal Party, according to a Vancouver-based retired accountant.

Citing Elections B.C. records, Gordon Robertson noted that members of the Mining Association of B.C. have contributed at least $1.5 million to the ruling party since 2005. Companies that are part of the Council of Forest Industries handed over $1.2 million during the same period of time. He added that members of the Coast Forest Products Association have donated $910,872 in the last five years.

“Companies do not donate their shareholders’ money without hoping to get something in return,” Robertson told the Straight by phone. “It’s not surprising that these three associations whose members had contributed huge amounts of money are now coming up and going to bat for the Liberal party.”

MABC president and CEO Pierre Gratton asserted that his group joined the court challenge because the mining industry believes in the HST.

“We’re not doing this for the Liberal party,” Gratton told the Straight by phone. “We’re doing this for our industry.”

On June 29, six business associations, including the three mentioned above, filed a petition before the B.C. Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the citizen initiative against the HST. One of these groups is the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association. This construction-industry organization has donated at least $60,000 to the B.C. Liberals since 2005, according to Elections B.C. records.

ICBA president Philip Hochstein isn’t making any apologies for his group’s support of the B.C. Liberals.

“Why we donated to the party is because their policies were the right policies for construction and investment,” Hochstein told the Straight by phone. “And this tax is good for our industry as well. We support the tax, and we support the government that brought it in.”