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NEWS RELEASE · 6th June 2011
Fight HST

YouTube will be slingshot to shoot down massive Goliath of pro-HST TV ads

The grassroots Fight HST campaign will offer a $1,000 prize for the best online video promoting the “YES to Extinguish the HST” position in the upcoming provincial referendum.

The $1,000 prize amounts to an infinitesimal fraction of the $7 million BC Liberal government advertising and promotional campaign selling the Harmonized Sales Tax and the additional multi-million dollar business-backed TV ad effort, says Fight HST Strategist Bill Tieleman.

“We simply do not have the money to run a television ad campaign, let alone compete with both the massive government and big business onslaught of TV ads,” Tieleman said. “So we are offering a modest prize with the hope that some of BC’s most creative videographers can fashion a visual YouTube slingshot to hit the HST Goliath right between the eyes.”

Fight HST forced the government to hold a binding mail-in referendum on the HST with a grassroots citizens Initiative petition in 2010 that obtained over 700,000 signatures with the help of nearly 7,000 volunteer canvassers, says Bill Vander Zalm, Fight HST leader and former BC Premier.

“We believe that British Columbians will not be fooled by slick expensive government advertising with stickmen or big business ads with accountants telling people the HST is good for them,” says Vander Zalm. “We think some hard hitting videos that capture the imagination and tell the truth about how bad the HST is will be far more effective.”

Fight HST Organizer Chris Delaney says those wanting to enter the contest can post their video directly to YouTube and forward a copy to – the organization’s website. All accepted entries will also be featured on the website.

“We are asking for short and powerful videos put together quickly because the referendum is scheduled to be over by July 22,” Delaney said, adding that a postal dispute could mean the voting period is extended.

Fight HST will determine the winner two weeks before the balloting ends – either July 8 or later if the referendum is delayed.

Tieleman said funds for the $1,000 prize are coming from volunteer fundraising.