Thursday, April 16, 2015


How to Boot an MLA

The reasons behind a Burnaby resident's recall bid for MLA Lee

Released by Elections BC/Gov't website photo MLA Lee


hief Electoral Officer Keith Archer today approved in principle an application for a petition to recall Richard T. Lee, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Burnaby North. The proponent of the recall is Loren Letourneau.


“The petition will be issued on April 15, 2015, and at that time, registered canvassers may begin collecting signatures,” said Archer. “The petition must be returned to this office no later than June 15, 2015.”


In Burnaby North, there were 41,233 registered voters on May 14, 2013. Registered canvassers will have 60 days to collect 16,494 or more valid signatures on the recall petition. The expenses limit for the proponent and the Member is $38,257.91.


Elections BC has 42 days from the date the petition is submitted to verify that those who signed the petition were eligible to do so. The Chief Electoral Officer cannot determine whether or not the petition is successful until the proponent’s financial report is reviewed and it is determined that the proponent did not exceed the expenses limit. The financial report must be filed with the Chief Electoral Officer within 28 days of the end of the recall petition period.


In the event of a successful recall petition, the recalled Member’s seat becomes vacant and a by-election must be called within 90 days. The recalled Member can run as a candidate in the by-election.


Proponent’s opinion of why recall of the Member is warranted:

Out of a deep respect for civic duty, I cannot sit idly by while Richard T. Lee continues to be my MLA. I believe in a political system where the will and needs of a large group of people are represented in government by an elected official. In this, I feel RTL has failed. Our hospital is under funded and overdue for seismic upgrading. He has been silent on the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion proposal, other than to echo Victoria’s talking points. And he has continued, since 2001, to be paid for the privilege of being our voice in the legislature.


Our responsibility, then, is to hold Richard T. Lee to account. This, in essence, is the purpose of a recall process. We are empowered to engage with the province and bring about immediate change. Each of our voices, each signature, will be counted and tallied directly towards our effort.


NOTE: Elections BC has not altered the wording of this statement in any way.


For more information, visit Elections BC’s website here.




How to Recall and MLA

• The Recall and Initiative Act came into force in 1995
• Under the Act, recall is a process that allows registered voters to remove their Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from office between elections
• Eighteen months must elapse following General Voting Day for the previous election before a recall application can be made
• The Chief Electoral Officer has approved 26 recall petitions since 1995; none have been successful

18 petitions were not returned to Elections BC by the deadline
One petition was withdrawn
Five petitions were returned to Elections BC by the deadline

Two petitions proceeded to the verification process:

• Paul Reitsma, MLA, Parksville-Qualicum resigned during the verification process of the 1998 recall petition against him; verification stopped at that point
• One petition continued through the full verification process –
Val Roddick, MLA, Delta South (2002); verification determined that insufficient valid signatures had been obtained

• When a recall petition is issued, the proponent has 60 days to collect signatures of more than 40% of the voters who were, on the date of the last election of the Member, registered voters in the Member’s electoral district
• Registered voters new to the Member’s electoral district since May 14, 2013 are not eligible to sign the recall petition
• There were 41,233 registered voters in the Burnaby North electoral district at the May 14, 2013 general election
• The signature threshold for Burnaby North is 16,494
• he petition will be issued on April 15, 2015
• Petition sheets must be submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer on or before June 15, 2015
• Richard T. Lee, MLA, Burnaby North, received 10,543 votes, or 46.82 % of total valid votes, in the 2013 General Election
• The proponent can be assisted by canvassers
• Canvassers must be registered with Elections BC prior to collecting signatures
• The proponent and the Member have equal expenses limits of $38,257.91
• Any individual or organization, other than the proponent and the MLA, who sponsors recall advertising must register with Elections BC
• There are no spending limits on third-party recall advertising
• Recall financing reports must be submitted to Elections BC within 28 days after the end of the recall petition period



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