Petition seeking to recall ‘dictator’ B.C. Premier David Eby fails

David Eby answers questions from media during a press conference at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday Feb. 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

A petition to recall B.C. Premier David Eby that labelled him a “dictator” has failed, Elections BC said Tuesday.

B.C.’s independent elections agency said the petition was not submitted for review by March 20, the deadline under the province’s Recall and Initiative Act.

The recall attempt was filed by B.C. man Salvatore Vetro, and would have needed to collect 16,449 signatures from voters who were registered as of Oct. 24, 2020 in Eby’s Vancouver-Point Grey riding to be successful.

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In his recall application, Vetro accused Eby of violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the “International Nuremburg code.”

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Alleged violations of the latter, a post-World War II set of research guidelines targeting unethical medical experiments involving humans, has become a popular rallying cry of among some on the more extreme end of opposition to COVID-19 health measures.

The application also centres on the NDP government’s Bill 36, Health Profession and Occupations Act, which was approved last fall but has yet to come into force.

The legislation will overhaul the way B.C. regulates health-care professionals, including giving the provincial government power over regulatory college board appointments and to mandate vaccines.

“He’s a dictator not a leader. Invoked closure, threatened health care workers to comply or you will be fined, taken to jail, lose your license and he doesn’t give two hoots about our health care workers,” Vetro told Global News in a January email.

There have been 29 attempted recalls since B.C. implemented the Recall and Initiative Act in 1995.

While no recall petition has ever technically been successful in B.C., an effort to recall BC Liberal MLA Paul Reitsma in 1998 did secure more signatures than necessary. Reitsma, however, resigned before the signatures could be verified.

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The same legislation was used to successfully scuttle the HST in B.C. in a 2011 referendum.

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