The recall petition against Prime Minister David Eby has failed.
Salvatore Vetro started the petition on Jan. 17 against Eby over Bill 36, the Health Professions and Occupations Act, legislation aimed at bringing about sweeping changes in the oversight of health professionals in the province.
According to Elections BC, the necessary documents were not filed in time for the March 20 deadline.
Vetro’s initial submission to Elections BC appears to draw a comparison between Eby and former leaders of Nazi Germany, claiming Eby is a dictator and predicting a collapse of the provincial health care system unless the government repeals the project of law.
Bill 36 – which has been the subject of much discussion on social media, largely conspiratorial – was passed in the fall by an all-party committee. Basically, the act consolidates the number of health colleges from 15 to six, with board members appointed by the government rather than through member elections.
The law has been criticized by bodies representing medical professionals, including the British Columbia Medical Association representing physicians. The association argued during the legislative process that the bill would threaten the autonomy of the profession, politicize the decisions of college boards of governors and increase costs.
Eby’s seat would have become vacant and Elections BC would have scheduled a by-election within 90 days if 40%, or 16,449, eligible voters in Eby’s riding of Vancouver-Point Gray had signed the petition, assuming the verification of their signatures. Eby would have been allowed to run as a candidate in this by-election.
But such a date will not appear on his calendar.
“I have no comment,” Vetro said when asked about the result. He also declined to say why he hadn’t submitted the documents before the deadline.
“Did you just hear what I said?” I said I had no comment. This is what you can put in your report.
Vetro worked as a bus driver and is now pursuing an acting career after his retirement. Vetro also ran as an independent candidate in Vancouver-Kensington in the 2020 provincial election, where he won 202 votes, or less than 1% of the vote.
The Chief Electoral Officer has approved 27 prior petition requests since the Revocation Act came into effect in 1995. Elections BC received six of these petitions by the due date, but five did not have sufficient valid signatures. Vetro’s petition hasn’t even reached that stage.
“The failure of this petition is a sign of strong public support for David Eby and the action he is taking on the priorities that matter most to the people,” said Nicholas Simons, New Caucus Chair. Democratic Party of British Columbia.
Simons added that British Columbia is a great place to live, but faces real challenges as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and global inflation.
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