Recall petition launched against Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu

Sandhu recall petition

UPDATE 5:45 p.m.

Genevieve Ring says Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu should be recalled because she is part of the NDP government that has failed residents of British Columbia on the critical issues of COVID-19 and health care.

Ring says she is not prepared to wait for the next election scheduled for the fall of 2024 to make changes to improve health care.

Sandhu, who could not be immediately reached for comment, worked as a registered nurse at Vernon's Royal Jubilee Hospital before being elected in 2020 to represent Vernon-Monashee.

"There has to be some duty that they feel toward the people they are supposed to represent, and she has done nothing," Ring said, referring to Sandhu. "I would say the NDP has botched these whole two years and she's part of it."

The Canadian Press

ORIGINAL 3:35 p.m.

A recall petition is being launched against Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu.

Elections BC says in a press release that it received a petition application that met the requirements of the Recall and Initiative Act.

Those requirements are not very onerous.

"Under the Recall and Initiative Act, any registered voter in British Columbia can apply to have a recall petition issued for their electoral district. They must submit an application form, a $50 processing fee, and a statement of 200 words or less on why they feel the member should be recalled," Elections BC says.

The proponent of the recall is Genevieve Ring.

No reasoning for Ring's petition was given.

Elections BC says applications must be approved if the legislated requirements are met and that it does not have discretion to evaluate applications on any other criteria.

The petition will be issued Aug. 12, at which time registered canvassers may begin collecting signatures. However, there are currently no registered canvassers for the petition.

Results must be returned to Elections BC no later than Oct.11.

To be successful, such petitions must cross a high bar.

Canvassers must collect signatures from 40% or more of eligible voters – that's 21,268 names in Vernon-Monashee.

The campaign has an expense limit of $37,046.

After the petition is submitted, Elections BC has 42 days to verify signatures. In the event of a successful recall, the recalled member’s seat becomes vacant and a byelection must be called within 90 days.

B.C.'s chief electoral officer has approved 26 previous recall petitions since the Act came into force in 1995.

Only six of those petitions were returned to Elections BC for verification. Of those, five did not have enough valid signatures and one was halted during the verification process because the member resigned.

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