Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu isn’t going anywhere.
A recall petition launched against Sandhu by Vernon resident Genevieve Ring has failed, Elections BC announced Wednesday, Oct. 12.
Elections BC says the petition to remove Sandhu from office was not submitted before the deadline of Oct. 11, as stipulated under the Recall and Initiative Act.
The petition was issued on Aug. 12. A total of 28 people registered as canvassers to collect signatures. Elections BC did not say how many votes the canvassers garnered.
“Signature counts will not be available once the petition is received, as Elections BC takes no steps to count or verify signatures for late petitions,” Elections BC said in a media release.
Ring, the recall proponent, and Sandhu must now file financial disclosure reports with the Chief Electoral Officer by 4:30 p.m. Nov. 8.
Many have tried to remove a public official from office via a recall petition, but none have succeeded. A total of 27 recall petitions have been issued since the Recall and Initiative Act came into force in 1995. Elections BC says none have met the requirements established by the Act.
Despite the petition’s failure, the proponent must return their petition sheets to Elections BC.
For a recall petition to be successful, canvassers must collect signatures from at least 40 per cent of voters eligible to sign the petition. In this case, that bar was set at 21,268 votes.
The petition took aim at the NDP government’s (and by extension, Sandhu’s) handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In her application, Ring said Sandhu has “done nothing to mitigate the effects of the government actions employed under COVID-19 mandates.”
Sandhu responded, saying that she would “not be intimidated by a small group of extreme activists that do not represent the vast majority of people in Vernon-Monashee.”