VICTORIA –B.C. New Democrat leader Adrian Dix today welcomed the decision of the acting chief electoral officer to extend the HST referendum deadlines by two weeks.

“The decision of the acting chief electoral officer to extend the timelines is a victory for British Columbians and the democratic process,” said Dix. “The people of B.C. demanded the right to make a decision on the HST and it is only right that no one is denied their say.”

In a letter to the acting chief electoral officer on June 27, 2011, Dix requested that the deadline for voter registration be extended to July 22, 2011, while the deadline for receipt of completed ballots extended to August 5, 2011. The acting chief electoral officer responded to Dix today with a letter indicating he will extend the deadlines as requested.

“Christy Clark’s big business allies in the so-called Smart Tax Alliance opposed this extension in keeping with the pro-HST approach of attempting to suppress the democratic process,” said Dix. “The Liberals have shown nothing but contempt for democracy when it comes to the HST.

“They fought the citizens’ initiative that led to this referendum and they’ve taken an approach of vote suppression in the referendum itself. On top of that, they’ve used taxpayer funds to finance a multimillion-dollar partisan ad campaign to carpet bomb British Columbians with pro-HST propaganda.”

Adrian Dix and B.C.’s New Democrats are campaigning to encourage British Columbians to vote yes to scrap the HST, which is an unfair shift of the tax burden from big corporations onto B.C. families and small businesses.

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