September 28, 2022

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Concerned about the BC provincial government and COVID politics, a North Okanagan woman has started a recall petition to try to unseat Vernon-Monashee NDP MP Harwinder Sandhu.

Bidders have two months to collect thousands of signatures and submit them to Elections BC.

However, halfway through the deadline, the organizer will not disclose the number of signatures received by the petition.

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“It’s a little slow, slower than I thought, but we have almost a month left, so I’m hopeful,” said Genevieve Ring, a Vernon resident who is leading the recall effort.

To actually recall the MP and trigger a by-election, petitioners would need to collect the signatures of at least 40% of eligible voters online. That’s over 21,000 people.

Since 1995, Elections BC said there have been 26 other recall attempts. None of them succeeded in overthrowing a deputy, although in one case a politician resigned during the trial.

Ring said his motivation for initiating the recall attempt was his displeasure with the provincial government in general.

“The government has exceeded its limits and its legal requirements to govern. They do not govern well. They made a mess of everything they touched. I can’t help calling an election, but all I can do is remind the local MP,” Ring said.

In response to an interview request, Sandhu released a statement.

“I am not concerned about the recall attempt that has been initiated. I will continue to work diligently and sincerely to serve my constituents, as I have done since my election,” the MP’s statement read.

“This week, my focus is on meetings at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities annual conference and continuing to advocate on behalf of the people of Vernon-Monashee.”

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In particular, Ring said she was concerned about health care and criticized provincial policies designed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ring argued that the treatment of unvaccinated health workers who have been fired has gone too far.

“Why wouldn’t they rehire these trained and experienced people? The reason is that they didn’t do what the government told them to do,” Ring said.

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Home Health said the vaccine mandate helps protect the functioning of the entire health care system.

“Our healthcare facilities provide care for our most vulnerable and at-risk residents, and it’s important that Home Health maintains layers of protection for them – which includes ensuring our employees are fully immunized against the COVID virus. -19,” the health department said. said. the authority said in a statement.

“As the public health decree mandating the vaccination of health workers remains in effect, we will not attempt to re-employ workers previously terminated for non-vaccination and who chose not to remain vaccinated. Following the mandate of vaccination, Interior Health has laid off a very small percentage of our workforce of approximately 4%.”

Petitioners have until October 11 to collect signatures for the recall.

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