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Initiative Petition: 90 Days to sign against Site C

A sign protesting the Site C dam, in the early days.

A BC voter has begun the next stage of an initiative petition process seeking to have the BC government cancel the Site C dam project; see this May 3 article first announcing the petition. The petition sheets were issued on July 3, so the proponent has 90 days to collect signatures. To move to the next stage of the process, he must ensure that 10% of the registered voters in all 87 electoral districts in BC sign the petition.  Signatories must also have their names and physical addresses legibly recorded on the petitions.

The summary of the petition says:

"The purpose of the initiative draft Bill is to stop construction of the Site C Dam project currently underway on the Peace River.  The draft Bill states that the May 2014 Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel on the project was found to have unsupported claims and procedural inconsistencies, and that a November 2017 BC Utilities Commission Report concluded that the project is not needed for future energy power in British Colimbia.

"The draft Bill would require the Site C Dam project to be cancelled, and would come into effect on Royal Assent."

If the proponent is successful in getting 10% of BC's registered voters to sign the petition, and in returning the petition sheets to the Chief Electoral Officer by October 1, 2018, for verification, then the Chief Electoral Officer will send the verified petition and draft Bill to the Select Standing Committee on Legislative Initiatives.

The Select Standing Committee has 90 days to consider the peitition and draft Bill, and can then take one of two steps: it can recommend introduction of the  draft Bill in the Legislature, or it can recommend that the draft Bill be put to an Initiative Vote. 

If the draft Bill is introduced in the Legislature, there is no guarantee that it will pass.

If it is put to an Initiative Vote, then it must pass IF at least 50% of the registered voters in the province vote for it, and if that 50% of all the voters includes at least 50% of the voters in at least two-thirds -- that's 58 -- of BC's 87 electoral districts.

No one has registered to oppose the petition, but the proponent has only 15 registered canvassers so far to help collect signatures.