RECALL: Fight was emotional, annoying as campaign became ‘personal,’ Chong says

Ida Chong isn't one to count her chickens yet, not at least until she knows she still has a job.

Ida Chong isn’t one to count her chickens yet, not at least until she knows she still has a job.

The Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA spent the last 60 days fighting a recall campaign whose goal appeared to be out of reach heading into the final day for gathering signatures.

On Tuesday, Chong was apprehensive about calling the recall attempt a failure.

“I’m reluctant to let my guard down because you just never know,” she said. “I’m certainly feeling much more comfortable than I was three weeks ago, but I learned a long time ago you should wait until the facts are before you.”

She said it’s been “very emotional” being targeted in a campaign she feels became too personal near its end.

“At the beginning I knew they had to choose a target … and over the course of 60 days they’ve made it more personal so people would sign,” she said. “I’ve been very frustrated, I’ve been annoyed and a little mad, to be quite honest.”

Earlier this week Chris Delaney, organizer of the Fight HST campaign – which is helping spearhead the recall – all but admitted defeat in Chong’s riding. The latest numbers provided, from last week, showed canvassers had collected only 55 per cent of the required 15,368 signatures necessary to oust Chong.

If recall isn’t achieved and campaigns in other ridings continue, Chong says she believes people will start looking at the provincial Recall and Initiative Act as a futile democratic process.

“It’ll soon be a tool that people think is ineffective or should be scrapped. That’s the danger when people aren’t careful when they use a powerful tool like recall,” she said.

Liberal MLAs Don McRae (Comox Valley) and Terry Lake (Kamloops-North Thompson) currently face recall campaigns, which are being fueled by the public outcry against the HST.

Chong says her next focus is choosing which candidate to back in her party’s upcoming leadership convention. She says her decision likely won’t be public until after Feb. 12.

She says she’s been “blown away” by support received from constituents during the last two months.

“They said ‘Don’t give up. Keep your chin up,'” Chong said. “They might not necessarily have voted for me, but they don’t believe recall was used in the right way. ‘Yes we might disagree with her policies, we might not agree with the HST, but we get our chance at the referendum.’ They may be angry, but they understand recall isn’t going to get rid of the HST.”

The recall campaign ends today at 4:30 p.m. when organizers must submit their signed petitions to Elections B.C.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Horses from Victoria Carriage Tours involved in second incident in three months

Witnesses: Horses veered into a parked vehicle, smashing windows, climbing onto roof with front hooves

Seaplane flights cancelled between Victoria and Vancouver due to smoke

Harbour Air has grounded flights travelling through the Georgia Strait

Stolen Search and Rescue dog harness replaced by donation

Moxxii’s specialized harness was stolen at the Pet-A-Palooza festival

First stores open in Victoria’s expanded Mayfair shopping centre

Construction project will add about 100,000 square feet of retail space and 400 parking stalls

Smoke from wildfires delivers jolt to Greater Victoria air quality

Online map collects air quality from home monitors

PHOTOS: Puppy love makes a splash at St. Ann’s Academy

Puppies stampede, dive and do yoga at Victoria’s largest outdoor pet festival

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Canada’s team chasing elusive gold medal at women’s baseball World Cup

Canada, ranked No. 2 behind Japan, opens play Wednesday against No. 10 Hong Kong

Former B.C. detective gets 20 months in jail for kissing teen witnesses

James Fisher, formerly with Vancouver police department, pleaded guilty to three charges in June

Most Read