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New Democrat Leader Jack Layton during his end-of-session news conference in Ottawa on June 17. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
New Democrat Leader Jack Layton during his end-of-session news conference in Ottawa on June 17. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Jack Layton fans anti-HST flames in B.C. Add to ...

Jack Layton and the New Democrats are launching an anti-HST campaign in British Columbia, targeting six key Conservative ridings with an interactive voicemail from the NDP Leader that is to go to 150,000 households.

Constituents in the ridings of James Lunney, Randy Kamp, Cathy McLeod, John Duncan, Dona Cadman and Dick Harris will hear Mr. Layton ask them to "press 1" and then leave a message for their MP objecting to them supporting the new tax or not having voted against it.

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These MPs are in so-called target ridings, according to a senior Layton official. The NDP is bullish on winning seats in the province, noting that in 72 per cent of the Conservative ridings it "sits" in second place.

There are 36 ridings in B.C. - the Tories represent 22 and the NDP have nine.

The campaign also includes print ads in local weekly newspapers and a presence on the Internet.

The new tax is to come into effect in British Columbia and Ontario on July 1. It is proving highly controversial in B.C. A provincial cabinet minister recently resigned from Gordon Campbell's cabinet and quit the Liberal Party over the issue.

It is not as controversial in Ontario.

Interestingly, the campaign is being launched as Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is also in the province. He is the holding his annual big fundraising "Leader's Dinner" Tuesday night; Monday, he announced he will ban oil from B.C.'s northwestern coast.

Mr. Ignatieff, however, is supportive of the HST, which may be hurting his prospects in the province.

(Photo: Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

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