Skip to main content

British Columbia Finance Minister Colin Hansen.DARRYL DYCK

B.C.'s finance minister says a call for his resignation from within the provincial Liberal Party over his handling of the harmonized sales tax is the result of a misunderstanding and he won't be quitting any time soon.

Colin Hansen said Thursday he ironed out the misunderstanding with Jordan Bateman, the out-going riding president for Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman's Fort Langley-Aldergrove riding.

Mr. Bateman, a Langley councillor and local wedding chaplain, posted a blog post Thursday calling for Mr. Hansen to quit after documents were released revealing that Mr. Hansen's ministry bureaucrats were working on the HST file prior to the May 2009 election.

Mr. Hansen has consistently said the Liberals were not considering adopting the HST prior to the May election even though his ministry bureaucrats were independently investigating the tax.

"Every media outlet in British Columbia is churning out story after story on the HST documents," said Mr. Bateman's blog posting, which has since been removed from his website. "It certainly isn't good news for the B.C. Liberals."

"And it reaffirms the thought that minister Colin Hansen should resign," the blog said. "Under his ministry, the handling and implementation of the HST has been one blunder after another. And now his credibility is completely shot."

Mr. Bateman's blog also suggested the government's HST controversy will be raised at the party's annual convention later this year in Penticton. He said the matter could also play out at what may turn into a leadership review vote for Premier Gordon Campbell.

Mr. Hansen said Mr. Bateman now has a better understanding of the government's HST decisions after the pair had a telephone conversation.

"If you were to check into his blog, by the end of the afternoon, I think you'll find that he will fully retract what he had said," said Mr. Hansen.

Mr. Bateman could not be reached for comment, but later Thursday afternoon his blog contained a new posting where he apologized to Mr. Hansen.

"I'm sorry, Minister Hansen," says the blog at