HST fighter now looking at local arena

Corisa Bell led campaign against tax, now wants on council

After taking on the premier and the provincial government over the Harmonized Sales Tax, and winning, Corisa Bell is turning her sights to the local arena.

The Maple Ridge resident wants to bring her anti-tax, cost-cutting approach to municipal politics and so she’s running in the Nov. 19 election.

“I’m definitely capable of being on … council,” she said Thursday before making her official announcement next week.

“The more I think about it, the more excited I am about it.”

For Bell, the motive for running for local council is the same as that which inspired her to fight the HST and which led her to campaign for a referendum on the topic, and which led to the HST’s defeat this summer.

For her, the number one issue in the election is the cost of living – and high property taxes are part of that. She wants to review municipal salaries and find efficiencies at municipal hall and said she opposes the 13-per-cent wage increase council OK’d in the summer for the incoming council.

“I’ve shown once that I can help in the tax (defeating the HST) department.”

“It’s just astounding how two people with full-time work and good pay are struggling to make ends meet.

“Taking a council position is an honour. It’s absolutely something I would consider doing for free.”

When pressed though, Bell said she would accept the pay, noting she would put her family business on hold while on council.

She also favours more shopping and more business development but questions if Albion flats is the place for that.

Council has submitted a proposal to the Agricultural Land Commission that includes shopping in the Albion flats.

Bell recently e-mailed a photo of her with FightHST leader and former premier Bill Vander Zalm noting that she’ll be hosting a VOTE YES/Fight HST success celebration this Sunday at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch No. 88 starting at 1 p.m.

The mail-in vote over the summer defeated the HST and the government has said it would revert back to the PST/GST by 2013.

However, she says she’s politically non-aligned, although she used to be a Liberal. “I have learned that was a mistake.

“I’m absolutely remaining neutral and what that means is I don’t belong to any spectrum whatsoever.”