Maple Ridge MLA Marc Dalton was just reviewing options

Marc Dalton considered looking at the names of those who signed the recall petition against him because he wanted to see how he was doing as the representative for Maple Ridge-Mission.

But after considering that in April, he never followed through and never did look at the lists, he said Thursday.

“The reason why I was interested in it in the first place was to verify the number of signatures.

“To me, it’s important … because it reflects the job I’m doing as MLA, so the numbers were important to me.”

About 2,500 people in the riding signed the petition organized by the Done With Dalton campaign because of the Liberal MLA’s support of the HST.

However, organizers stopped collecting names after Premier Christy Clark announced a mail-in referendum on the Harmonized Sales Tax in June and July. Organizers would have had to collect more than 14,000 names in order to force Dalton to resign and call a byelection.

But the representative for Maple Ridge-Mission never pursued the idea, which may have been just as well, given the negative response that followed his mention of the idea last month.

Dalton said when he was first considering it, he had just talked to Elections B.C. and was just reviewing his options, but had made no decision.

“I was reviewing my options at the time.”

He pointed out that organizers of a campaign to recall MLA Terry Lake in Kamloops-North Thompson shredded the lists rather than turn them into Elections B.C., so it was impossible to verify numbers.

Since then, “I haven’t pursued it.”

Chad Moats, organizer of the Kamloops recall effort, confirmed the shredding and said while Elections B.C. didn’t like it, there was nothing illegal about it.

Dalton pointed out that any member of the public can take a look at the lists in the Elections B.C. office in Victoria.

“It doesn’t matter who signed the forms, or who voted for me or who didn’t vote for me, I’m there to serve all constituents.”

One of those will be Maple Ridge Renee Tyson, who wanted to talk to Dalton last Friday.

She says she had an appointment then and still wants to talk to him, even though Dalton’s no longer looking at the petition.

Tyson said she took it as an insult when Dalton said some people may have signed the recall petition thinking it was an anti-HST petition.

She reiterated that she wasn’t involved with the Done With Dalton campaign, although organizers from that campaign – Wilf McIntyre and Corisa Bell – showed up at the MLA’s office on Friday.

Her next appointment is May 20.

“I’m looking forward to meeting with her concerns, whatever they may be,” Dalton said.

He said he didn’t find out about Tyson’s message until Friday, but no definite meeting was arranged.

“It’s definitely not personal because I’m happy to meet with constituents.”

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon introduced an ad campaign Thursday leading up to the mail-in vote. It features a stickman that tries to clarify the issues around the HST and refers people to for more information.

Ballots will be mailed to residents starting June 13 with a deadline for receiving the marked ballots of July 22.