Kim Blake

Alberni-Pacific Rim riding achieves Sensible BC petition total

Port Alberni is the first community on Vancouver Island to reach its goal in the Sensible BC campaign for a referendum to decriminalize pot.

Port Alberni’s Sensible BC campaign has reached its goal of collecting 3,500 signatures on a petition calling for a referendum on decriminalizing marijuana in British Columbia.

“I’m proud,” Alberni-Pacific Rim organizer Kim Blake said. “Port Alberni finished first on the Island. I got a call (Nov. 20) from Sensible BC saying congratulations, we reached our numbers.”

Canvassers across B.C. have until Dec. 9 to submit the petition bearing the signatures of 10 per cent of eligible voters in every B.C. riding.

They had approximately 150,000 signatures counted as of Nov. 19, or about half the number needed and far short of their target of 450,000 to provide a buffer against disqualified signatures.

In the Alberni-Pacific Rim riding, Blake and her campaigners needed to collect a minimum of 3,183 verified signatures. “Right now we’re above 3,500,” she said.

Blake wanted the extra signatures as a buffer. Even though this riding has achieved its goal, Blake is still accepting signatures up until Dec. 3.

“I’m still getting phone calls and e-mails from people wanting to sign,” she said.

On Monday (Dec. 2) Port Alberni’s volunteers will head to Parksville to help that community with its petition.

On Tuesday Alberni-Pacific Rim will hold a sign-up wind-up in the parking lot across from Starbucks. “That’s the final time anyone can sign up,” Blake said.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

— With files from Jeff Nagel, Black Press