Speaker Darryl Plecas. Hansard TV file photo

Campaign to recall Speaker Darryl Plecas launched in Langley

Organizers plan to begin collecting signatures in February, website says

An online campaign aims to force Darryl Plecas, the Speaker of the legislature, from office.

Organized by the BCrecall2018 Facebook page run by Langley resident Robin Roy, volunteers will begin collecting signatures on paper for a recall petition in early February if Elections B.C. approves the initiative this month.

Roy told Black Press that when Plecas left the Liberal party to serve as Speaker, a move that helped the NDP-Green coalition provincial government, it was a “huge betrayal.”

“He’s betrayed his party, he’s betrayed his constituents,” Roy said.

Plecas, the MLA for Abbotsford South, was kicked out of the Liberal party when he accepted the job of Speaker.

Roy, who said he is not a member of any political party, said he launched the campaign because he is “passionate about politics” and considers integrity to be “huge issue.”

He also cited the controversy that erupted after Plecas arranged for the suspension of the Clerk of the House Craig James and Sergeant at Arms Gary Lenz in November, with the speaker citing unspecified suspicions about the operation of the legislature’s $70 million operating budget.

In order to meet the B.C. recall law requirement that at least 40 per cent of eligible voters must sign a petition to remove an MLA from office, the anti-Plecas campaign would have to collect 16,400 signatures during the 60 days allowed for such campaigns.

So far, Roy noted, there have been 26 recall campaigns in B.C. and only one succeeded, when Parksville-Qualicum Liberal MLA Paul Reitsma resigned before the signatures could be verified

“It can be done,” Roy said.

So far, about 300 people have signed up online to help collect signatures.

Given the sprawling nature of the Abbotsford South riding, Roy said he would like to see about double that number.

“It’s a huge space,” he said.

READ MORE: MLA Darryl Plecas kicked out of BC Liberal Party

READ MORE: B.C. Liberals call for outside audit of Speaker’s office, NDP refuses

Plecas could not immediately be reached for comment.

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