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HST Public Forum coming to Dawson Creek and Fort St. John on May 24

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Interested residents in the Peace region will have the opportunity to participate in the first of 11 Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) Public forums, either in-person or via video-conference at Northern Lights College (NLC).

The HST Public forums – taking place in 10 British Columbia communities at public universities, colleges and institutes – are the result of the Government of BC’s $500,000 Public Dialogue Fund.

During each forum, the yes and no sides will present their views about the HST Referendum in a public meeting format. The goal is to generate informed discussion before the vote. The post-secondary institutions have selected independent representatives to moderate the forums in a non-partisan way.

Residents in the South Peace will be able to attend the public forum in person at the Dawson Creek Campus of NLC. The forum will be broadcast via video-conference to the Fort St. John Campus, where residents in the North Peace will be able to view the proceedings. There will also be an overflow room in Dawson Creek with a videoconference connection.


WHEN: Tuesday, May 24 7:30-9 pm
WHERE: Northern Lights College
IN PERSON: Dawson Creek Campus, 11401-8th Street; Building 24 (Health Sciences building), Lecture
Theatre, Room 116
VIA VIDEOCONFERENCE: Fort St. John Campus, 9820-120 Avenue, Main Campus building, Room 101
OPERATOR: Laurie Rancourt, President and CEO, NLC

People are invited to attend the sessions or watch them on the Internet at The website has an online forum where people can express their opinions. Citizens can also participate in the discussion via Facebook ( Forums) and Twitter (@HSTForums, hashtags: #HSTforums, Dawson Creek Forum: #HSTDC)

Representatives from two groups that have been successful in their request for public funding will be the presenters at each forum.

The Government of BC has appointed Stephen Owen, a former BC Ombudsman with extensive experience in public engagement and mediation, as an independent funding decision maker. His role – the Referendum Funding Decision Maker (RFDM) – is to ensure a fair process in allocating public funding of $500,000 to both sides in the HST Referendum.

Owen has awarded two groups the right to apply for up to $250,000 each. The groups are the Fight HST Society (the “yes” side, supporting a referendum vote to return to the PST/GST) and the Smart Tax Alliance (the “no” side, supporting a referendum vote to retain the HST).

The RDFM is also responsible for working with three provincial organizations representing post secondary institutions to organize the public forums. The organizations are: BC Colleges, BC Association of Institutes and Universities and the Research Universities’ Council of BC. The organizations administer the Public Dialogue Fund.

The rest of the HST Public Forums will be held in the following locations: 

  • May 26 (7:30-9 pm) Prince George, University of Northern British Columbia 
  • May 27 (7:30-9 pm) Kamloops, Thompson Rivers University 
  • May 30 (7:30-9 pm) Kelowna, Okanagan College
  • May 31 (7:30-9 pm) Cranbrook, College of the Rockies 
  • June 2 (7:30-9 pm) Surrey, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • June 3 (7:30-9 pm) Abbotsford, University of the Fraser Valley
  • June 4 (10:30 am to 12 noon) Vancouver, University of British Columbia Telus Studio Theatre
  • June 7 (7:30-9 pm) Vancouver, Simon Fraser University Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue
  • June 8 (7:30-9 pm) Victoria, Camosun College (Lansdowne Campus) 
  • June 9 (7:30-9 pm) Nanaimo, Vancouver Island University 

Check for more details regarding each HST Public Forum location. 

Brad Lyon
Communications Director