With less than two months left in the Sensible BC campaign for a marijuana referendum, canvassers will be finally showing a visible presence in the Greater Trail area Saturday collecting signatures in Waneta Plaza.
Although the local campaign got off to a slow start, Kootenay West campaign organizer, Susan Yurychuk, says things are starting to finally come together.
“Things are looking much better, we’re getting more organized,” said Yurychuk. “We started a little slow but we’re up to about 30 canvassers now and we’re getting more as we go.”
Canvassers will have a table set up with petitions available to sign at Waneta Plaza in Trail, Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. and again on Oct. 18 and 26.
Yurychuk says the response has generally been positive but the number of signatures for this area is still behind what is needed to make up the required 10 per cent in each electoral district in the province.
“We’re a little under 1,500 for our area and we need 5,000 so we’ve got a ways to go,” said Yurychuk.
“We don’t have a large population but there are wide areas to cover and we need more canvassers, we need to get places in all the small towns, small businesses seem to work the best.”
Provincially, the campaign appears to be on a similar track having only garnered approximately 15 per cent of the necessary signatures.
However, provincial campaign organizer, Dana Larsen, believes that everything is on track for a successful campaign.
“We’re chugging along, we’re up to 3,000 canvassers and we only had 1,800 at the start,” Larsen said from Vancouver. “It’s hard to estimate but we’re around 60,000 signatures. I think that’s in range to make it by the deadline.”
On the local front, Yurychuk stressed the need for registered canvassers and voiced some concern that some people didn’t understand the legal process.
“People have to register with Elections B.C. to gather signatures,” she said. “You can’t collect signatures without that. People see the petition online and print it off and go out on their own. If they’re not registered the signatures will be thrown out.”
Anyone interested in canvassing for the Sensible BC or want to donate can find more information at sensiblebc.ca and can find more information on the local campaign on Facebook on the Sensible BC Kootenay West page.