Recall and Initiative

Recall

Recall is a process to remove a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from office between elections. A registered voter collects signatures from other registered voters in their electoral district. If the required signature threshold is met, the MLA is removed and a by-election is held.

The voter organizing the recall petition is called the proponent. For the petition to be successful, the proponent must collect signatures from more than 40% of the voters eligible to sign the petition. To be eligible to sign the petition, an individual must:

  • be currently registered to vote, and
  • have been registered to vote in the MLA’s electoral district on the General Voting Day the MLA was elected.

In Canada, the recall process is unique to B.C. – no other province or territory has a system in place for removing elected representatives from office between elections.

The recall process

The Chief Electoral Officer administers the recall petition process according to the rules established in the Recall and Initiative Act.

To find out more about applying, canvassing, advertising, financing and submitting a recall petition, see our Recall FAQs.

All recall petition forms are available on our Forms and Guides pages and can be submitted:

  • by mail to PO Box 9275 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, BC V8W 9J6
  • by email to electionsbc@elections.bc.ca
  • by fax to 1-866-466-0665
  • in person at our office at #100 – 1112 Fort St, Victoria, BC, V8V 3K8

Previous recall petitions

The Chief Electoral Officer has approved 26 recall petitions since the Recall and Initiative Act came into force in 1995. Six of those petitions were returned to Elections BC for verification. Of the six, five did not have enough valid signatures and one was halted during the verification process because the Member resigned.

See our Summary of Recall Petitions and visit our Reports page for a complete history.

Public inspection of recall petition sheets

The Recall and Initiative Act allows for public inspection of recall petition sheets for up to a year after the petition is submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer.

To inspect a petition, individuals must meet the eligibility requirements established in the Recall and Initiative Act, sign a declaration that they will only use the personal information contained on the petition sheets as permitted under the Recall and Initiative Act or the Election Act, and file an acceptable privacy policy.

To request to view recall petition sheets, submit a Record of Request for Public Inspection of Documents and Privacy policy template for individuals (00155) to the Chief Electoral Officer by mail, email, fax or in person.