Sensible BC director Dana Larsen is accusing TransLink and police of interfering with marijuana referendum canvassers' right to campaign at SkyTrain stations.

Pot petitioners complain of TransLink interference

Sensible BC campaigners demand access to SkyTrain riders

The campaign to force a provincial referendum on marijuana reform is formally complaining to Elections BC that some of its petitioners have been blocked from signing up transit riders at SkyTrain stations.

Sensible BC director Dana Larsen said canvassers have a right to campaign at rapid transit stations, where they can reach large numbers of people, but faced interference from Transit Police Sept. 25 at stations in Richmond, Burnaby and Surrey, and again at Surrey Central station on Sunday when SkyTrain attendants summoned the RCMP.

Larsen said TransLink, which is named in the complaint, has already accepted Sensible BC’s legal right to canvas at stations and the incidents where petitioners were told to leave may stem from internal miscommunication.

“We just want them to leave us alone,” he said. “We’re allowed to canvas there as long as we’re not obstructing anybody or blocking their path or being rude or anything.”

Sensible BC is three weeks into a 90-day campaign to collect enough signatures in every B.C. electoral district to force a provincial referendum on legislation that would block police enforcement for possession of small amounts of cannabis.

“Because of the very limited time frame we have for this campaign, every day counts,” Larsen said.

Transit Police spokesperson Anne Drennan said that while canvassing at SkyTrain stations is permitted, the petitioners in question had set up tent-like canopies, tables and chairs without getting TransLink permission.

“That’s the difference maker here,” she said. “You have to get permission to set up structures on TransLink property.”

She said that permission might well be granted – the petitioners just haven’t asked.

Drennan said canvassers aren’t allowed in the fare-paid zones, but they can canvas elsewhere in stations, provided they stay a minimum distance away from escalators and ticket vending machines so they don’t impede the flow of passengers.

Larsen isn’t yet revealing how many signatures have been gathered, but said he remains “cautiously optimistic” the campaign can succeed.

He said 2,500 canvassers are now registered and they’re getting more efficient at signing people up.

Larsen expects the bulk of sign-ups will happen in the second half of the campaign, closer to the early December deadline.

Just Posted

Structure fire closes section of Fraser Highway

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

GUIDE: Rodeo, community events in Cloverdale this weekend

Bed races, chili cook-off, parade and the rodeo itself

Surrey RCMP search for missing 17-year-old girl

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

Surrey to begin ‘public engagement process’ on policing transition next week

First in a series of public events set for May 23 at Cloverdale rec centre

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly threatening another youth with a knife in Cloverdale

This was Thursday at a park in the 17200-block of 61A Avenue, Sergeant Chad Greig told the Now-Leader

Jeep totalled, four young people in hospital, after single-vehicle crash in Surrey

Mounties have not ruled out any possible factors in what led to the overnight crash

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Most Read