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HomeBusinessBurnaby Conservative candidate admits to breaking the Motor Vehicle Act with campaign video

Burnaby Conservative candidate admits to breaking the Motor Vehicle Act with campaign video

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Bob Mackin

The Conservative Party of B.C. candidate in the new Burnaby South-Metrotown riding admits he broke the law while shooting a social media campaign video. 

Real estate agent Han Lee posted a 90-second video on his X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook accounts that said he was en route to a town hall meeting “about questionable recent short-term rental policy set by current B.C. government.”

Burnaby South-Metrotown Conservative Party of B.C. candidate Han Lee in video that violates B.C.’s distracted driving law (Lee/X)

The video shows Lee in a moving car. He gestures with one hand, concealing the other, while his attention alternates between the camera and the road ahead. To a casual viewer, it may appear Lee is in the front passenger seat. Upon closer review, Lee’s vehicle passes traffic moving in the opposite direction on the right, indicating the image was reversed. The video ends with the Conservative Party logo. 

When a reporter called Lee on Feb. 15 to confirm that he shot the video while driving, he refused to answer and said he needed to call the party headquarters first. 

Reached on Feb. 16, Lee admitted that he had broken the Motor Vehicle Act section about use of electronic devices while driving. Lee said he went to the Vancouver Police Department and self-reported the violation to someone named Peter. He said he did not have Peter’s last name, a file number or any documentation, but claimed he was asked for his personal information.

“I apologized and reported it, things are all cleared up, so I’m very sorry that I made a mistake,” Lee said in an interview.

The video was still online as of 4 p.m. Friday. 

Distracted driving is worth a $369 fine plus four penalty points if caught. 

The ICBC website page about distracted driving states: “You’re 3.6 times more likely to crash if you’re using your hand-held phone.”

“If you’re looking at your phone, you can’t see the road,” ICBC said. “Anything that takes your attention away from driving can contribute to distracted driving. Even when stopped, checking an electronic device affects your focus.”

Lee did not answer questions about his driving record and accused a reporter of not respecting his time.

“Why do you have to write a story, that’s my question?” Lee said. “Second of all, if you’re writing, why do I have to prove or provide information?”

Leader John Rustad said that, on first glance, he thought Lee was in the passenger seat. He said he party does not endorse any candidate breaking the law. 

“That was definitely something that he shouldn’t have been doing,” Rustad said. “I suggested to him that he goes down and reports it, and that’s what he did.”

Conservative Party of B.C. leader John Rustad (Facebook)

Rustad said the party will conduct more training for candidates as the election draws nearer.

“The training has been pretty limited in terms of our expectations, so mistakes are going to be made,” he said. 

On the party website, Lee describes himself as a “seasoned impact entrepreneur and accomplished CEO” with a “sponge and stone leadership style.” 

Lee is licensed as a real estate agent with Parallel 49 Realty in Vancouver and he calls himself the founder and CEO of the July Group, which deals in real estate, luxury yacht charters, private resorts and accommodation, and capital investment for startups.

“In a world where common sense seems to be fading, I’m here to ask the questions many of us are thinking, but few are saying out loud,” said Lee’s website. 

If Lee wins a seat in the scheduled Oct. 19 election, he would not be the first politician to face questions about driving habits. 

One of B.C.’s most-colourful politicians was Phil Gaglardi, a Social Credit cabinet minister from 1952 to 1972. The Kamloops MLA earned the nickname “Flyin’ Phil” for racking up speeding tickets while driving around the province as Minister of Highways. 

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