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HomeMiscellanySite C client wins for him, patronage gig for her

Site C client wins for him, patronage gig for her


Bob Mackin

A Happy New Year, indeed, at the Tieleman-Ross household.

That their party, the NDP, returned to power in 2016 in British Columbia was only one cause for popping corks. 

NDP insiders Shirley Ross (left) and Bill Tieleman. (Facebook)

Two of part-time pundit, most-of-the-time lobbyist Bill Tieleman’s clients — International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115 and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union Local 1611 — inked a project labour agreement with the Aecon/Flatiron/Dragados/EBC consortium chosen to build the generating station and spillways at BC Hydro’s Site C dam. Tieleman applauded Premier John Horgan’s Dec. 11 decision to continue building the BC Liberal megaproject.

Tieleman boasts 15 lobbying clients, according to the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists. Tieleman also Facebooked a winning $107 plus free play ticket on Lotto Max. 

Meanwhile, wife Shirley Ross was named by Health Minister Adrian Dix to the board of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. through 2019. It doesn’t say it on the College’s website, but theBreaker has confirmed that Ross will be paid at least $1,064-per-day for attending board meetings, plus expenses. The board is scheduled to meet 10 times in 2018. It is comprised of 10 members elected by doctors and five appointed by the minister. Former BC Liberal cabinet minister Barry Penner sits on the board until September 2019, as per a 2016 order by then-Health Minister Terry Lake. 

A prepared statement attributed to Dix, and sent to theBreaker by ministry spokeswoman Kristy Anderson, said: “Shirley Ross is an excellent choice for this position. Ms. Ross brings experience in communications, education, and advocacy for the B.C. Nurses Union to her appointment. She has acted as community developer and community health nurse for the Vancouver Health Board, Global Health Project Director for Oxfam Canada, and general duty nurse in various acute care hospitals across B.C., Alberta, and Manitoba. I am confident that her education and experience will be an asset to the College of Physicians and Surgeons Board.”

Elections BC shows Ross donated $7,390 to the NDP since 2005, while Tieleman gave $16,437.

Will the last Visionista left, please turn out the lights? 

Nimmi Takkar

Vancouver’s next civic election is Oct. 20 and the party that has dominated city hall since 2008 is looking for a new executive director.

In the first NDP cabinet order of 2018, Vision Vancouver’s interim executive director, Namrata “Nimmi” Takkar, was named the $94,500-a-year senior ministerial assistant to Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. Takkar had been doing double duty as manager of client development, research and engagement with Stratcom, the Vision and NDP polling firm. Vision’s office is on the same floor in the Chip Wilson-owned building. 

Party co-chair Maria Dobrinskya told theBreaker: “Vision Vancouver is in the process of hiring new staff in preparation for 2018 election.” 

Takkar became interim executive director of Vision Vancouver when Stepan Vdovine quit to work in the NDP transition; he was the $94,500-a-year senior ministerial assistant for Tourism Minister Lisa Beare until October. His wife, former aide to Gregor Robertson Mira Oreck, is the $120,000-a-year director of stakeholder relations in the Vancouver cabinet office. Vdovine reactivated his Square One Strategic Counsel (Sq1 Counsel) consultancy in November, registering the website, which redirects to his LinkedIn profile. 

Niki Sharma, the former Park Board chair who failed to win a council seat in 2014, is the ministerial assistant for the Minister of State for Childcare, hired at $84,000-a-year. Katie Robb quit as Robertson’s press secretary to join Government Communications and Public Engagement as the communications director for transportation and infrastructure minister Claire Trevena. 

They all followed their pied piper, Geoff Meggs. The veteran Vision Vancouver city councillor quit to become Horgan’s $195,000-a-year chief of staff last summer.

Robertson leads a caucus of six Vision members on the 11-seat city council. Vision’s candidate in the October 2017 by-election to replace Meggs finished in fifth.