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KitsFest marked 10 years by bringing back bathtub races to Vancouver. 

From 1967 to 1996, the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society organized the World Championship from Nanaimo to Vancouver. Since 1997, the World Championship has been contested off the coast of Nanaimo only.

KitsFest, Vancouver’s number one beach sports and culture festival, hosted an afternoon of races on Aug. 11, off Kitsilano Beach. Jaime Garcia in the Securiguard tub was the ultimate winner.

The event also marked the centennial of the birth of late Nanaimo Mayor Frank Ney, who promoted his city and bathtubbing by wearing a pirate costume. His son, Peter Ney, attended the KitsFest races. Organizers Howard Kelsey, Ron Putzi and Jamie Pitblado are already planning the 2019 event. 

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KitsFest marked 10 years by bringing back

What do Shauna Sylvester, Kennedy Stewart, David Chen, Ian Campbell, Ken Sim, Wai Young, Hector Bremner and Fred Harding have in common?

They have all announced their candidacy to succeed Gregor Robertson as Mayor of Vancouver in the Oct. 20 civic election.

Unless there are moves to prevent vote-splitting on the left or on the right, they will make their campaigns official during the Sept. 4 to 14 filing period. With a field of eight candidates, the next mayor of Vancouver (population 631,000) could win the race with as few as 20,000 votes. 

Harding is the latest to throw his hat in the ring as leader of the right-of-centre Vancouver 1st party. The retired veteran of the London Metropolitan Police and West Vancouver Police Department vows to bring law and order back to the city after it wasn’t a priority under Robertson and Vision Vancouver since 2008.

But Harding says he will bring more to the job if elected. He also has ideas for tax relief, housing affordability and transportation. Listen to host Bob Mackin interview Harding on this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast. 

Harding says that he has been “shaped out of looking at the adversity of others, out of looking at how people are treated in this province, how people have been taxed in this province, how people have been marginalized… I want people to know that they’ll have a mayor who is going to be looking at everybody’s interests, not just the wealthy.” 

Also: commentaries and headlines from around the Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest.

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theBreaker.news Podcast: Nine weeks to go, now eight vying for Vancouver mayoralty
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What do Shauna Sylvester, Kennedy Stewart, David

Bob Mackin

Look who waded into Victoria’s Sir John A. Macdonald statue debate. 

None other than Ontario Premier Doug Ford, whose Progressive Conservative government offered to pay for the statue of the Father of Confederation to be shipped to Ontario, where Canada’s first prime minister (a Conservative, to boot) was the Member of Parliament for Kingston. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford (left) and House Leader Todd Smith (Twitter)

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is running for re-election on Oct. 20 and she announced Aug. 8 that the 1982-erected statue of the former Victoria MP would be removed this weekend, in sympathy with local First Nations because of Macdonald’s role in setting-up Indian residential schools. City council voted 7-1 in favour. 

Ontario PC House Leader Todd Smith wrote to Helps on Aug. 10, in a bid to take the unwanted statue off Victoria’s hands. 

“Our government does not believe his memory and legacy should collect dust in a storage facility,” Smith wrote. “The government of Ontario is offering to take ownership of the statue and we will proudly display the statue on Ontario government property.”

Smith’s letter said Macdonald should be honoured for holding a “significant place in the hearts of many Canadians.” 

Sculptor John Dann at the 1982 unveiling of Victoria city hall’s John A. Macdonald statue (Twitter)

“Sir John A. Macdonald built and shaped this country and province. He connected the west to the east under one flag and one name.”

Helps has not formally replied to Smith, and has not explained why. In an email to theBreaker, she said that Victoria is not getting rid of the statue. 

“It was a gift to the city. We are storing it carefully and in the meantime, we will have a continued dialogue with the nations and the community as to the best place, way and context to place the statue that balances commemoration with reconciliation.” 

Helps has a master’s degree in history on public space in Victoria from 1871 to 1901 and is studying for a doctorate on the history of housing, homelessness and poverty in Victoria and San Francisco, from 1931 to 1971. Yet, she is running for re-election in a city that counted 1,525 people living on streets and in inadequate housing last March. A third of those people are indigenous, even though indigenous people are less than 5% of the population. 

Lisa Helps (City of Victoria)

Helps is also mayor of a city named after Queen Victoria, who is known as the “Famine Queen” by many Irish who blame her for indifference during the potato famine that claimed an estimated million lives from 1845 to 1852.

John Dann, who made the statue that was erected on Canada Day in 1982, wrote to Helps. His Twitter-published letter said: “If my sculpture can engender a discussion about the violence inflicted on native peoples, then frankly I am honoured.

“I am not sure that removing the sculpture is the best way to accomplish this, however, the sculpture belongs to the city and it may do with it as it pleases, governed, of course, by law, including artists’ rights.”

Update (Aug. 19): The statue’s sculptor, John Dann, said he is seriously considering running against Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in the Oct. 20 election .

“It keeps pulling at me,” he told the Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmington.

Dann denied his work was intended to glorify Macdonald or colonialism, but is disappointed because the public was not properly consulted before Helps rammed through the decision to remove the statue.

He said the controversy provides an excellent opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the past and find a way towards unity. 

Dann need not be a resident of Victoria to put his name on the ballot. In 2014, fringe candidate David Shebib ran for mayor in 13 Victoria-area municipalities. It is legal for any Canadian, 18 or over, who has lived in B.C. for at least six months to run in any municipal election in the province.

Vancouver resident Dann, however, would not be allowed to vote for himself.

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Letter from Ontario’s House Leader to Victoria’s Mayor by BobMackin on Scribd

Bob Mackin Look who waded into Victoria's Sir

Bob Mackin

Vancouver city hall is one step closer to the potential for Greenest City 2020 snow globes, Vancouver Salt Co. salt and pepper shakers and “My other car is a bait car” bumper stickers.

Could Vancouver city hall sell a bumper sticker like this?

Those are some of the more than 50 civic trademarks and Aug. 9 is the deadline for marketing and merchandising experts to express interest in launching official souvenirs. The city wants to “generate visibility and awareness, while producing positive revenues that can be reinvested into a number of Vancouver public services,” according to the tendering document.

“The goods would specifically utilize city brand and trademark for the purposes of preserving, commemorating and promoting the Vancouver experience and building local pride for the City of Vancouver.”

City hall says it is interested in collaborating with local artisans, designers and indigenous artists. 

The city says Vancouver is “one of the stronger brands when compared to the other municipalities in British Columbia,” that is “uniquely associated” with clean, green and environmental sustainability.  

The goals include “increase loyalty to City assets and attributes by preserving, commemorating, and championing consumer-based investment in City experiences” and to promote and support political politically driven initiatives, such as Greenest City 2020 Action Plan (GCAP), Zero Waste 2040, Urban Forest Strategy, Women’s Equity Strategy 2018-2028, and Healthy City Strategy.

The tendering document includes a list of 52 marks, plus the Vancouver Police Department, spanning 1982’s “Vancouver and design” to 2017’s Sport Hosting Vancouver. They include Greenest City 2020, Eco Density, Bikes We Share, By Sea, Land and Air We Prosper, Vancouver Salt Co., East Van and Cross Design, Stanley Park, Vancouver Green Capital and Bait Car. 

Also listed is the Vancouver Affordable Housing Society Ltd., but its trademark registration was abandoned, because it “missed the reg. fee payment deadline.” 

Words that rose to prominence under Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver since 2008, but are not yet trademarked, include: “F-in’ NPA hacks,” “Dude Chilling Park,” “robust,” “lame,” “bike lane trial,” “Stanley Cup riot 2011,” and “End street homelessness by 2015.”

In February, lame duck Vision Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer successfully pitched city council on her idea of selling Vancouver-branded merchandise, after TransLink opened an online store last fall. 

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Bob Mackin Vancouver city hall is one step

Bob Mackin

In hindsight, the first sign that the Beijing 2008 Olympics weren’t going to translate to more basic freedoms for Chinese citizens was the pre-Games Internet clampdown. 

The Bird’s Nest on Aug. 8, 2008, as seen from the Huiyuan Media Village. (Bob Mackin)

The Chinese government had promised the International Olympic Committee that reporters from all nations would be able to surf the web, without any censorship, on the Olympic system. Reporters arrived at the main press centre and international broadcast centre to find various websites blocked, particularly those referring to Taiwan, Tibet and the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

The IOC’s press commission protested and the filter was adjusted. We got over the Great Firewall of China, but search engines continued to warn that sites on the T-topics contained viruses. After the world’s media went home, it returned to normal. Westerners and daring Chinese relied on VPNs to get them around or over the Great Firewall.

China was opening up, but on its terms and not the way the world really hoped. The 29th Olympic Games led to greater two-way trade, tourism and technology. And, eventually 2022: The next Winter Games are coming to China’s capital and its mountainous outskirts.  

China is now a world leader in controlling news and online surveillance under President Xi Jinping, whose leader-for-life status was announced in time for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics closing ceremony. Prospects for basic freedoms by 2022 are dim and the censorship is likely to prevail again. Reporters Without Borders says more than 50 journalists and bloggers, that its knows of, are detained in China. Human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo was arrested four months after the Games opened and died in 2017. His widow, Liu Xia, was finally allowed to leave for Germany in July Meanwhile, the Beijing studio of dissident artist Ai Weiwei — who helped design the Bird’s Nest stadium — was demolished last weekend. 

Chinese leader Hu Jintao is greets the Chinese team into the Olympics opening ceremony on Aug. 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Bob Mackin)

The Games opened Aug. 8, 2008, the most-unique and historic venue for a birthday I may ever have. My day began smoggy across the street at the Huiyuan Media Village, where the maid left a souvenir pin and panda toy on my pillow with a birthday greeting.

It ended in heat that I had not experienced before or since. By the end of the night, a pile of at least 10 empty plastic water bottles had formed under my seat in the Bird’s Nest. Manolo Romero, CEO of Beijing Olympic Broadcasting and managing director of Olympic Broadcasting Services, told me that thermometers at weather stations inside the National Stadium reached 50 degrees Celsius, a full 20 C hotter than outside the steel-framed structure. The host broadcaster was less worried about equipment overheating and more worried that a cameraman would expire. “That bowl is like a cooking vacuum,” Spaniard Romero remarked in an interview. 

On the eve of the opening ceremony, I stopped for drinks with a friend from Vancouver at a rooftop bar in the old embassy district near Tiananmen Square. As we left to get to the British Columbia-government hosted reception, a waitress asked if we were part of the Goldman Sachs party that had booked the joint. What would we have learned about the global economic shock to come had we stayed and downed drinks with the Wall Streeters? 

We arrived at the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall to learn that Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. Secretary of State, had earlier made a short visit to the lobby, but not the B.C. pavilion. It was a career milestone for the honorary IOC member, who was instrumental under U.S. President Richard Nixon for opening relations with China and then-leader Mao Zedong in the early 1970s. I never did find out whether Kissinger visited Mao’s mausoleum across the street at Tiananmen Square. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn’t go. Predecessor Paul Martin skipped the opening of the 2004 Games in Athens; he was in Whitehorse, Yukon, instead. David Emerson, the Foreign minister known for crossing the floor from the Liberals to Conservatives, was at the B.C. government reception. Relations with China were improving, though the countries agreed to disagree on human rights. Emerson wasn’t about to say anything as newsworthy as U.S. President George Bush had already said. 

The scene inside the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics (Mackin).

“We’re no shrinking violet on that issue, but we don’t choose to use the Olympics as the venue to make the point,” said Emerson, who led a delegation that included federal sport secretary Helena Guergis. 

The People’s Liberation Army was stationed throughout the capital, never far from any of the venues.  Later in the Games, the PLA mysteriously parked a tank next to the north entrance of the Main Press Centre. Games organizers said they didn’t know why it was there, which was hard to believe because the Games was organized by an arm of the government. Was it a show of force or a show of farce? The vehicle became a popular meeting point for reporters, near a designated pin-trading zone outside the gate. 

I saw one reporter stand in front of it, attempting to recreate that iconic tank man moment from the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4, 1989. 

I will never know if the uniformed local volunteers were perplexed, because they didn’t know what it meant. Or if they were too scared to admit they did, because they were under the constant gaze of surveillance cameras. 

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Bob Mackin In hindsight, the first sign that

The Non-Partisan Association, Vancouver’s oldest political party, has finally settled on a city council slate.

Six newcomers were chosen behind closed doors by the party board and mayoral hopeful Ken Sim. 

Among them is Colleen Hardwick, a former Hollywood North film producer who founded PlaceSpeak.com, a digital platform to consult citizens.

She is putting her name forward for the second time, in the ultimate civic consultation: the October 20 Vancouver election. Hardwick fell 3,310 votes short of winning a seat on council for the NPA in 2005. 

You might say it is in her genes. Hardwick is the daughter of Walter Hardwick, the late University of B.C. geography professor and 1969 to 1974 city councillor with TEAM. 

In an interview with host Bob Mackin, she said the next government at 12th and Cambie needs to press pause and review where the city is, both  financially and socially. City hall needs to go back to basics and focus on its chief responsibilities, land use and taxation of the 115 square kilometres that lie west of Boundary Road.  

“Are we happy with the city as it has evolved over the last decade?” she asked. “You talk to the people who are lifelong Vancouverites, they feel they are not at home in their own hometown anymore. Simliarly, you talk to people that are new to the city, they feel alienated and disconnected.” 

Listen to the entire interview, the first of several with candidates from across the spectrum. 

Also: commentaries and headlines from around the Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest.

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theBreaker.news Podcast: “Are we happy with the city as it has evolved over the last decade?”
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The Non-Partisan Association, Vancouver’s oldest political party,

Sweden’s Unique Pyrotechnics lit up English Bay on Aug. 1, during the second of three nights in the 2018 Honda Celebration of Light. 

theBreakerVision was in Kitsilano Point to record the sights and sounds of Team Sweden’s display. 

South Korea ends this year’s festival, Vancouver’s biggest annual event, with a bang on Aug. 4. 

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Sweden's Unique Pyrotechnics lit up English Bay

Bob Mackin

A consultant’s report on the $3.3 billion Port Mann Bridge/Highway 1 project released with no fanfare said the final cost could have been nearly a third of a billion dollars higher. 

But the province got lucky. 

The Port Mann Bridge/Highway 1 Construction Review Summary Report said the total increase on the final cost of $323.78 million was “largely offset by a $50 million favourable variance in property acquisition costs and a $270 million favourable variance in interest costs.”

The 210-page report, obtained by theBreaker under the freedom of information law, was prepared for the Ministry of Finance by former B.C. government bureaucrat Peter Mills of Perrin, Thorau and Associates Public Policy Consultancy and civil engineer Charles Dwyer of AECOM Technical Services.

Mills, who has degrees in mineral engineering and economics, has been a Perrin, Thorau partner since 1999 and worked on launching the BC Liberal government’s carbon tax and Pacific Carbon Trust. Since 1999, the B.C. government has paid Perrin, Thorau $5.4 million. In April, Finance Minister Carole James announced the consultancy would review the operations of both the Real Estate Council of B.C. and Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate. 

Port Mann Bridge (TI Corp.)

Then-Premier Christy Clark opened the bridge in late 2012, almost $600 million over the original fixed-price contract with Kiewit-Flatiron. CBC reported last September that the BC Liberal government apparently overpaid for the project that was riddled with weak oversight of invoicing and scheduling. A key expert, Gary Webster, became a partner with a major BC Liberal donor firm that was involved in both the management and auditing of the project.

NDP Transport Minister Claire Trevena ordered a review, but she did not refer it to the Office of the Auditor General, as many had expected, or call a public inquiry, as the Green Party had wanted. Instead, Mills and his oft-contracted consultancy were hired to conduct a review.

The report said Kiewit-Flatiron’s initial fixed-price, design-build contract was worth $2.46 billion. After GST and HST recoveries were processed, Kiewit-Flatiron received $2.691 billion from Crown bridge agency TI Corp.. A chart in the Perrin, Thorau report said the final project cost was $3.367 billion, a $48 million increase on the 2009 approved budget. 

The report said the $64 million management reserve was insufficient, because the design-build agreement cost an extra $293 million and there was another $35 million in contracts with other construction companies. 

“Had interest rates not dropped as they did between 2009 and 2013, TI Corp. would have had to return to Treasury Board to seek authority to spend as much as an additional $260 million on the PMH1 Project,” the report said.

From the Summary Report on the PMH1 Project (BC Gov)

The consultant found “for the most part,” the execution of the project was conducted appropriately, but pinpointed two areas that were not best practices. 

During construction, the province was “unable to fully and critically analyze the schedule and cost submissions made by the constructor as they worked together to resolve problems.”

The report also said the province used an inferior approach to payments by calculating progress payments due to Kiewit-Flatiron by overseeing the entry of Kiewit-Flatiron costs into the project accounting system. The consultants said Kiewit-Flatiron was paid sooner in some cases, but it was not paid more than it was due. 

The report said there were $322 million of changes to the project. The biggest, $99 million, was for central segment acceleration. 

“Throughout its handling of these changes, we observed that the province was not able to analyze the schedule and cost submissions made by Kiewit-Flatiron to their full depth, nor were they able to counter Kiewit-Flatiron’s proposals with cost proposals of their own that were sufficiently fulsome to be worth of Kiewit-Flatiron’s attention.”

The province, the report said, “failed” to supply the quality and quantity of gravel that it hoped that it could, when it agreed to take on the supply from its own gravel pits. The province ended-up subsidizing the cost of gravel in the project.

The report said the $1 million contract to KPMG for business advisory services from 2002 to 2005 grew to $21 million by May 2015, because of a “chain of amendments and subsequent agreements, all flowing from the initial award and all awarded without competition.” 

KPMG was a major donor to the BC Liberal Party of more than $371,000, before the NDP government banned corporate donations in 2017. 

“There was also a lack of specificity in the deliverables expected from KPMG that limited the province’s ability to control costs under the KPMG contract.”

The firm was paid an average $750,000 per year from 2003 to 2009 for business advice. 

“In late 2009, the individual who was the owner’s representative for the PMH1 Project [Gary Webster] left their previous employer, CH2MHill, and joined KPMG. He was allowed to continue in his role as owner’s representative.”

KPMG’s Gary Webster (KPMG)

The report called Webster’s involvement a “good decision” because of his knowledge of the project and the contractor. However, the report called the transfer of the role “irregular,” because it included field audit and other responsibilities, the CH2MHill contract scope and value were not reduced consistent with the transfer, and KPMG was not pre-qualified for the same engineering services as CH2MHill. It said the arrangement “exposed the province to protest from fims that were prequalified through the procurement process.” 

The contract was replaced when it was assigned by the ministry to PartnershipsBC in 2004. “The replacement contract had, in our opinion, a perfunctory definition of scope and no deliverables.”

Dermod Travis of IntegrityBC has been watching the Port Mann scandal unfold for years. He said the report is a “mile wide and an inch deep.” He said just because the Port Mann was built and opened in 2012 doesn’t mean that British Columbians should not be concerned today.

“The same group of people, the same firms, all said Site C, $8.8 billion,” he said, referring to the BC Hydro dam that is now estimated to cost $10.7 billion and scheduled to be operating in six years.

Travis said it is clear to him that the government wanted to bury the report, which raises additional concerns.

“They may not have wanted to answer questions as to who chose this firm to conduct this review, who was interviewed in this review, who was cross examined, who was put on the hot seat to defend decisions made on the cost overruns, to a whole series of relationships that, at best, can be described as significant conflicts of interest,” Travis said in an interview. 

“One of the key steps that any firm mandated to conduct a review would automatically take, if you want to get to the bottom of it, is to find out who the whistleblowers are and talk to them. They didn’t. That demonstrates to me they wanted to satisfy the public as best as they could without going further.”

Perrin, Thorau and Associates was given a six-point terms of reference to consider project governance, oversight, budgetary control and due diligence from award to completion, whether TI Corp. followed government procurement rules, what led to the project acceleration and whether the flow of funds to the contractor was well-managed. 

A disclaimer said Perrin, Thorau did not conduct an audit, but instead relied on provincial offices to “provide us with their stories and sought documents to support those stories.” The consultant compared it with similar projects throughout North America and examined a sample of documents prepared by Kiewit-Flatiron, KPMG and other consultants hired by the province.  

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FIN-2018-82684-theBreaker.news.pdf by BobMackin on Scribd

Bob Mackin A consultant's report on the $3.3

Bob Mackin

The rookie Vancouver city councillor running for mayor was secretly fined $2,000 in February for breaking the Lobbyists Registration Act after failing to declare he had worked as an aide to powerful figures in the BC Liberal government. 

But the fine and the ruling were both overturned July 31 on a technicality. 

In a Feb. 13 report, Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists’ investigator Tim Mots cited Hector Bremner for failing to disclose he had worked as an assistant to three cabinet ministers, including Deputy Premier, Natural Gas and Housing minister Rich Coleman, when he registered in February 2015 to represent Steelhead LNG. The investigation stemmed from a complaint by Glen Chernen, who lost to Ken Sim in the race for the NPA mayoral candidacy.

But, because Bremner asked for a reconsideration within the 30-day window, the ruling was not published until the reconsideration decision was made on July 31 by Registrar Michael McEvoy. 

Bremner and wife Virginia Grespan (far left) at a BC Liberal event in New Westminster with Rich Coleman (upper right).

McEvoy overturned Mots’s findings and ruled that Bremner did not need to disclose his previous job in government after all. 

McEvoy’s ruling said that that, apart from administrative staff, anyone formerly employed in the office of a former member of cabinet must declare being a former public office holder. 

“The meaning is clear. An individual who seeks to lobby, and who worked for a cabinet minister still in office, does not have to declare past government connections in the Lobbyists Registry,” McEvoy wrote. “An individual seeking to lobby, and who worked for a cabinet minister still in office, does not have to declare past government connections in the Lobbyists Registry.”

“This seems an odd result, given the fact that the consultant lobbyist was, at one point, registered as a lobbyist while working as an executive assistant,” McEvoy continued. “The Legislature may not have intended this result or this outcome. Perhaps the Legislature erred in using the word ‘former,’ but it is not my proper role, as a statutory decision-maker, to ignore the Legislature’s clear and unambiguous choice of language.”

McEvoy took the extraordinary step of writing an open letter to Attorney General David Eby, asking for the loophole to be closed. In the letter, he wrote that the outcome of the Bremner case was among several that “represent the very mischief the legislation was designed to eliminate; i.e. the potential for undue influence and the use of insider knowledge in lobbying.”

A statement by Eby said the Bremner decision “will have immediate and negative consequences for the regulation of lobbying activities in B.C.” 

The NDP enacted a new two-year ban on lobbying for former senior government officials and staff and is planning to table more reforms in the fall session of the Legislature. 

“I have instructed Ministry of Attorney General staff to include in those reforms an amendment to correct this long-standing drafting error and to conduct a comprehensive review to ensure the integrity of this important legislation,” Eby said.

Bremner was elected to city council with the NPA last October, but has remained as a vice-president at the lobbying and public relations firm Pace Group. The NPA board rejected his application to run for the party’s mayoral nomination due, in part, to his continued work for Pace. Two citizens also made formal complaints to Vancouver city hall, alleging that Bremner was in conflict of interest as a city councillor. An investigator was appointed to probe the complaints. 

In July, Bremner announced his new civic party, called Yes Vancouver. He has not responded for immediate comment. 

It is worth noting that McEvoy’s ruling stated, at line 23, that Bremner was “at one point, registered as a lobbyist while working as an executive assistant.” 

Before last fall’s by-election, theBreaker asked Bremner about a version of his LinkedIn resume that said he had worked from June 2013 to December 2015 in the BC Liberal government and that he started at the Pace Group in February 2015. At the time, Bremner said he had left the government in January 2015 and started at Pace the next month. He said he was “shocked” by what he called a “minor mistake” on LinkedIn. 

Update (Aug. 2): McEvoy contacted theBreaker to say that line 23 of his report had been removed and a new version published. He said Bremner’s order in council had not been rescinded by cabinet. His office contacted the Public Service Agency, following a query from theBreaker, and learned that Bremner’s government employment ended Jan. 31, 2015.

Bremner’s undertaking to lobby Finance Minister Mike de Jong and his staff for Steelhead LNG began Feb. 9, 2015, according to his Feb. 19, 2015 registration with the ORL.

In Mots’s report, he noted that Bremner claimed his non-disclosure as a former public office holder was a mistake made with no intention to mislead. Bremner pleaded for leniency because he claimed to be unaware of the law and believed the two-year-old matter should be considered minor or trivial by the lobbying regulator. 

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Bob Mackin The rookie Vancouver city councillor running

Bob Mackin

Almost two months after franchising entrepreneur Ken Sim was elected the NPA’s mayoral candidate for the Oct. 20 civic election, his team is taking shape behind closed doors. 

We know that Coun. Melissa de Genova is seeking another term and that Coun. Elizabeth Ball is on the fence. Park Board commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung hopes to make the jump to city council. John Coupar, who tried to beat Kim in the leadership race, is stuck vying for another term on Park Board. School board by-election winner Lisa Dominato wants a city council seat. 

Who are the new faces that lined up to get the NPA board’s nod for a council run? 

Rebecca Bligh (LinkedIn)

Sources tell theBreaker to watch out for these names. 

East Vancouver Conservative and ex-paralegal Jojo Quimpo and Fraser Valley import/public relations exec Justin Goodrich. 

Ex-Coast Capital Savings COO Kathy McGarrigle. 

Absolute Energy co-founder David Grewal. 

PlaceSpeak.com founder and former Hollywood North producer Colleen Hardwick. Her late geography professor father Walter co-founded The Electors Action Movement and sat on city council from 1969 to 1974.

And, finally, Rebecca Bligh. A self-described “vision and goals coach” whose consultancy Blackpiin (yes, with the extra vowel) counts Sim mentor Chip Wilson’s Kit + Ace and Sim’s Rosemary Rocksalt Bagels as clients. 

NPA-supporting toy store. Arrr. (Mackin)

For a party with a history of infighting (hello, Sam Sullivan, Peter Ladner and Hector Bremner), Bligh’s name would be an ironic addition to the ticket.

Capt. William Bligh helmed the HMS Bounty in 1789 until the famous mutiny. NPA president Greg Baker runs a computer store next to a toy store where the awning reads “No Pirates Allowed.” 

Speaking of infighting. You won’t find a couple of 2014 council hopefuls on the 2018 NPA ticket. 

Rob McDowell, who scored almost 53,965 votes, wanted to run again for the NPA. Late July 30, he Tweeted that he would run as an independent: “After reflection, I’ve decided to run for Vancouver City Council as an independent. Working on the city’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee the past 4 years, following Council closely for 7, my background in diplomacy tells me we need strong independent voices. More to come.”

Ken Low had 54,971 for the NPA in 2014. He, too, didn’t make the cut. 

The 2018 election is crucial for the history of Vancouver’s oldest party. NPA lost its majority and the mayoralty in 2008 to Vision Vancouver and Gregor Robertson. Robertson is not running for a fourth term and only one Vision incumbent, Heather Deal, will be on that party’s council ticket. 

More to come.

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Bob Mackin Almost two months after franchising entrepreneur