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Bob Mackin

A British Columbia Supreme Court judge ordered a retired Mexican general to remain in jail indefinitely after refusing his bail application on Dec. 23. 

Eduardo Leon Trauwitz, 55, was arrested Dec. 17 in Metro Vancouver. The Mexican government wants the former head of security for state oil company Pemex extradited to face charges of fuel theft and organized crime. If convicted, Trauwitz faces up to 60 years in prison.

B.C.-arrested Eduardo Leon Trauwitz

Justice Veronica Jackson denied the bail proposal from Trauwitz’s lawyer for him to reside at his daughter’s Surrey apartment under an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. His daughter, a university business student, had proposed acting as a $20,000 surety, but Jackson said she was unable to provide any monetary deposit. 

In Jackson’s oral judgment, she ruled Trauwitz did not meet the test for bail, because he is “not ordinarily resident in Canada, he has very few ties that bind him here.

“He faces removal from Canada if he is committed for surrender, and a sentence involving a significant period of imprisonment if convicted in Mexico,” Jackson said. “He has a history of failing to appear in court and fleeing the jurisdiction, rather than facing the charges against him.”

Trauwitz arrived in Vancouver in May 2019, instead of appearing in a Mexican court that week. He since applied for refugee status in Canada. He has a work permit, but the court said he has not been employed. 

“It is alleged that between January 2015 and August 2016, Mr. Trauwitz used his position at the state-controlled company Pemex to facilitate the theft of at least 1.87 billion litres of hydrocarbon from clandestine taps in Pemex pipelines,” Jackson said. 

Jackson said a lawyer for former Pemex employees filed a criminal complaint in March 2017 to the office of Mexico’s Attorney General, claiming the employees were threatened with firing if they did not agree to manipulate clandestine taps found in Pemex pipelines.

“Through the investigation, statements were obtained from Pemex employees who witnessed the illegal conduct and identified the person primarily responsible for it to be Mr. Trauwitz,” she said. 

Trauwitz’s next court Vancouver appearance is Jan. 26.

Trauwitz, who was a bodyguard to ex-president Enrique Peña Nieto, denies the charges.

On Dec. 22, Trauwitz’s lawyer Tom Arbogast called his client the “fall guy.”

“Mr. Trauwitz was the one who was trying to stop hydrocarbon theft and his actions actually prohibited other corrupt individuals from engaging in carbon theft,” Arbogast said. “They are now turning that back against him because they are higher up in the political food chain.”

Mexico’s state oil company Pemex

In 2018, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, aka “AMLO,” estimated losses due to fuel theft at $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion a year. At the end of October 2021, a pipeline exploded in Puebla state and one person was killed in a botched theft attempt.

Trauwitz is the second high-profile Mexican to face extradition in B.C. this century.

Miners’ union boss Napoleon Gomez Urrutia fled to Vancouver in 2006 and spent 12 years in exile. He was accused of embezzling $55 million from a union trust fund. During his time in the city, Gomez became a Canadian citizen. In 2018, he returned to Mexico when “AMLO” appointed him a senator.

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Bob Mackin A British Columbia Supreme Court judge

Bob Mackin

A B.C. Supreme Court judge heard Dec. 22 that a former senior military official from Mexico is seeking refugee status in Canada in order to avoid charges for a gas pipeline theft scheme.

B.C.-arrested Eduardo Leon Trauwitz

Eduardo Leon Trauwitz was arrested Dec. 17 in Metro Vancouver and faces extradition to Mexico where authorities want to try him on hydrocarbon theft and organized crime charges, dating back to his time as head of security at state oil company Pemex. The former brigadier general is in custody awaiting a judge’s Dec. 23 decision whether to free him on bail to live with his daughter, who is studying for a business degree in British Columbia and active in a trade, commerce and social group affiliated with the Mexican consulate. 

“We know Mr. Trauwitz fled Mexico [in May 2019], before he was required to face charges because the proceedings, in his view, would be unfair,” Ryan Dawodharry, a lawyer with Canada’s Department of Justice, told the Vancouver court hearing on Dec. 22. “He faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted in the requesting state for the underlying offences.”

Dawodharry opposed Trauwitz’s application for $20,000 bail, calling the former bodyguard to ex-president Enrique Peña Nieto a flight risk. 

“His history of failures to appear weigh in favour of his detention,” Dawodharry said.

Mexico’s state oil company Pemex

Defence lawyer Tom Arbogast said Trauwitz lives on a military pension and rental revenue from a property in Mexico, but otherwise has no other income. Dawodharry said evidence from Trauwitz’s tax returns show a $155,000 annual income and proceeds from buying and selling real estate in Mexico, which is enough for him to find a way to flee Canada for another country. 

Arbogast denied his client is a flight risk and alleged that he is being framed.

“When we actually look at the facts of this case, it cries out that release should happen immediately,” Arbogast said, who described the matter as complex and unwieldy. 

“He is being set up as the fall guy due to corrupt practices in Mexico.”

Arbogast said Trauwitz is actually the person “who was trying to fix things in Mexico,” but now is subject to a situation comparable to Alice in Wonderland. 

“Black is white and up is down — because Mr. Trauwitz was the one who was trying to stop hydrocarbon theft and his actions actually prohibited other corrupt individuals from engaging in carbon theft. They are now turning that back against him because they are higher up in the political food chain,” Arbogast said.

Justice Veronica Jackson reserved judgment to 2 p.m. on Dec. 23.

In 2018, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, aka “AMLO,” estimated losses due to fuel theft from Mexican pipelines at $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion a year. At the end of October 2021, a pipeline exploded in Puebla state and one person was killed in a theft attempt.

Trauwitz is the second high-profile Mexican to face extradition proceedings in B.C. this century.

Miners’ union boss Napoleon Gomez Urrutia fled to Vancouver in 2006 and spent 12 years in exile. He was accused of embezzling $55 million from a union trust fund. During his time in the city, Gomez became a Canadian citizen. In 2018, he returned to Mexico when “AMLO” appointed him a senator.

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Bob Mackin A B.C. Supreme Court judge heard

Bob Mackin

Penny Ballem (left), Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in July 2021 (BC Gov)

Penny Ballem is the NDP-appointed head of British Columbia’s coronavirus vaccination program, which is delaying booster shots until January despite the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

She also chairs the regional health board where people are waiting up to four hours in line to be tested for coronavirus, while a couple million rapid test kits gather dust on warehouse shelves. 

Documents released to theBreaker.news under the freedom of information law show Ballem charged taxpayers almost $328,000 by the end of August, exceeding her original $250-an-hour contract as ImmunizeBC leader by more than $100,000. That included $110,250 plus GST for the first two months of the contract and $71,625 plus GST for June and July. 

Penny Ballem (left) and Premier John Horgan (BC Gov)

In April, theBreaker.news revealed that Ballem, the chair of Vancouver Coastal Health, had inked a $220,000 maximum contract from mid-January to October 2021. 

The $327,738.75 billed by her company, Pendru Consulting 354948 BC Ltd., is almost as much as the $334,617 Ballem received in 2014, her last full year as Vancouver city manager. 

Ballem’s contract is more lucrative than what a retired general got from the Ontario government in late November 2020. Rick Hillier was paid $20,000-a-month, plus expenses, through March 31 to begin the rollout in Canada’s most-populous province.

The Ministry of Health communications office did not respond to questions Dec. 20 about Ballem’s contract or the overall cost of the mass-vaccination program to-date. 

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Bob Mackin [caption id="attachment_11835" align="alignright" width="535"] Penny Ballem

Bob Mackin

A former high-ranking Mexican military official is being held in a British Columbia jail.

B.C.-arrested Eduardo Leon Trauwitz

Eduardo Leon Trauwitz was arrested Dec. 17 and made an appearance before a B.C. Supreme Court judge. Canadian police arrested Trauwitz on a Dec. 16 warrant after Mexico’s request under the bilateral extradition treaty, according to Canada’s Department of Justice. 

Mexico wants to try Trauwitz for using his position as head of security for state oil company Pemex to facilitate widespread fuel theft from the company’s liquefied gas pipelines. Trauwitz, who was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 2012, headed Pemex’s security department from 2012 to 2019. Trauwitz was also the bodyguard for ex-president Enrique Pena Nieto.

In 2018, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, aka “AMLO,” estimated losses due to fuel theft at $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion a year. At the end of October, a pipeline exploded in Puebla state and one person was killed in a theft attempt. 

Mexico’s state oil company Pemex

Trauwitz is scheduled to apply for bail on Dec. 22 in B.C. Supreme Court. An extradition hearing will be scheduled for a later date. Department of Justice Canada spokesman Ian McLeod cited security reasons for declining to say where Trauwitz is being held.

Trauwitz is the second high-profile Mexican to face extradition in B.C. this century.

Miners’ union boss Napoleon Gomez Urrutia fled to Vancouver in 2006 and spent 12 years in exile. He was accused of embezzling $55 million from a union trust fund. During his time in the city, Gomez became a Canadian citizen. In 2018, he returned to Mexico when “AMLO” appointed him a senator.

The proceedings against Trauwitz may be the reason for a Dec. 10, closed-door court hearing before Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes about a mutual legal assistance matter. Holmes asked a court sheriff to leave and ordered the listen-only phone line be deactivated when she agreed to hear a Canadian federal prosecutor’s application.

Holmes was the judge who presided over the extradition proceedings for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in 2018 en route to Mexico. Meng returned to China on Sept. 24, 2021 after she finally admitted to a U.S. judge that she lied about a Huawei subsidiary in Iran. 

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Bob Mackin A former high-ranking Mexican military official

For the week of December 19, 2021:

It was supposed to be the year we ended the pandemic. 

More people got vaccinated in British Columbia during 2021 than voted in the last two provincial elections, combined. 

But the omicron variant is now spreading out of control and a fifth wave is on. When will it end? 

In 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to be like B.C. Premier John Horgan, but the Liberals didn’t get a majority in a snap pandemic election.

Horgan’s NDP government failed to warn the public about the heat dome in late June and the mid-November storm.

In B.C.’s two biggest cities, the mayors called the police against allegedly unruly citizens. It backfired for Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, who was charged with public mischief. Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is under fire for a spike in crime and breaking a promise to cap tax hikes at 5%.

Who deserves a candy cane? Who deserves a lump of coal? 

A special Christmas-themed, year-end roundtable with Vancouver Overcast podcaster Mike Klassen and former B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed on this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast with host Bob Mackin.

Plus a Christmas-themed commentary and Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest headlines.

CLICK BELOW to listen or go to TuneIn or Apple Podcasts.

Now on Google Podcasts!

Have you missed an edition of theBreaker.news Podcast? Go to the archive.

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theBreaker.news Podcast: Which leader deserves a candy cane or lump of coal?
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For the week of December 19, 2021:

Bob Mackin

Just in time for the Dec. 17 deadline for BC Liberal leadership campaigns to sign-up new members, a fresh scandal.

theBreaker.news has learned from BC Liberal insiders that as many as 2,500 new memberships sold by perceived frontrunner Kevin Falcon are in dispute.

Kevin Falcon

Falcon’s team has focused on Surrey and Abbotsford. A source said many new members share the same residential or commercial address, or provided an address outside Canada. In some cases, payment has come in the form of pre-paid credit and debit cards. 

The source also said Falcon campaign manager Kareem Allam told supporters during an event on the final weekend of the new membership sales phase that he guaranteed Falcon would win.

On Twitter at 5:06 p.m. on Dec. 17, Allam said he was “so proud” of the Falcon campaign.

“With the BC Liberals membership deadline now passed, I am proud to share that no other campaign has sold more memberships than the Kevin Falcon campaign…. This is real renewal,” Allam Tweeted.

(Kareem Allam/Twitter)

That, however, does not translate into automatic first ballot victory. The party is allocating 100 points to each electoral district for the Feb. 3-5, 2022 vote. Andrew Wilkinson resigned after the 2020 election loss and Shirley Bond became the interim leader.

Falcon dismissed the controversy in an email to theBreaker.news.

“It’s the typical kind of accusations made from a competing campaign that realizes we have signed up the most new members. The Party has a rigorous audit process and if there are any mistakes found in new memberships (very common when campaigns are signing up thousands of new members) then they will be dealt with,” Falcon said.

“I’m very happy to have a team that has done such an outstanding job rebuilding and revitalizing our party by signing up so many new members. The is is exactly the kind of rebuilding the Party needs.”

The campaigns have a Dec. 29 deadline to renew lapsed members. 

The last two BC Liberal leadership campaigns were also tainted by scandal. 

In 2011, Christy Clark edged former Finance and Health Minister Falcon for the leadership. Seven years later, it was confirmed that Clark’s campaign gathered blocks of PINs for the online and phone vote, which likely put it over the top. 

In 2018, leadership contestant Todd Stone lost more than 1,400 memberships, mainly from Surrey and Richmond, that involved technology from Victoria political data agency Aggregate IQ. Stone is one of Falcon’s high-profile supporters, along with Trudeau Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal.

 

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Bob Mackin Just in time for the Dec.

Bob Mackin 

A lawyer for Bob Birarda appeared Dec. 16 in North Vancouver Provincial Court, 53 weeks after the ex-Vancouver Whitecaps women’s team coach was charged with multiple sex crimes.

Bob Birarda in 2005 (CSA)

Birarda faces six counts of sexual exploitation, two counts of sexual assault and one count of child luring. He was charged with offences against four individuals between Jan. 1, 1988 and March 25, 2008 on the North Shore and in Burnaby. Birarda, who was an assistant coach on Canada’s Beijing 2008 Olympics team, is expected to finally make a plea during an arraignment hearing on Jan. 13. 

The case had been delayed multiple times over the last year. During an appearance that lasted less than two minutes, defence lawyer Bill Smart told the court that he, and the Crown prosecutor, had “spent months trying to reach an acceptable resolution, but most of all a detailed agreed statement of facts.”

In February 2019, former Whitecap and national team player Ciara McCormack blew the whistle on Birarda’s return to youth coaching with Coastal FC in South Surrey. Birarda was suspended.

She is not among the four alleged victims, whose names are protected by a publication ban. 

Earlier this fall, another former player, Malloree Enoch, blew the whistle on former Whitecaps’ coach Hubert Busby Jr., for allegedly soliciting her for sex while recruiting her for the team in 2011. Busby departed the Whitecaps in similar fashion as Birarda in 2012.

Major League Soccer hired lawyers Janice Rubin and Melody Jahanzadeh of the law firm Rubin Thomlinson to investigate in the wake of the allegations about Busby. Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster said executives still with the club were placed on administrative leave, but he did not identify them.

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Bob Mackin  A lawyer for Bob Birarda appeared

Bob Mackin

There is little appetite for sending Canadian athletes to Beijing this winter or hosting another Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2030, according to Mario Canseco.

The ResearchCo pollster, a guest on the Dec. 12 edition of theBreaker.news Podcast, says that is what respondents to recent surveys told him.

The international diplomatic boycott of the February 2022 Winter Games is not enough. Canadians are disgusted by China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong and threats to invade Taiwan, so 56% back a full boycott. The House of Commons unanimously condemned the Uyghur genocide last February and unsuccessfully called on the International Olympic Committee to move the Games out of Beijing. 

Seven-in-10 respondents to the ResearchCo poll said they are worried about the health and safety of athletes visiting the country that kidnapped the Two Michaels in 2018 and, a year later, failed to control the Wuhan virus that became known as COVID-19.

As for Vancouver, the Four Host First Nations from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics reunited Dec. 10 to sign a memorandum of understanding with mayors of Vancouver and Whistler to explore bidding on another Olympics. They called a news conference in the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame to say they want to host the first indigenous-led Games in 2030. 

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart on Dec. 10 (City of Vancouver)

The key word is “led.” Despite differing levels of involvement in Vancouver 2010, the leaders of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Lil’wat first nations do not have the ability themselves to finance, organize, execute or secure a mega-event. Questions about costs were predictably downplayed on Dec. 10. 

Based on history, Canadian taxpayers would be on the hook to underwrite the $2 billion cost of operating the Games and pay $1 billion for RCMP and Canadian Forces security. The IOC would bring sponsorship and broadcast rights dollars to the table. That became a problem last time, during the Great Recession, and governments were asked for bailouts. 

As much as Vancouver and Whistler have venues left over from 2010, there would be the irresistible urge to upgrade, renovate and expand them. The Richmond Olympic Oval would need retrofitting because the speed skating oval was removed. The Vancouver Olympic Centre is now a community centre, so another curling rink would be required. While the minor league hockey rinks in Victoria, Langley or Abbotsford could do the job, there has been talk of building a new arena in Surrey.

Canseco said only 43% of respondents to a recent poll backed a Vancouver 2030 bid. Canadians have cold feet after watching Tokyo struggle. The pandemic delayed the Summer Games by a year and took place in empty venues; international tourists not welcome. What’s more, Vancouverites still don’t know the true costs of 2010. The auditor general never investigated. The board minutes and finances are sealed from public viewing until fall 2025 at the Vancouver Archives — two years after the IOC deadline to name a 2030 host. Where did all the money go?

Vancouver 2010 mascots Miga, Quatchi and Mukmuk (VANOC)

Fewer cities can afford the Games. Gone are the costly bidding wars. New IOC rules permit fast-tracked, closed-door talks with interested applicants. That’s how Brisbane, Australia was awarded the 2032 Summer Games last July. 

“There’s a very heavy level of skepticism when it comes to the way British Columbians feel about a new bid,” Canseco said. “And one that just might actually be a negotiation — the IOC saying Sapporo is not ready, Salt Lake City is not ready, let’s just do Vancouver without any opportunity for the public to have their say.”

Homelessness, pandemic, overdose crisis, deadly heat dome in June, destructive floods in November, billions of dollars needed to rebuild the Coquihalla highway. Major socio-economic and climate costs dog B.C. taxpayers, not to mention inflation becoming a headache. The NDP government has promised to build a new hospital in Surrey and is early in the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge. The reasons against an Olympic bid are many. Too many, perhaps.

Tricia Smith, the Vancouver-based president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, was giddy with excitement at the Dec. 10 event about the prospect of a bid for a fourth Canadian-hosted Olympics. Oddly, the man who hatched the 2030 idea last year, Vancouver 2010 CEO John Furlong, was absent. Mayor Kennedy Stewart did not say why. 

John Furlong (VANOC)

It might have something to do with unanswered questions about Furlong’s 1969 arrival in Canada as a Catholic lay missionary at an Indian day school and the 2012 accusations that he abused members of the Lake Babine First Nation. Furlong denied the allegations, which have never been tested in court. The alleged victims say the RCMP bungled the investigation and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is to hear their case in February 2022.

“The fact that John Furlong wasn’t there certainly suggests that the four nations and two mayors believe that he is absolutely toxic, probably better to have Ben Johnson as an ambassador at this point,” Canseco said. “Because John Furlong has become extremely polarizing.”

Stewart spun the relationship as “four [nations] inviting two [cities],” that Vancouver and Whistler are following the lead of the four nations. He said it is in the spirit of reconciliation for Indian residential schools and colonialism. He wants city council to give thumbs up by next July, before the pre-election recess.

What is really behind this? 

It is not sport.

Instead, real estate and politics.

Stewart is in campaign mode. He is running for re-election in next October’s election. Back in 2018, he won the job by fewer than 1,000 votes on a platform promising to build 85,000 housing units over a decade. He is also pushing for a SkyTrain subway to the University of British Columbia. Stewart needs to show progress on housing and rapid transit to keep his job.

Jericho Lands concept (MST Development)

None of the four bands is self-governing. They all remain under the federal Indian Act. Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh treaty negotiations with Ottawa and Victoria stalled in 1995 and 1997, respectively. Musqueam reached a framework agreement, the fourth of six steps, in 2005. Lil’wat is not involved.

Three of the bands are the biggest proponents of high-density residential development in the city, especially on Point Grey. 

In 2014, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh put their differences aside to team up as MST Development. They became owners of a portfolio of surplus federal and provincial land as a trio and in partnership with the Aquilini Development Corp. and Canada Lands Corp.

MST’s CEO is David Negrin, who walked across the street from his position as the head of the Aquilini family’s development arm. The Aquilinis own the most-profitable 2010 Games venue, Rogers Arena, and want to build the Garibaldi ski resort near Squamish, in partnership with the Squamish Nation. 

The latest plans for Jericho Garrison and Jericho Hill call for 9,000 units housing between 15,000 and 18,000 people, with three towers up to 38 storeys each. 

Senakw concept (Squamish Nation/Westbank)

The Heather Lands would include 2,600 units in buildings ranging from three to 28 storeys. 

Separate from MST, Squamish Nation partnered with Westbank Development for the proposed Senakw development around the Burrard Bridge. That would have 6,000 units for 10,000 people, in 11 towers from 17 to 59 storeys. 

An Olympics in 2030 would be the impetus for rapidly building enough to house more than 3,000 athletes and officials, plus extending the subway to UBC. It would also provide MST the biggest advertising opportunity on the planet to sell the rest of the condos in their pipeline to a global audience.  

A multibillion-dollar ad campaign in the form of a 17-day mega-event, backed by Canadian taxpayers, of course. 

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Bob Mackin There is little appetite for

For the week of December 12, 2021:

Canada has joined the growing diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics over China’s human rights atrocities.

But a poll by Vancouver’s ResearchCo suggests Canadians want a full athletic boycott. They’re worried about the health and safety of maple leaf athletes in the country that kidnapped Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor and let the novel coronavirus go out of control.

ResearchCo. pollster Mario Canseco (Mackin)

ResearchCo president Mario Canseco joins theBreaker.news Podcast host Bob Mackin to discuss that poll and a recent poll showing British Columbians are not sold on the idea of hosting the Winter Olympics for a second time. Hear highlights of the Dec. 10 announcement of the Vancouver 2010 Four Host First Nations reuniting to front a real estate and tourism industry driven bid for the 2030 Games.

Plus commentary and Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest headlines.

CLICK BELOW to listen or go to TuneIn or Apple Podcasts.

Now on Google Podcasts!

Have you missed an edition of theBreaker.news Podcast? Go to the archive.

Support theBreaker.news for as low as $2 a month on Patreon. Find out how. Click here.

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theBreaker.news Podcast: Polls say "yes" to Beijing boycott, "no" to another Vancouver Olympics
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For the week of December 12, 2021:

Bob Mackin

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is accused of lying to the RCMP about an incident in a shopping mall parking lot on Sept. 4. 

B.C. Prosecution Service announced the public mischief charge on Dec. 10, sparking calls for his resignation from Coun. Brenda Locke, who is running to defeat McCallum in next October’s civic election. The charge was authorized by special prosecutor Richard Fowler after an investigation by the B.C. RCMP’s major crimes division. McCallum’s case comes before a judge for the first time on Jan. 25. 

Mayor Doug McCallum’s text messages (City of Surrey/FOI)

McCallum was at the South Point mall in Surrey, where he unsuccessfully tried to have Save-On-Foods management evict Elections BC-authorized petitioners from the Surrey Police Vote campaign. McCallum complained to Surrey RCMP after he alleged one of the pro-RCMP campaigners drove over his foot.

theBreaker.news was first to cover the story. In his email response on the day, McCallum said nothing of an injury or trip to hospital. But that is what he told other media outlets in the days that followed. Global TV later reported that RCMP detectives got a court order to obtain their raw video of McCallum limping, and that detectives were probing whether McCallum’s complaint constituted criminal mischief.

McCallum retained high-profile downtown Vancouver lawyer Richard Peck, who led the courtroom defence of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. It is believed that City of Surrey taxpayers are footing McCallum’s legal bill. 

In response to a freedom of information request from theBreaker.news, Surrey city hall disclosed copies of McCallum’s text messages from the weekend, offering a glimpse of how McCallum and his staff spun the controversy. The documents  included email from Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. The unlikely ally, from the opposite end of the political spectrum, was the only other mayor to immediately send regards to McCallum.

“Doug, just seeing this,” Helps wrote, with a link to a Times Colonist story, at 12:23 a.m. Sept. 6.

“What happened? Hope you are okay!!”

The Surrey Police Vote campaign received 42,942 unverified signatures and did not trigger a referendum. Elections BC rejected the submission and did not count the signatures, since the campaign focused only on the nine Surrey ridings.

The province’s referendum law requires support of 10% of registered voters in each of the 87 ridings. If cabinet doesn’t order a vote anyway, it is expected the cop swap will become the main ballot box issue during the October 2022 election.

McCallum made a comeback in the 2018 civic election on a campaign to replace the RCMP with a municipal force and replace the proposed light rail transit system with SkyTrain to Langley. He had previously been mayor from 1996 to 2005.

He is not the first Surrey mayor to face criminal charges.

In March 1980, ex-Surrey Mayor Ed McKitka was convicted of five counts of breach of trust, two counts of unlawfully demanding a benefit, and one count of threatening a Surrey alderman. He was sentenced to three years in jail, which was one year longer than his 1975 to 1977 term in office.

If convicted, McCallum could face as many as five years in jail.

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McCallum Texts by Bob Mackin on Scribd

Bob Mackin Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is accused