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Bob Mackin

The Steveston-Richmond East Conservative incumbent sanctioned by the Chinese Communist government is the target of a disinformation campaign on WeChat, the Beijing-monitored social media app.

Richmond Conservative Kenny Chiu says a story on WeChat is wrong (CCN Media)

Kenny Chiu said a story on the Today Commercial News channel is falsely claiming that his Foreign Influence Registry bill would “suppress the Chinese community.”

The bill, similar to a 1938 law to regulate foreign lobbying in the U.S., passed first reading. However, it died on the order paper when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a snap election on Aug. 15 and dissolved parliament. Chiu hopes voters return him to Ottawa in the Sept. 20 federal election so that he can reintroduce the bill.

The story in the Markham, Ont.-based publication calls Hong Kong-born Chiu “anti-China” and claims the bill’s purpose is to “curb any pro-Chinese speech in Canada, and to control and monitor various mainland groups and individuals.”

Chiu said that is wrong. The bill he tabled proposed a requirement for people acting on behalf of foreign governments to register and report when they lobby public officials in a bid to enact or amend a law or to seek a contract or a grant. Chiu’s bill proposed fines up to $200,000 and jail up to two years for breaking the law.

“It can’t be more innocuous and simple,” Chiu told theBreaker.news. “You can continue to do whatever you want, but if you’re influencing government officials on behalf of foreign countries, you need to register.

“We have our country to defend, that is Canada. As Canadians of Chinese descent, we have loyalty to our country.”

Steveston-Richmond East Conservative incumbent Kenny Chiu (House of Commons Photo Services)

In its most-recent annual report, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians called spying and meddling by foreign countries, mainly China and Russia, the biggest threats to Canada.

The Chinese Communist Party is of particular concern because of its network of business and cultural groups under its United Front Work Department foreign influence operation. A report by Australian researcher Alex Joske said United Front undermines social cohesion, exacerbates racial tension, influences politics, harms media integrity, facilitates espionage, and increases unsupervised technology transfer.”

Until the election, Chiu was vice-chair of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights. In March, China sanctioned committee members, including Chiu, and fellow Conservative MP Michael Chong in retaliation for Canada sanctioning individuals and entities for human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province.

That move followed February’s unanimous declaration by MPs that China is committing genocide in Xinjiang and recommended the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics be moved elsewhere. The Liberal cabinet, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, abstained from the vote.

In 2019, Chiu defeated Liberal MP and real estate lawyer Joe Peschisolido. theBreaker.news exclusively revealed that Peschisolido’s 2019 campaign team included Eileen Chen, the co-organizer of an August 2019 Chinese nationalist protest in Vancouver aimed at silencing local supporters of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

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Bob Mackin The Steveston-Richmond East Conservative incumbent sanctioned

For the week of Sept. 12, 2021:

It is the home stretch on Justin Trudeau’s pandemic power grab election.

On this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast, host Bob Mackin is joined by political commentator and Vancouver Overcast podcaster Mike Klassen and former B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed on a roundtable discussion on the campaigns and the issues.

The Cullen Commission is back. Whistleblower Ross Alderson, the former B.C. Lottery Corp. anti-money laundering manager, testified on Sept. 9-10. Hear him explain why he took action and leaked documents showing how B.C. casinos and real estate were inundated with dirty money from sources connected to the Chinese Communist Party and drug underworld.

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: The home stretch in Trudeau's pandemic power grab election
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For the week of Sept. 12, 2021:

Bob Mackin

City of Vancouver is poised to mark the 20th anniversary of a program to coexist with coyotes in the urban environment by mass-killing coyotes in the urban environment.

Stanley Park coyote (Park Board)

Premier John Horgan’s NDP government dispatched provincial hunters to Stanley Park, where fences were erected before Malkin Bowl hosted its first week of concerts since 2019.

One of those concerts is a private gig starring Billy Idol and other acts for friends and clients of real estate tycoon Ryan Beedie.

Authorities say more than 45 reports have been filed this year of coyotes biting or scratching children and adults. Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says it’s Park Board’s jurisdiction.

Two decades ago, Vancouver city council was deeply involved in finding a solution. 

A Sept. 13, 2001 report to city council blamed intentional and unintentional feeding by humans for attracting aggressive coyotes. It said law enforcement and public education would solve the problem.

The city’s health bylaw and the parks control bylaw include provisions to prohibit feeding of coyotes and other wildlife, the report said. Permits and licences, health board staff and police were empowered to issue violation tickets.

“Provided that enforcement personnel can identify violators and gather evidence to establish by-law violations, charges can be laid against people who contribute to coyote problems by feeding them,” said the report.

The report warned that coyotes were complex and difficult and increasingly losing their natural distrust and fear of urban humans, mainly due to “human feeding, both intentional and unintentional.”

“Individual animals become increasingly bold in the presence of humans. They learn very quickly and pass this information along to their offspring. It is a growing problem in urban coyote populations throughout North America. In cases where there is a threat to human safety the provincial wildlife authorities will investigate. Where possible the animal will be located and destroyed.”

The report said translocation was not feasible. Tranquilizer darts have limited utility because coyotes tend to be small and thin and take up to 20 minutes to act.

“Other lethal methods such as snares, kill traps and poisons pose significant liabilities when attempted in an area with a dense population of people and pets.”

(Twitter/Bryan Adams)

Public meetings in 2000 produced a three-pronged strategy that relied on responding to individual aggressive and hazardous animals, the 24-hour 604-681-WILD hotline for public reports and information sharing with the park board, Stanley Park Ecology Society, Vancouver Coastal Health and Vancouver Police. 

The 2001 report speculated that a no-feeding message at the centre of public education and awareness programs would have a much broader impact than enforcement. So the city earmarked $16,000 to expand the public information hotline from three days a week to seven and to pay for a Park Board Wildlife Ranger to respond to reports of coyote aggression. The park board granted $17,000 for the Stanley Park Ecology Society to produce and distribute brochures and education materials.

The report said coyotes breed in January and February and young are born in April and May. By early summer, the young are out with parents learning to hunt for rodents, cats, fruit, vegetables and carcasses of dead animals.

“In the city their diet will also include easier to acquire food sources including compost piles, human food and garbage.”

Vancouver’s coyote population was estimated to be 200 to 250, while the Fraser Valley was estimated to have 2,000 to 3,000. Coyotes were first observed in Stanley Park in 1988, though there were reported sightings in early 20th century Vancouver. In rural areas they can travel up to 100 km.

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Bob Mackin City of Vancouver is poised

Bob Mackin

British Columbia’s Minister of Health ignored invitations to meet with the Canadian head of the frontrunner in the coronavirus vaccine race.

theBreaker.news has obtained, under freedom of information, an urgently worded Nov. 27, 2020 letter from Cole Pinnow, president of Pfizer Canada, to Adrian Dix, trying for a third time to set-up a phone or web call.

Dix had just been reappointed Minister of Health after the NDP won a majority in a snap election that put the B.C. government into caretaker mode for more than two months. The politicking delayed planning for B.C.’s vaccine rollout.

Pfizer Canada president Cole Pinnow (Pfizer)

“On April 9 and July 23, I wrote to inform you of Pfizer’s progress to develop a medical solution against COVID-19 and extended an offer to virtually meet with you to discuss confidential details of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate in order to assist British Columbia plan with their immunization strategy,” Pinnow wrote to Dix. “We are now in advanced discussions with the federal government and other provincial Ministers of Health (including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec) to help them establish readiness for administration of a vaccine, should it be approved by Health Canada.”

The federal government is responsible for approving and importing vaccines, but the provinces and territories are responsible for distributing and administering shots in their jurisdictions.

Pinnow further emphasized the need for a meeting, writing that awareness and knowledge of medical and logistical details of the vaccine candidates “are essential.” Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine came with complex handling and cold storage instructions.

The lobbyist registry refers to a Dec. 2, 2020 communication between Pfizer lobbyist Sandra Wong and Dix. But Wong’s email released to theBreaker.news refers only to a bilateral meeting with B.C. immunization managers. Dix’s calendars through spring 2021 do not indicate any meeting with top Pfizer officials.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix (BC Gov)

Almost three weeks before Pinnow’s letter, Pfizer/BioNTech announced their vaccine candidate. Health Canada approved it for emergency use on Dec. 9. Six days later, Vancouver General Hospital care aide Nisha Yunus became the first British Columbian jabbed.

After Health Canada approval came last December, Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry named Dr. Ross Brown of Vancouver Coastal Health as the leader of B.C.’s mass-vaccination program. But, on Jan. 13, VCH chair Penny Ballem suddenly replaced Brown. theBreaker.news revealed she was hired on a $220,000 contract through October.

Canada’s vaccine program was hampered by numerous delays and supply shortages that extended into the second quarter of 2021, during the third wave of the pandemic.

While the U.S. and U.K. governments worked with big pharma to develop vaccines domestically in spring 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose to collaborate with a company related to China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Canada’s deal with CanSino collapsed shortly after its May 2020 announcement when top Chinese Communist Party officials blocked CanSino shipments to Canada. The Liberal government scrambled to buy imports from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, but has kept the costs and contracts secret. 

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HTH-2021-10358-Pfizer by Bob Mackin on Scribd

Bob Mackin British Columbia’s Minister of Health ignored

For the week of Sept. 5, 2021:

He is one of Canada’s two most-famous Michaels, held hostage in China for 1,000 days.

Yet few have heard his voice, until now.

Balazs Sarkadi of Michael Kovrig’s former punk band Bankrupt (Bankrupt.hu)

While living in Budapest in 1999, Michael Kovrig recorded the single “Listen” with his Bankrupt bandmates for a punk compilation album.

On this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast, hear that song and Bankrupt’s 2021 single, “The Plane to Toronto,” recorded for the campaign to free the Two Michaels.

Kovrig’s former bandmate Balazs Sarkadi joins host Bob Mackin to recount Kovrig’s return to stage with Bankrupt in 2017. Kovrig visited the capital of Hungary, the year before China kidnapped him and Michael Spavor in retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.

Sarkadi said it was surreal when he heard the news of his friend’s arrest and believed it was a misunderstanding that would be sorted out in a few days or maybe weeks. But then months became years. The turning point was Kovrig’s secret trial in March.

“After a while this song was born, The Plane to Toronto,” Sarkadi said. “I wanted to catch that moment when he is finally released and gets on the plane going home, and I wanted to sort of send some positive energy out there that this is going to happen.”

Also, hear from Troy Clifford, head of the Ambulance Paramedics of B.C., on the shocking anti-vaccine protests at B.C. hospitals, and Kailin Che, the Conservative candidate in Vancouver-Granville on Liberal candidate Taleeb Noormohamed’s real estate flipping scandal.

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: Budapest punk band wants China to listen and free ex-singer Michael Kovrig
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For the week of Sept. 5, 2021:

Bob Mackin

A trio of Trudeau Liberal MPs seeking re-election on Sept. 20 headlined a British Properties garden party that drew familiar faces from provincial and federal backrooms. 

Judi Tyabji and Mark Marissen attended the Sept. 2 event in support of Terry Beech (Burnaby-North Seymour), Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver) and Patrick Weiler (West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea-to-Sky Country).

Judi Tyabji at a Sept. 2 Liberal supporters’ garden party (Facebook)

Tyabji and Marissen were on Christy Clark’s inner circle when the BC Liberals lost their majority in the May 2017 election and lost power to the NDP in the June 2017 confidence vote. Marissen’s Burrard Strategy produced Weiler’s 2019 campaign promotional video. He is running for Mayor of Vancouver in 2022 and his supporters include Clark, his ex-wife.

Tyabji co-founded Salish Sea Spirits Powell River distillery in 2019 and Brew Bay Luxury Wellness in 2020. Notably absent from the garden party: her 1994-wed husband Gordon Wilson.

Weiler is facing a challenge from John Weston, the Conservative MP from 2008 to 2015. Weston’s predecessor was Blair Wilson, who was elected as a Liberal in 2006 but lost as a Green in 2008 after a Province newspaper exposé about his restaurant businesses. 

Blair Wilson named Tyabji and Marissen among the defendants in a long-running defamation suit against the newspaper. At the time, Marissen was the party’s national campaign co-chair and Tyabji the Powell River riding association vice-president. Wilson dropped his claims against Marissen when the trial began in 2015. The 2017 judgment dismissed claims against Tyabji.

Tyabji published a photo of the garden party on Instagram and Facebook including prominent Liberal supporter Farouk Verjee. Verjee is president of investment and commercial real estate brokerage Chase Realty Corp. and an Ismaili Muslim community leader. 

Karimah es Sabar with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (LPC/Quark)

Garden party host Karimah es Sabar is another longtime Justin Trudeau and Aga Khan follower. Sabar was named in June 2020 to the Liberal government’s Industry Strategy Council to represent the health and biosciences industries.

The former CEO of the Centre for Drug Research and Development at the University of B.C. joined Quark Venture LP in 2016 when the venture capital firm partnered with the GF Securities investment bank of China in a US$500 million fund.

Quark and GF are also affiliated with the Chengdu, China-based Global Drug Commercialization Center.

A person familiar with Sabar’s event said invitees were not asked to make a political donation. They were asked whether they had symptoms of COVID-19, had traveled out of country in the last two weeks or had knowingly been in contact with a coronavirus patient. 

However, they were not asked for their vaccination status.

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Bob Mackin A trio of Trudeau Liberal MPs

Bob Mackin

A group collecting signatures for an Elections BC-approved petition to force a referendum on Surrey’s cop swap had a surprise visitor on Sept. 4.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum (right) arguing with Ivan Scott of the Keep the RCMP in Surrey campaign on Sept. 4 outside a Save-On-Foods (photo submitted)

Mayor Doug McCallum, the man behind the drive to replace the RCMP with the Surrey Police Service.

Merle Scott of Keep the RCMP in Surrey said her group was set-up outside the Save-on-Foods store in the South Point mall in South Surrey with permission of store management when McCallum arrived around 10 a.m.

Scott said he told the signature collectors they did not have permission to be on-site and threatened to call bylaw officers to remove them.

“I said you can’t do that, you don’t even know your own laws,” Scott told theBreaker.news. “You cannot kick us off here, you don’t have permission.”

A photograph was taken of McCallum exchanging words with Scott’s husband Ivan Scott.

Merle Scott said McCallum also falsely accused another person of driving over his foot.

She said McCallum was there for approximately 10 minutes, including the time spent inside the store where it is believed he spoke to staff. She wonders why McCallum is so worried about the petition if he is so sure the Surrey Police Service will eventually replace the RCMP.

Scott said McCallum arrived and left in his taxpayer-funded Buick SUV.

A 6:51 p.m., Sept. 5 email sent from McCallum’s personal address said: “You do not know the true circumstances of this incident and it is currently under serious police investigation.”

McCallum did not respond to an email seeking more information and an interview.

Just before 5 p.m. on Sept. 6, his spokeswoman Amber Stowe sent a prepared statement by email attributed to McCallum. It said: “I was verbally assaulted and then run over by a vehicle while out grocery shopping yesterday. It is now under police investigation and I am doing okay.”

Elections BC set Nov. 15 as the deadline to sign-up 10% of registered voters in all of B.C.’s 87 ridings to trigger a referendum. The campaign, registered to Darlene Bennett, is focusing on Surrey ridings only and hopes to sign up enough citizens that the NDP cabinet will schedule a referendum anyway.

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Bob Mackin A group collecting signatures for an

Bob Mackin

Aggressive coyotes are getting all the attention in Stanley Park this summer.

But the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s turtle-slow reaction has put Stanley Park Causeway motorists and cyclists in danger of serious injury.

Stanley Park Causeway safety railings on July 3. Still not fixed in early September. (Mackin)

A May 31 crash wiped out a section of the causeway’s wired pedestrian railings.

As of Sept. 1, it has still not been replaced.

The Ministry told theBreaker.news that its maintenance contractor has parts stockpiled for incidents, but there were not enough parts on hand to repair the damaged section.

“The pieces are on order and are being fabricated locally, and the section of safety fencing will be repaired as soon as the pieces are ready.” 

Instead of a gap, the section has makeshift barriers, tape and pylons. None of which would withstand a high velocity vehicle or bike crash.

Stanley Park Causeway crash in August 2020 (Reddit.com)

At one end, an orange traffic pylon is all that covers what remains of one of the horizontal rail bars that is near eye-level for thousands of motorists that pass-by daily.

In August 2020, a U-Haul van crashed into one of the barriers and the driver narrowly missed being impaled.

The best the Ministry can do for the time being is express apologies for the delay, and ask cyclists to use caution and drivers to operate vehicles with care.

Stanley Park Causeway safety railings on July 3. Still not fixed in early September. (Mackin)

Taxpayer and construction-funded cycling lobby HUB successfully campaigned for the barriers on the 2.2 kilometre Causeway’s curbs after a cyclist fell in front of a West Vancouver Blue Bus and died in May 2013.

The province spent $4.4 million on the project that included widening sidewalks and the logging of 14 trees.

Documents obtained by theBreaker.news under freedom of information show that it cost more than $18,000 to repair the railings and cables after three crashes between Jan. 1, 2019 and Sept. 23, 2019. More than half the cost was for replacement of eight top rails and 20 stainless steel cables in one June 2019 incident.

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Bob Mackin Aggressive coyotes are getting all the

Bob Mackin

The Trudeau Liberal candidate in Vancouver Granville grossed a six-figure profit from buying and selling condos near Winter Olympic venues while he worked as a vice-president of the Vancouver 2010 organizing committee, theBreaker.news has learned.

Taleeb Noormohamed during his vice-presidency with VANOC (Vince Fedoroff/Ismailimail)

Property records show Taleeb Noormohamed bought five Vancouver properties from the end of June 2007 to late November 2009. Four were condominiums within a short walk of downtown venues for Olympic hockey and ceremonies.

One was in a tower developed by Olympics sponsor Concord Pacific above the Costco across from Games hockey venue Rogers Arena. He bought for $297,000 in February 2008 and sold for $314,900 in November 2009. A $17,900 profit.

On the same day as that sale, Noormohamed bought a Yaletown condo for $425,000, which he unloaded for $449,000, a $24,000 gross profit, after the Games in April 2010.

Noormohamed also bought a condo for $440,000 on Main Street in June 2007. The Russian government rented nearby Science World to promote the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. In March 2011, Noormohamed sold the unit for $475,000, a $35,000 gross profit.

Noormohamed’s gross profit for the transactions between August 2009 and March 2011 was $105,000.

But a property data spreadsheet, released by the NDP, does not show whether Noormohamed also generated rental income during his 2007 to 2010 tenure as vice-president of strategy and partnerships for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic organizing committee, also known as VANOC.

Noormohamed worked with the office of CEO John Furlong on a variety of files, including national and international client services and the sale of sponsorship packages to provincial and territorial governments.

In the years before the 2010 Games, downtown accommodation scarcity was a major worry of civic governments and Games organizers. Some of the pressure subsided in the fall of 2008 when the Great Recession caused several major sponsors to cut back on hotel reservations.

theBreaker.news wanted to ask Noormohamed questions about his real estate activities and whether he disclosed any of that to his superiors at VANOC.

Concord Pacific’s 131 Regiment Square tower near Rogers Arena. (Google maps)

He did not respond to phone or email messages.

Noormohamed was the losing Liberal candidate in 2011 in North Vancouver and 2019 in Vancouver Granville.

Jesse Bartsoff, who is on election leave from being an aide to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, sent a prepared statement on behalf of Noormohamed.

“I am fully committed to making housing more affordable across Canada, and right here at home in Vancouver Granville,” said the statement attributed to Noormohamed. “Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the most ambitious plan of any party to make housing more affordable – and I will work hard to make that plan a reality. While I have had business activities improving homes, I have been consistent in my support for measures to make housing more affordable, and as the MP for Vancouver Granville, it will remain a priority.”

theBreaker.news pressed Bartsoff further to arrange an interview, but he replied: “Mr. Noormohamed is unavailable for comment beyond our previous statement.”

During his time with VANOC, Noormohamed had access to considerable insider information about Olympic accommodation needs. He was also subject to internal conflict of interest disclosure policies and procedures, according to the organization’s last sustainability report in late 2010.

“Senior managers were also required to file such documentation, only once, in 2008, though with a requirement that they proactively update their original filing if their circumstances changed,” the report said. “This process identified potential conflicts while sending a strong message to the entire workforce about how VANOC conducted business.”

It is not possible to independently verify whether Noormohamed disclosed his condo transactions near Olympic venues or whether he derived any rental income. VANOC transferred its corporate archives to the City of Vancouver Archives after the Games and the parties agreed to prohibit public access to Vancouver 2010 board and committee minutes, financial records and legal correspondence until the fall of 2025.

The red pin is where Taleeb Normoohamed bought a condo in late 2009, on the day he sold one near Rogers Arena. (Google maps)

After the Games, Noormohamed was vice-president of global development for vacation rental company HomeAway from 2012 to 2015. Expedia acquired HomeAway and merged it last year with VRBO, the main competitor of Airbnb.

The spreadsheet shows Noormohamed made $4.922 million in gross profits on 46 residential transactions since 2002 — nearly $3.7 million of that came in the last six years.

He bought and sold 21 properties in the space of a single year and currently holds five properties, including one worth $2.2 million in the Altamont neighbourhood of West Vancouver near the home of John Weston, the former Harper Conservative MP who is attempting a comeback.

None of Noormohamed’s five properties is in Vancouver Granville. 

Peter Julian, who was the NDP house leader until the election, called Trudeau’s promised anti-flipping tax “empty” because the Liberals did nothing to crack down on speculators or control prices since coming to power in 2015.

“Was [Trudeau] aware of [Noormohamed’s] house-flipping when he signed his candidate’s nomination papers and is he OK with that fact that this candidate for parliament has made millions of dollars by flipping dozens of houses?” Julian asked during an Aug. 30 news conference outside one of the condos Noormohamed flipped.

Anjali Appadurai, the NDP candidate in Vancouver Granville, said what Noormohamed did “may be legal, but it is predatory and it shouldn’t be legal.”

Election day is Sept. 20.

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Bob Mackin The Trudeau Liberal candidate in Vancouver

For the week of Aug. 29, 2021:

The big announcement from Vancouver city hall this summer was the hiring of its first auditor general, Michael McDonnell. On this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast, hear from Colleen Hardwick, the councillor behind the establishment of the waste and corruption-fighting office.

Host Bob Mackin asks Coun. Hardwick about budget and livability challenges facing Vancouver as the one-year countdown to the October 2022 civic election campaign is just around the corner. 

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: Catching-up with Councillor Colleen
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For the week of Aug. 29, 2021: