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For the week of March 21, 2021:

On this week’s edition of theBreaker.news Podcast:

Louis Huang protested outside Meng Wanzhou’s March 6 court date (Mackin)

Hear China experts Peter Dahlin of Safeguard Defenders and former Government of Canada official Margaret McCuaig-Johnston weigh-in on a police report in the Meng Wanzhou extradition court file. After Meng was arrested in 2018, and before Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested, police in Vancouver investigated ominous online death threats.

Neither the government nor the RCMP will comment. 

Late politician Ian Waddell (Nightwood)

Also, hear former B.C. NDP Premier Glen Clark on the legacy of the late Ian Waddell. The retired MP and MLA was appointed tourism minister by Clark in 1998. Waddell was instrumental in the development of B.C.’s film and TV industry and in the successful campaign for the Canadian bid rights for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Plus, headlines from the Pacific Rim and the Pacific Northwest.

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

Now on Spotify!

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: Two Michaels and One Ian
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For the week of March 21, 2021:

Bob Mackin

The B.C. NDP government’s pandemic ban on indoor church services is constitutional, but the ban on outdoor protests is not.

That is what B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson ruled March 18.

B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (B.C. Courts)

“Containing the spread of the [coronavirus] and the protection of public health is a legitimate objective that can support limits on Charter rights,” Hinkson wrote. “An outbreak of a communicable disease is an example of a crisis in which the state is obliged to take measures that affect the autonomy of individuals and of communities within civil society.”

Riverside Calvary Chapel of Langley, Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church of Abbotsford and Free Reformed Church of Chilliwack challenged Dr. Bonnie Henry’s events and gatherings ban on the grounds that she was trampling on their constitutional right to gather peacefully and worship. The churches had received a combined 11 violation tickets worth almost $300,000.

The churches’ lawyer Paul Jaffe wondered why the public is free to shop in big box stores and drink beer while watching big-screen sports in pubs, activities not protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“The fact that some religious activities are restricted and some secular activities are not is not necessarily evidence of arbitrariness,” Hinkson wrote. “There needs to be a comparison of comparables and a demonstration that there is no rational basis for the distinction. That is not present here.”

Hinkson found that bans on gatherings and events apply broadly, regardless of religious affiliation or no affiliation, and that Henry did not outright ban religious gatherings.

Adrian Dix (right) and Dr. Bonnie Henry (BC Gov)

B.C.’s temporary state of emergency public health laws allow drive-in services of up to 50 vehicles, personal prayer or reflection, and baptisms, weddings and funerals with up to 10 people in attendance. Henry also recently allowed the churches involved in the case to hold outdoor services in small groups and is promising further relaxations province-wide in time for Easter and Passover.

Evidence submitted in the case showed seven coronavirus outbreaks related to places of worship in the Fraser Health region as of Jan. 15, 2021, infecting 59 people. Vancouver Coastal Health submitted 61 cases related to outbreaks at 25 places of worship from Sept. 15, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021. There was one death associated to a November 2020 outbreak that infected 28 people.

Hinkson found Henry considered the impacts of her ban and consulted with the inter-faith community. Her orders are attempts to protect the vulnerable and maintain the integrity of the healthcare system.

“Her decision was made in the face of significant uncertainty and required highly specialized medical and scientific expertise,” Hinkson said. “Although the impacts of the gatherings and events orders on the religious petitioners’ rights are significant, the benefits to the objectives of the orders are even more so. In my view, the orders represent a reasonable and proportionate balance.”

Meanwhile, Alain Beaudoin of Dawson Creek had a partial victory, when Hinkson ruled that his rights were infringed. Beaudoin organized Kelowna protests against Henry’s orders over three days in December 2020 and was fined $2,300 by the RCMP.

After he filed the challenge, Henry amended her order Feb. 10, to allow outdoor protests, with the expectation that organizers will follow public health guidelines.

Hinkson found that Beaudoin’s free speech and assembly rights were infringed, but he did not throw out the ticket because it has not been adjudicated.

The constitutional challenge was backed by Alberta’s Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which hired Jaffe.

On Feb. 17, Hinkson denied Henry’s bid for an injunction that would have allowed RCMP officers to arrest pastors and parishioners at the three churches. Hinkson cited the B.C. government’s failure to prosecute anti-pipeline protesters in early 2020, despite clear evidence they blocked port entrances in defiance of a court order.

Said Hinkson in the Feb. 17 verdict: “If it were granted and not adhered to, would the administration of justice yet again be brought into disrepute because the B.C. Prosecution Service considers that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute those who refused to adhere to the orders sought from this Court?”

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Bob Mackin The B.C. NDP government’s pandemic ban

Bob Mackin (updated March 20)

ICBC spoiled St. Patrick’s Day for millions of British Columbians waiting to put some green back in their pockets.

That is when the basic insurance monopoly revealed that its pandemic rebate cheques are delayed because the printing and mailing contractor suffered a cyberattack.

theBreaker.news asked ICBC for the name of the contractor, but it did not provide that information on March 18.

Gilmore Docu-Link was hired for a $500,000 ICBC job.

Likewise, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth did not tell reporters the name of the company, although he said it was based in Kanata, Ont.

Since then, theBreaker.news has confirmed that ICBC awarded a $500,000 printing and mailing services contract on Nov. 5, 2020 to Docu-Link International dba Gilmore Doculink in suburban Ottawa.

The request for proposals said ICBC needed a supplier to print and mail the one-time Enhanced Care cheques and letters to 2.9 million customers. That means the pandemic rebates will be tied to the ongoing $3.3 million ad campaign promoting ICBC’s switch to no-fault insurance.

Mike Farnworth announces $2,000 fines on April 19 (BC Gov)

Gilmore’s website says it is based on a 463,000 square foot campus that includes a software development and IT infrastructure support company.

On March 19, at 7:51 p.m. Pacific time, parent company R.E. Gilmore Investments finally responded by way of a statement on the Canada Newswire service, admitting it had suffered a ransomware attack on March 12 — five days before ICBC’s vague news release.

Gilmore says it turned off its services, retained a cyber incident response firm and reported to authorities, including the federal Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. Gilmore says the majority of its services “came online early this week” and its contractor said its network is free of malware.

“Interactions with the threat actors earlier in the week gave us strong indications that they do not have any data in their possession,” the statement says. “While encouraged, Gilmore will nonetheless have its expert conduct a thorough investigation including, to determine how the hackers compromised its network.”

theBreaker.news confirmed that ICBC was notified by Gilmore about the incident on March 13.

The NDP government has not explained why it hired an out-of-province company or why it is not relying on direct deposit. The government has its own in-house mail production company, BC Mail Plus. ICBC’s list of suppliers for the year that ended March 31, 2020 showed $2,375,969 spent with BC Mail Plus.

Sending paper cheques, covering letters and envelopes by Canada Post seems to contravene the ideals of the NDP’s CleanBC climate change plan.

The cyberattack is the latest in a string of incidents bedevilling the befuddled NDP government.

ICBC supplier Craftsman Collision, LifeLabs, B.C. Pension Corporation, TransLink and even the B.C. Legislature have all suffered embarrassing privacy breaches in the last two years.

During the 2017 provincial election, John Horgan’s NDP made a promise that it has not fulfilled to enact mandatory privacy breach notification.

We agree that mandatory breach notification would benefit the public by enhancing accountability and transparency, and helping to mitigate the serious fallouts of privacy breaches and as government we will take action,” the party told the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. “We will consider best practices both across Canada and internationally for breach notifications in both the public and private sectors to determine a made-in-B.C. policy.”

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Bob Mackin (updated March 20) ICBC spoiled St.

Bob Mackin

United States authorities revealed March 12 they issued warrants to arrest two Vancouver men on charges they enabled the import, export and distribution of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America.

But, as of the evening of March 14, one of the men claimed he only knew what had been reported in the media.

Jean-François Eap (Facebook)

Sky Global Inc. CEO Jean-François Eap claimed in a prepared statement that he is being vilified and that his company, which sells encrypted smartphones and network subscriptions, works “for the good of all.”

“I do not condone illegal activity in any way, shape or form, and nor does our company,” said Eap in a statement. “We stand for protection of privacy and freedom of speech in an era when these rights are under increasing attack. We do not condone illegal or unethical behaviour by our partners or customers. To brand anyone who values privacy and freedom of speech as a criminal is an outrage. In the coming days, my efforts will be focused on clearing my name of these allegations.”

Eap and alleged Sky Global distributor Thomas Herdman were charged in San Diego with racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. U.S. authorities say warrants have been issued for their arrest, alleging Sky Global products and services have been used in transnational organized crime by drug traffickers and money launderers.

If convicted, Eap and Herdman could face a maximum penalty of life in prison. On the morning of March 15, the SkyGlobal.com website was seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

“There are at least 70,000 Sky Global devices in use worldwide, including the United States,” said the indictment. “For more than a decade, Sky Global has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in profit by facilitating the criminal activity of transnational criminal organizations and protecting these organizations from law enforcement,” said the indictment.

U.S. authorities claim Vancouver-based Sky Global sells goods and services to transnational drug criminals. (Sky ECC)

“To stay outside the reach of law enforcement of the United States, Sky Global maintained its servers in Canada and France, and used proxy servers to further disguise the physical locations of its servers.”

Additionally, the U.S. alleges Sky Global front office staff have physical control of the enterprise’s network and can initiate new subscriptions, remove accounts, remotely delete (aka wipe) and reset devices.

The indictment said administrators, distributors, agents and clients remained anonymous to each other and did not request, track or record their clients’ real names and interacted only via username, email handles or nicknames. The indictment claims Eap used the alias 888888. The U.S. also claims Sky Global used digital currencies, including Bitcoin to facilitate transactions and created shell companies to hide proceeds from the sale of encryption services and devices.

Distributors and agents charged subscription fees of USD$1,000 to $2,000 per six months. The company allegedly operated under an “ask nothing/do nothing” approach to clients since shortly after the 2018 takedown of Phantom Secure, a Richmond company that sold encrypted mobile phones to organized criminals. Former RCMP national intelligence director Cameron Ortis was charged in 2019 with leaking sensitive information to Phantom Secure.

The indictment says this allowed Sky Global to have “plausible deniability from the activities of their clients that they knew or had reason to know participated in illegal activities, including international drug trafficking.”

Sky Global marketed encrypted iPhones.

The website for related company Sky ECC website advertises self-destructing messages, full-featured group chat, flash messages that disappear 30 seconds after reading and group broadcast messages. Users can also share images and notes and secure audio messages. Images, chats and notes could be protected in a “vault” and, in stealth mode, Sky ECC “becomes a fully functional calculator.”

In an August 2020 blog post, the company marketed its services to media companies.

Sky ECC can help journalists protect their sources and their work, especially when working on high-profile public interest stories. In addition to protecting sources, Sky ECC lets journalists stay in touch with editors and can be used to securely send notes, images, and audio back to the newsroom.”

On March 8, Sky Global denied reports that Belgian and/or Dutch authorities cracked or hacked its encrypted software.

“With the global rise of corporate espionage, cybercrime and malicious data breaches, privacy and protection of information is the foundation of the effective functioning for many industries including legal, public health, vaccine supply chains, manufacturers, celebrities and many more.” Eap said in a statement on March 8.

Eap is also a principal in mobile phone retail and wholesale, through Richmond-based Rogers-authorized reseller Inspire Wireless and Fido-authorized reseller Pepper Wireless. Neither of those companies is named in the U.S. indictment.

“We are aware of the allegations and are in the process of gathering information,” Zac Carreiro, a media relations and public affairs specialist at Rogers, told theBreaker.news.

Thomas Herdman

Eap’s $5.575 million-assessed mansion in West Vancouver was under renovation when theBreaker.news visited March 15. Workers and neighbours said they have rarely seen Eap.

Co-accused Herdman bills himself as a Japanese-fluent consultant and advisor on new technology and energy projects.

For a 2018 Vancouver panel discussion on the tax implications for cryptocurrency, Herdman was identified as “the international distributor for Sky Global Communications’ military-grade encrypted messaging.” At the time, he was adding a “secure crypto vault and payment remittance system” to Sky messaging. 

Eap launched a new hand-roll sushi restaurant on Robson Street called Hello Nori earlier this year. Sky Global’s other product is a digital wallet app for gift cards called Moola.

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Bob Mackin United States authorities revealed March 12

Bob Mackin

Did the Canadian government miss a timely chance to warn all Canadians in China — including the Two Michaels — about a threat to their safety?

That question is sparked by a key line in an RCMP officer’s notes found among the thousands of pages filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court extradition case of Meng Wanzhou.

Louis Huang protested outside Meng Wanzhou’s March 6 court date (Mackin)

The Huawei chief financial officer, who is wanted on fraud charges in New York, was arrested Dec. 1, 2018 at Vancouver International Airport. Meng’s detention did not become public until Dec. 5, 2018.

A day later, on Dec. 6, 2018, Const. Christine Larsen, of the RCMP’s E Division Foreign and Domestic Liaison Unit, wrote that she spoke to the Department of Justice, after it wanted more information about a Vancouver Police Department file.

“Complainant reported online threats that if Meng was not released, two Canadians would die,” Larsen wrote.

Larsen’s notes do not mention the source of the threat or the platform where it was made. She forwarded a summary to S. Sgt. Ben Chang of the Federal Serious Organized Crime Group.

Chinese authorities arrested ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor Dec. 10, 2018. The next day, a judge decided Meng would not go home to China, but instead live in one of her Vancouver houses under nightly curfew and electronic monitoring on $10 million bail.

On Jan. 3, 2019, a U.S. State Department travel advisory said “Exercise increased caution in China due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.”

It took another 11 days, until Jan. 14, 2019, for Canada to do the same.

What, if anything, did Canadian authorities do about the online threats?

They refuse to say.

“Department of Justice Canada counsel obtained and provided these materials to Ms. Meng as part of their disclosure obligations,” said spokesman Ian McLeod. “The Department of Justice Canada is not responsible for criminal investigations or prosecutions. Any questions concerning a Vancouver Police Department or RCMP investigation should be made directly to the VPD or RCMP.”

VPD referred theBreaker.news to RCMP E Division.

“As your questions pertain to a document that is part of the disclosure related to an ongoing court matter, we respectfully decline to provide further comment at this time,” said Sgt. Kris Clark of the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime agency.

Likewise, Christelle Chartrand of Global Affairs Canada said the Government of Canada “will not be commenting on issues before the court.”

Human rights activist: “more to it than just some online prank”

A Swedish human rights activist who was held in a secret Chinese jail five years ago said the Canadian government’s silence speaks volumes.

“There’s a lot of threats all the time, from Chinese netizens, from the-so called Wumao army [state-paid social media commenters], etcetera, so the fact that some type of death threat would be made, that in itself is not that special,” Peter Dahlin of Safeguard Defenders told theBreaker.news.

Swedish human rights activist Peter Dahlin in a 2016 forced, false confession (CCTV)

“The fact they are not denying it or saying that they ruled it out, that, of course, makes it a lot more interesting for sure.”

Dahlin ran China Action, a non-governmental organization that advocated for lawyers and journalists, when he was arrested in early 2016 on trumped-up charges of endangering national security. His release came after 23 days when he was forced to make a false confession on state TV.

“Obviously one cannot know for sure, but the refusal to deny [the threats] indicates there is something more to it than just some online prank. Because, if they had dismissed it, they would most likely just say so out loud.”

Dahlin was intrigued by the threat specifying two Canadians.

Not only were the Two Michaels, Kovrig and Spavor, kidnapped and subject to torture, but two other Canadians were sentenced to death for drug trafficking crimes in the wake of Meng’s arrest.

Robert Schellenberg’s 15-year sentence in November 2018 was upgraded to death in mid-January 2019 and Fan Wei was sentenced to death in April 2019.

Former federal deputy minister Margaret McCuaig-Johnston was in China in early December 2018 on a business trip. The retaliatory arrests of Kovrig and Spavor reminded her of a 2014 tit-for-tat case. After B.C.-based spy Su Bin’s arrest for stealing U.S. military secrets, Chinese authorities nabbed Kevin and Julia Garratt at their restaurant near the North Korea border and accused them of spying. They were deported two years later.

Margaret McCuaig-Johnston (Mackin)

McCuaig-Johnston was a member of the Canada-China Joint Committee on Science and Technology for seven years and is now senior fellow with the University of Ottawa and University of Alberta. She hopes answers come in court about Larsen’s report.

“I think it’s interesting that there were threats, we’d want to know where they came from in the first instance and who they were made to,” McCuaig-Johnston said. “Was it somebody who the person thought might be in a position to change the status of her arrest?”

While two Canadians did not die by China’s hand, McCuaig-Johnston did acknowledge that Kovrig and Spavor’s lives “have been taken away from them for more than two years.”

Kovrig and Spavor were charged in June 2020 for alleged spying. Chinese state media reported last week they would be tried “soon.”

“I was a friend of China for 40 years. I will never be a friend of China again,” she said. “I am just outraged this would happen to two innocent Canadians.”

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Bob Mackin Did the Canadian government miss a

For the week of March 14, 2021:

Last week, host Bob Mackin and one of the world’s top sports economists looked back at the last year, since the pandemic forced the biggest time out in sports history. 

This week, Prof. Victor Matheson, of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., is back, to look ahead.

Sports economist Victor Matheson in Vancouver, June 28, 2018 (Mackin)

When enough vaccines are in peoples’ arms and herd immunity is reached, will fans return to packed stadiums and arenas? What will that mean to the industry and to local economies?

Fans came back in droves after strikes and lockouts spoiled seasons. But this time is different because of a major demographic shift. Learn more on this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast.  

Plus the sounds from one year ago, when top officials in British Columbia shut down the province due to the pandemic. 

Also, headlines from the Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest.

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

Now on Spotify!

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
theBreaker.news Podcast: As Vaccines race Variants in the Pandemic Cup, will sports return to normal?
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For the week of March 14, 2021:

Bob Mackin

The new sewage plant under construction on the old BC Rail station site in North Vancouver will cost at least double the original estimate and take an extra three years to complete.

What the $700 million, er, $777.9 million North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant is supposed to look like when finished (Acciona)

Metro Vancouver finally revealed March 12 that the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant would cost $1.058 billion and be finished in 2024.

When the design-build-finance contractor Acciona was hired in April 2017, it was supposed to cost $525 million. The price tag was announced as $700 million when the sod was turned in 2018 and late 2020 set for completion. It escalated to $778 million before early 2019 when District of North Vancouver slapped a stop work order on the site for more than three months while Acciona bickered with engineering subcontractor Tetra Tech.

Another $29 million was added to the tab in mid-July 2019 when politicians used the slowdown to switch gears and upgrade to tertiary treatment.

Metro Vancouver chair Sav Dhaliwal told theBreaker.news that the schedule was “very optimistic” and blamed ground conditions, scope changes and the pandemic for delays. Consultants were hired, including Dana Hayden, the former chair of PartnershipsBC, to get a handle on the problems. 

April 10-issued stop work order for the $779M North Shore sewage plant project (Mackin)

There are no immediate plans to hit taxpayers with increases, Dhaliwal said. Staff are looking for savings elsewhere in capital and operations budgets and he hopes to make another proposal to the federal and B.C. governments. They already put up a combined $400 million. 

“They’ve got other priorities,” Dhaliwal told theBreaker.news. “There is no hope of us getting any more money, we have tried to engage them without any success.”

Metro Vancouver politicians got the bad news behind closed doors Feb. 26, but waited to release the update on March 12. 

Sara Bond lives near the construction site with her husband Steve. They have “front row seats” to dirt piles, digging, drilling, pile driving and trucks coming and going.

“We’ve been asking for this detailed plan for a year now. All we do know is that the District of North Vancouver has granted permission for construction [24 hours a day, six days a week] for the next year. I’m not sure how we’ll deal with this for another year, let alone another three,” Bond said.  

“The lack of transparency has really exasperated the issue for us. We’ve spoken to people at all levels of government and no one has had answers to give. It’s been troubling as a resident dealing with noise, but it’s also alarming as a taxpayer.”

Is the Spanish company that Metro Vancouver hired too busy?

North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant is in the preload stage (Acciona)

Acciona and South Korea’s Samsung are in the Peace River Hydro Partners team with the main civil works contract on the Site C dam, which has nearly doubled in price to $16 billion. The B.C. NDP government gave Acciona highway maintenance contracts in Okanagan-Shuswap and South Okanagan.

In 2019, Acciona and Aecon were hired to build the new $1.4 billion Pattullo Bridge. Last year, Acciona was chosen to build the $2.83 billion Broadway Subway, along with tunnelling partner Ghella.

“I agree there comes a time when any company, if it spreads too thin, it could be a risk,” Dhaliwal said. “But until there’s a clear sign of that, there’s not a whole lot I can comment.”

Acciona has replaced the corruption-plagued SNC-Lavalin as the major infrastructure contractor to the B.C. government. One of Acciona’s key consultants was Jim Burke, a former executive vice-president of SNC-Lavalin who died of cancer in 2020. 

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Bob Mackin The new sewage plant under construction

Bob Mackin

Back in March 2012, NDP Health Minister Adrian Dix was the biggest fan of Telus.

That was when he was NDP leader and BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark had just cancelled a $20 million contract for Telus to sponsor the renovated B.C. Place Stadium.

NDP Health Minister Adrian Dix and Telus CEO Darren Entwistle in 2012 (Mackin)

On March 9, Dix was pointing his finger angrily at the telecom, after one of the most-embarrassing days under Premier John Horgan’s administration.

Only 369 senior citizens in Vancouver Coastal Health were able to book coronavirus vaccination appointments on the first day phone lines were open. VCH did not have online booking, like Fraser Health does, so it was solely reliant on the Telus call centre.

VCH also happens to be the regional board chaired by Penny Ballem, the NDP appointee who doubles as B.C.’s coronavirus vaccine czar.

“Based on the contract they had signed with us and the promises they repeatedly made about being prepared, that contractor, the provider, Telus, failed us yesterday,” Dix said in Question Period on March 9. “For that failure, a lot of people wasted time and I think lost some confidence in the system that we’ll have to work hard to rebuild.”

Telus CEO Darren Entwistle issued a written statement, to say he was “incredibly sorry.”

We can and will do better, and we are working diligently to make this right,” Entwistle said. “Our team has been working around the clock to scale capacity and respond to the unprecedented demand.”

Entwistle said the company promised 156 operators at all times and would have a total 550 working on March 9.

“With 20,000 team members and retirees living and working in British Columbia, no organization is more committed to this province than Telus, and we will ensure that all eligible British Columbians can book their vaccine in the timeframe set out by the province,“ Entwistle said.

Former Vancouver city councillor Jonathan Baker (Zoom/Mackin)

Telus, meanwhile, suffered two major brand blows at a crucial time. The company’s 10-year omnibus contract with the government, Crown corporations and health authorities expires this year. While its competitors Rogers and Bell invested heavily in sports and media, Telus opted to focus on healthcare.

Sunshine Coast resident Jonathan Baker, a lawyer and Vancouver city councillor from 1986 to 1990, said he spent the first two days of the hotline rollout dialling every five minutes or so. At 83, he was eligible to call because of an exception VCH made for people aged 80 and up on the Sunshine Coast.

“You can’t get on. I’m not sure what they thought was going to happen,” Baker said in the morning on March 9.

“You begin to lose confidence that the thing is under control. People are issuing press releases that everything’s going to get better, but I don’t know anybody who’s had shots yet.”

Finally, a relieved Baker got through at 5:30 p.m. and booked a reservation for March 17.

“They were very nice and efficient when I got the lady, they ask your health number and tell you where you’re going to go,” Baker said.

“It really is potentially a matter of life and death, so you worry about it. There was an awful lot of people who were concerned.”

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Bob Mackin Back in March 2012, NDP

Bob Mackin

One of two men charged with assaulting a teenager outside a Kitsilano pizzeria said he regrets what happened.

(CTV News Vancouver)

A man was caught on video inside Pizza Pizza on Feb. 20 wearing a mask under his chin, in defiance of the province’s mask mandate, and yelling about the coronavirus pandemic being a “joke.”

The man also claimed he was worth $50 million and a Pizza Pizza employee worth nothing.

Later in the video, two men were seen pushing and shoving a teenage male on the sidewalk of the strip mall.

James Henry Davidson and Brenton Thomas Woyat were arrested by Vancouver Police and charged with assault. Davidson appeared March 1 at Vancouver Provincial Court and his next date is April 9. Woyat’s first appearance is set for March 17.

Reached by phone March 9, Davidson told theBreaker.news that his lawyer advised him not to discuss the incident.

Canaccord Genuity’s Brent Woyat (LinkedIn)

“All I can say we deeply regret the trouble that was caused. That’s all I can say,” Davidson said.

Pressed for more details, he said: “it’s drunk and disorderly; basically there’s no mask connotations, we have no feelings about that. That’s all it’s about.”

Davidson declined to say whether he would plead guilty, but admitted he was apologetic. “Of course, that’ll come out later.”

Woyat was suspended from his job as an investment advisor at Canaccord Genuity in Vancouver. He has shut down his business website and LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.

“We are incredibly disappointed to learn of a shameful incident of inexcusable behaviour involving one of our employees,” said a statement from the company to CTV News Vancouver reporter Allison Hurst. 

“We take these matters very seriously. Immediately upon becoming aware of the incident, the employee was suspended without pay while we launch a thorough investigation of this matter. Canaccord Genuity rejects the disgraceful behaviours, opinions and actions of the individuals involved. They are in no way representative of our firm’s values.” 

Woyat did not respond to theBreaker.news request for comment.

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Bob Mackin One of two men charged