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Bob Mackin

A judge will announce July 8 whether the former Clerk of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly will be sent to jail, serve house arrest or be conditionally discharged with community service work.

Portrait of Craig James outside the Clerk’s Office at the Parliament Buildings (Mackin)

Craig James stood trial on three charges of breach of trust by a public official and two charges of fraud over $5,000 before Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes from Jan. 24 to March 3 in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. On May 19, Holmes found James guilty of fraud and breach of trust, but is sentencing him on the latter for buying almost $1,900 in custom shirts and a suit for personal use. The fraud conviction was stayed because Canadian law says a person cannot be convicted more than once on the same facts from the same criminal act. 

On July 4, Holmes heard from the two Special Prosecutors who want James to be jailed for around a year or sentenced to a combination of house arrest and curfew. James’s defence lawyer wants a conditional discharge, meaning no criminal record after a period of time, and 150 hours of community service work. 

Both sides agreed he should repay the $1,886.72 to the Legislature. 

Special Prosecutor Brock Martland said that James, who was the equivalent of the chief executive officer of the seat of government from 2011 to 2018, harmed both the institution and the public. He said James was “the person to whom one could reasonably be expected that everyone in the building looks up to for moral leadership and ethical guidance.”

Instead, James enriched himself and helped increase public cynicism in such a way that the average man on the street could say “Well, they’re all crooked, they’re all stealing. They’re all on the take.”

Martland said the Crown wants a jail sentence in the range of a year, based on legal precedents. If Holmes opts for a conditional sentence, he said it should be two-thirds house arrest and one-third curfew. Such a sentence would help deter those officials who might misconduct themselves. Martland called a conditional discharge contrary to public interest because James took advantage of his position of significant trust for personal gain.

“The offence here is a breach of trust by the most senior public official, in an important institution to parliamentary democracy,” Martland said. “And while it’s fair to say that there’s not a massive dollar figure involved in the conduct underlying the conviction, we say that the sentencing requires a clear and unequivocal denunciation.”

Brock Martland (vancrimlaw.com)

Martland conceded the 71-year-old had no prior criminal record and shows little or no risk to reoffend, but he had not shown any remorse. James had pleaded not guilty to all charges and did not testify in his defence at the trial.

James’s lawyer Gavin Cameron said his client’s reputation had been “eviscerated” when he was suddenly suspended from his $347,090-a-year job. He told Holmes that senior courts have found a judge must find alternatives to incarceration for someone guilty of their first offence. Jail, he said, would be “unduly punitive to Mr. James.”

“He is imperfect, he concedes that, he made decisions that he wishes he could change,” Cameron said.

Further, Cameron said James had already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion after being led away from the Parliament Buildings in front of TV cameras in 2018. 

“This isn’t a plea for sympathy for Mr. James. I’m not saying feel sorry for Mr. James, because the newspapers were mean to him for four years. But I am saying that denunciation and specific and general deterrence have all been accomplished in spades. What happened outside of this courtroom, and continues to happen outside of this courtroom, is a form of punishment, and a form of deterrence.”

Cameron said a week after James had been suspended from the Legislature, he was prescribed anti-anxiety medication by Dr. Keith McQueen of Victoria, who provided a sworn statement to the court. Cameron also submitted character reference letters from two of James’s Saanich neighbours and four recognizable names: ex-B.C. Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell, ex-Attorney General Geoff Plant, former Senate Speaker Gary O’Brien and former B.C. Speaker John Reynolds.

Reynolds was to be a Crown witness at the trial, but was excused because of his age and health. He is now a co-chair of Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown’s bid for the Conservative party leadership. Plant and James met 14 times in 2017 and 2018 and Plant billed the Legislature $156,000 for legal services. 

In the gallery was James’s daughter and third wife (he broke up with his first wife who came from Saskatchewan and his second wife died of breast cancer in 2000). Court also heard that his stepson from the first marriage died of suicide in 2013. 

Holmes asked both sides about the $258,000 retirement allowance that James received in 2012. She had ruled James did not obtain the money criminally, but she did decide that he may not have been entitled to the sum. 

“Our position was and would be that the money should not have gone to the accused, shouldn’t really be seen as compensation properly obtained, it was in fact retained,” Martland said. “I haven’t heard of repayment.”

Gavin Cameron (Fasken)

On the retirement allowance, Cameron said it would be an error to take it into account during sentencing because he was not convicted on that account. Holmes, however, said there was no doubt that James took the allowance. Holmes also asked Cameron whether James was receiving a pension, to which Cameron paused and said “he had to be very careful with that.”

“I can tell you Mr. James is not and has not been receiving any employment income, period and full stop,” Cameron said. “I can say that.“

James, a native of Moose Jaw, Sask., came to B.C. in 1987 after working nine years at the Saskatchewan Parliament. The BC Liberal caucus under then-Premier Christy Clark appointed him clerk in June 2011 rather than allow an all-party committee to decide the appointment. James and Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz were suddenly suspended in November 2018 after then-Speaker Darryl Plecas and chief of staff Alan Mullen called in the RCMP to investigate corruption.

The top two permanent officers of the Legislature both claimed they did no wrong and demanded their jobs back, but retired in disgrace in 2019 without reimbursing taxpayers. In May of that year, James was found to have committed four types of misconduct. Lenz quit five months later to avoid discipline under the Police Act for breaching his oath. Only James was charged under the Criminal Code in late 2020.

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Bob Mackin A judge will announce July 8

For the week of July 3, 2022

It’s the special 2022 mid-year edition of theBreaker.news Podcast and host Bob Mackin welcomes back crystal ball-gazing guests Mario Canseco and Andy Yan. 

Canseco, the president of ResearchCo, and Yan, the director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, offered their fearless predictions for the year ahead on the first edition of 2022. 

On this edition, Mackin checks how some of their predictions went and asks Canseco and Yan to look ahead to the next six months of 2022.

Also, headlines from the Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest. 

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: Mario Canseco and Andy Yan look back and look ahead at 2022 predictions
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For the week of July 3, 2022 It’s

Bob Mackin

At the end of May, Canadian Security Intelligence Service agents met with Mayor Kennedy Stewart and warned him that the People’s Republic of China government could directly or indirectly interfere with the 2022 civic election. 

How did we get here? 

2010

June 22

Former CSIS director Richard Fadden (Mackin)

CSIS director Richard Fadden tells CBC: “There are several municipal politicians in British Columbia and in at least two provinces there are ministers of the Crown who we think are under at least the general influence of a foreign government.”

He highlighted China’s foreign influence tactics in a recent speech. 

Three days later, a House of Commons committee demands Fadden resign for tarnishing the reputation of politicians and Chinese-Canadians.

Sept. 6

Mayor Gregor Robertson’s starts his first trade mission to China in Beijing. During 11 days, visits Tianjin, sister city Guangzhou, the 2010 Expo in Shanghai and poses with a statue of distant relative Dr. Norman Bethune in Shijiazhuang. He tells a reporter: ”You can question how worthwhile democracy is in a lot of countries right now.”

2011

March 21

Consul General Liang Shugen urges Robertson to boycott the Shen Yun show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, calling it full of Falun Gong “cult messages and political attacks on the Chinese government.” The program contains a welcome message by Robertson, but he does not attend due to a family vacation. 

2012

Late October

Robertson opens an account on China’s Sina Weibo social media service, amassing more than 70,000 fans in a week. It took Robertson four years to attract 28,000 Twitter followers.

2013

Wanting Qu (left) and Gregor Robertson

November 4

Robertson begins his second trade mission to China. Entourage includes Tourism Vancouver singing ambassador Wanting Qu.

2014

Nov. 15

Robertson elected to a third term as mayor. In early 2015, he reveals he is dating Qu.

Dec. 4

B.C. Supreme Court upholds civic bylaw regulating protest structures as a reasonable limit on freedom of expression. Falun Gong supporters who began occupying a spot in 2001 outside the Chinese consulate mansion must pack up their hut and go.

2015

April 24

News that Qu’s mother Qu Zhang Mingjie, a Harbin City government development official, is arrested for corruption over the sale of government land. In 2021, she’ll be sentenced to life in jail.

2016

Sept. 30

Acting Mayor Kerry Jang raises China’s flag at a Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations-organized ceremony outside city hall to mark 67 years of Chinese Communist Party rule. Consul General Liu Fei is among the dignitaries.

Robertson and the Mayor of Shanghai, Ying Yong (PRC)

2017

Sept. 5-9

Robertson’s last trade mission China, which was not publicized prior to his departure. Includes meetings with the Mayor of Shanghai and officials of e-commerce giant JD.com and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

2018

April 22

Robertson makes official civic apology to the Chinese community for discriminatory laws between 1886 and 1949. Acting Consul General Kong Weiwei attends ceremony.

May 

Robertson speaks at the opening of the World Guangdong Community Federation Conference in Vancouver.

Oct. 1

Kennedy Stewart, the labour-endorsed, NDP MP for Burnaby South, brings his mayoralty campaign to the Chinese Benevolent Association banquet in Chinatown marking 69 years of CCP rule.

Kennedy Stewart at 2018’s Chinatown celebration of 69 years of CCP rule. (Stewart/Twitter)

Oct. 20

Stewart narrowly beats the NPA’s Ken Sim for the mayoralty. Meanwhile, RCMP investigates a $20 transportation allowance offered on WeChat by the pro-CCP Canada Wenzhou Friendship Society after it endorses several candidates in Richmond, Burnaby and Vancouver — including members of Vancouver 1st and Coalition Vancouver. No charges are recommended. 

Dec. 9

During a banquet in Chinatown attended by Stewart and defence minister Harjit Sajjan, Consul General Tong Xiaoling slams Canada for arresting Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on behalf of the U.S. Stewart calls Tong’s speech awkward but meets her one-on-one Dec. 12. Stewart vowed to “continue to engage” an important trading partner. 

2019

Feb. 10

Stewart joins Tong and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Chinese Benevolent Association’s Year of the Pig Lunar New Year banquet in Chinatown.

April 9

National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians report warns: “China is known globally for its efforts to influence Chinese communities and the politics of other countries. The Chinese government has a number of official organizations that try to influence Chinese communities and politicians to adopt pro-China positions, most prominently the United Front Work Department.”

Aug. 17-18

Pro-China group surrounded Tenth Church in Vancouver on Aug. 18 while worshippers prayed for Hong Kong (Mackin)

Hong Kong pro-democracy rallies are overshadowed by Chinese nationalist counter protesters waving flags and singing China’s anthem, some of them in supercars. The Canada Vancouver Shanxi Natives Society later takes responsibility. 

Sept. 25

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West leads a boycott of the Chinese consulate-sponsored cocktail party at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention. Stewart does not attend, but Green Coun. Pete Fry does.

Oct. 1: 

NPA Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung and BC Liberal MLA Michael Lee are the only politicians at a Vancouver Art Gallery north plaza event marking China’s 70th anniversary.

2020

June 29

Stewart has a phone call with Ambassador Cong Peiwu. The embassy website says: “Stewart expressed gratitude to China for its support and assistance for Canada, especially the City of Vancouver, in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that Vancouver attaches importance to developing its relationship with China and is committed to stepping up co-operation across the board with China.”

Stewart spokesman Alvin Singh: “The Ambassador’s statement is his own and we can’t comment on it.”

Kennedy Stewart and the Taiwan government’s B.C. envoy, Angel Liu, discuss twinning Kaohsiung and Vancouver. (TECO/Twitter)

2021

Feb. 22

the House of Commons votes unanimously to condemn China’s genocide of Uyghur Muslims and urges the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of Bejing. Canada sanctions Chinese officials, then China retaliates by sanctioning Stewart friend and Conservative MP Michael Chong. Stewart says “that’s not diplomacy, that’s bullying.” In April, he says he will not meet with Chinese government officials, after having at least a dozen meetings since becoming mayor in 2018.

Sept. 20

Liberals remain the minority government after the federal election. But Richmond Conservative MPs Kenny Chiu and Alice Wong are defeated by Liberal rookies. People involved in a disinformation campaign targeting Chiu on WeChat call it a victory. 

Oct. 5: 

Stewart does not attend a Jack Poole Plaza event promoting the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. But Sim does. 

Nov. 9

Tong tells local Chinese language media that China firmly opposes city hall considering Kaohsiung, Taiwan as a friendship city.

2022

Jan. 19

In a Federal Court of Canada immigration case, a judge says the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office is “engaged in covert action and intelligence gathering against the overseas Chinese communities and other minorities around the world.”

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie (second from right) with Tong Xiaoling (second from left) on June 23, 2022 (PRC MFA)

Jan. 30

Stewart marks Lunar New Year Year of the Tiger on Granville Island at the opening of the Taiwan government-sponsored LunarFest with Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office director Angel Liu. Stewart says: “All my love to the Taiwanese-Canadian community that does so much to enhance our country, thank-you.”

May 30

CSIS meets with Stewart. 

June 23

Tong headlines a Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office banquet at the Hotel Vancouver to mark the upcoming 25th anniversary of China’s takeover of Hong Kong. Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon attend, but Stewart does not. His staff tell a reporter he continues to avoid meetings with Chinese government officials.

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Bob Mackin At the end of May, Canadian

Bob Mackin

One of the most-visible Save Old Growth protesters will have no criminal record if he refrains from blocking vehicles and pedestrians for the next two years. 

Ian Wiltow Schortinghuis, 30, pleaded guilty on June 29 to three counts of mischief and two counts of breach of undertaking for his role in protest roadblocks in Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond.

Ian Schortinghuis arrested April 4 on the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Bridgel (Save Old Growth/Twitter)

Schortinghuis was arrested June 13 at the Massey Tunnel and jailed until his June 30 sentencing. In Vancouver Provincial Court, Judge Laura Bakan sentenced Schortinghuis to time served, 24 months probation and 125 hours of community service work. She opted for the conditional discharge, because a criminal record would harm Schortinghuis’s ability to further his career or travel outside Canada.

“It puts the onus on you to make sure that you do not reoffend,” Bakan told Schortinghuis, who appeared via video from North Fraser Pretrial Centre. “If you reoffend you will likely lose the benefit of a conditional discharge and face a sentence for any new charges.

Bakan waived the $100 per offence victim surcharge. She said Schortinghuis was a first time offender with mental issues, including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who quickly pleaded guilty to all charges and expressed genuine remorse. 

Bakan said Schortinghuis had previously volunteered for Hollyhock and Meals on Wheels and has been accepted into an auto repair program at Vancouver Community College. He had lost his job as a bike courier during the pandemic and felt a sense of belonging with Save Old Growth.

“He fits the profile of some persons that I find, unfortunately, are used by organizations as foot soldiers while those behind organizing stay safe and sound,” Bakan said. 

Schortinghuis was part of a group that blocked Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Bridge traffic on April 4, Grandview Highway and Boundary Road on April 27 and the Massey Tunnel on June 13. He was released after each of the first two incidents when he promised to not block traffic or pedestrians. He refused to surrender outside the Massey Tunnel, prompting police to use a truck to pluck him from a ladder. 

Just before Schortinghuis pleaded guilty on June 29, Save Old Growth announced it was ending major traffic disruptions and would turn to other tactics, including public outreach and events. 

Bakan called Schortinghuis’s dangerous actions harmful to the health and wellbeing of both the community and the environment. While she doesn’t think many people deny climate change in Canada, “it is not the message of the protesters, it is the way they go about it.”

Ian Schortinghuis on June 13 at the Massey Tunnel (Save Old Growth/Twitter)

“While there was no individual complainant in this case, hundreds of persons driving during rush hour in the Lower Mainland area were blocked from reaching work, medical appointments, dropping children at school and daycare,” Bakan said. “Numerous people were stuck in the tunnel or on a bridge when there is no means of turning around. These effects of being stuck in this manner pose a risk of trauma, especially to persons with anxiety, children, and those who are missing crucial medical appointments, including persons from Vancouver Island who may be seeing medical specialists in the Lower Mainland.”

Bakan said the blockades caused more carbon emissions in the atmosphere due to vehicles idling or diverting to longer routes and deprived vulnerable Downtown Eastsiders suffering in the opioid overdose public health emergency.

“Anyone can see, walking outside this courthouse, a pandemic of its own. Sirens go off every five minutes, because people require resuscitation, hospitalization,” she said. “When paramedics are diverted by having to be at protests, those people are at risk and they’re very marginalized.”

Bakan cited various court precedents about the limits of freedom of expression and said that when one group breaks the law, another group that’s affected breaks the law. “That’s how anarchy starts and society breaks down.” 

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Bob Mackin One of the most-visible Save Old

Bob Mackin

The Clerk of the B.C. Legislative Assembly introduced the new executive financial officer to the all-party oversight committee on June 29, but did not say a word about the previous one.

B.C. Legislature beancounter Hillary Woodward (BC Leg)

Kate Ryan-Lloyd suddenly met with Hilary Woodward on June 22, before Woodward was escorted from the Parliament Buildings. Ryan-Lloyd refused to comment to a reporter, calling Woodward’s departure a private personnel matter. 

The chartered accountant had more than 25 years experience in the B.C. public sector, including work as chief financial officer for the Ministry of Health. Her $209,748 pay in the 2020-2021 fiscal year was second only to Ryan-Lloyd’s $281,112. Woodward was the last witness at the fraud and breach of trust trial of Ryan-Lloyd’s mentor Craig James. Ex-clerk James faces a July 4 sentencing hearing after he was found guilty of spending almost $1,900 of taxpayers’ money on a custom suit and shirts for personal use.

At the Legislative Assembly Management Committee’s first meeting since March 30, Ryan-Lloyd said interim financial officer Randall Smith began June 23. Smith is the retired former chief financial officer of the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission. Ryan-Lloyd said his job includes implementing the assembly’s new, three-year strategic plan passed June 29.

Clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd (Association of Former MLAs of B.C./John Yanyshyn)

“As members will know, the assembly administration has had challenges with organizational underspending of our approved operating and capital budget in recent years, and Randy will be conducting a current state assessment of our forecasting practices mid cycle allocations, budget development process and ongoing financial reporting,” Ryan-Lloyd said.

The meeting heard the Legislative Assembly finished the last fiscal year $3.7 million below its $86 million budget due to reduced travel during the pandemic, staff vacancies and savings on operational expenses. 

Ryan-Lloyd said the strategic plan through 2024-2025 also contemplates what she called a “renewal” of the Legislative Assembly Protective Services (LAPS), the police department for the Parliament Buildings. 

“We’ve already embarked on some initial work to establish [an MLA] safety and security program,” she said. “But we also recognize that much more can be done to strengthen the security environment for members, considering the types of challenges that have arisen over the course of the last year, including the need for additional advice and support to constituency offices.” 

The move comes two-and-a-half years after Alan Mullen, who was chief of staff to then-Speaker Darryl Plecas, submitted a report to LAMC that recommended saving $1 million by transforming LAPS into a security department and downgrading the sergeant-at-arms to a ceremonial role, with security and facilities maintenance overseen by others. LAMC commissioned former Vancouver Police Deputy Chief Doug LePard to study Mullen’s recommendations, but that report has not been made public.

Portrait of Craig James outside the Clerk’s Office at the Parliament Buildings (Mackin)

The Legislative Assembly is not covered by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. A recent report by an all-party committee struck to review the law once every six years recommended that the law be extended to include the Legislature’s operations. 

Just before the meeting went behind closed doors, Ryan-Lloyd said there had been three instances of policy non-compliance during the last quarter of the fiscal year. Two breaches were related to capital project review and approvals and the other related to procurement and contract management. Ryan-Lloyd did not disclose any details of the when, what or who of the violations. 

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Bob Mackin The Clerk of the B.C. Legislative

Bob Mackin

Staff of the NDP cabinet minister who is the subject of a BC Liberal conflict of interest complaint say she did not participate in the decision to grant $15 million to the purchaser of her husband’s investment property.

NDP Minister Josie Osborne (BC Gov/Flickr)

In one of her first acts as Minister of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship, Josie Osborne announced the sum on April 21 for Watersheds BC through the MakeWay Foundation for indigenous-led or co-led watershed restoration projects. 

On Sept. 17 of last year, Osborne’s husband George Patterson sold the Tofino Botanical Gardens for $2.3 million to MakeWay. The 12.128 acre waterfront property on Pacific Rim Highway, built in 2006, includes a dormitory and cafe, and had been listed for sale at $3.75 million in August 2020. Osborne’s public disclosure statement said Patterson receives consulting/contracting income from MakeWay.

Neither Osborne nor MakeWay CEO Joanna Kerr responded for comment. But a statement from the Ministry said the grant decision was made when the program fell under the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. After becoming Minister for Land Water and Resource Stewardship, it said, “Osborne set up a screen with the Deputy Minister for Land, Water and Resource Stewardship to recuse herself from any decision-making involving MakeWay.”

Tofino Botanical Gardens (Clayoquot Campus)

“This is in line with public service processes for preventing and managing any potential or perceived conflicts of interest.”

The ministry called the BC Liberal complaint inaccurate and said Osborne has contacted the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, Victoria Gray, “to ensure that she has all the information necessary to resolve this matter quickly.”

The gardens’ company, Coastwise Holdings Corp., is registered to the address of Vancouver law firm Miller Titerle and Co. and the two directors are MakeWay director of finance Danae MacLean and MakeWay shared platform director Elizabeth Howells. The gardens have been rebranded as the Clayoquot Campus. 

MakeWay is formerly known as Tides Canada, the environmental charity that has supported causes opposing the oil and gas industry.

According to Osborne’s public disclosure summary, Patterson may have used some of the proceeds of the land sale to buy shares in pipeline companies Fortis and TC Energy, parent of Coastal GasLink. On Sept. 27, 2021, he also bought shares in Loblaw, BCE and Algonquin Power. The form is a summary of what is provided to the conflict of interest commissioner, but does not list quantities or dollar amounts.

Josie Osborne (left) and George Patterson in 2011 (Ofelia Svart/Ecotrust)

Marine biologist Osborne is the former Tofino mayor who was elected the Mid-Island Pacific Rim MLA in 2020. She became the Minister of Municipal Affairs and, earlier this year, was shuffled to the ministry sometimes referred to as “Land WARS.” 

The complaint about Osborne would be the first B.C. conflict of interest case involving gardens in more than 30 years. Social Credit Premier Bill Vander Zalm was forced to resign after Conflict of Interest Commissioner Ted Hughes found Vander Zalm used his office in an attempt to sell Richmond’s Fantasy Gardens to Taiwanese billionaire Tan Yu. 

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Bob Mackin Staff of the NDP cabinet minister

Bob Mackin 

Richmond Provincial Court heard that a Yukon Territory government employee was plied with seafood, clothing and trips to a casino as part of an immigration fraud scheme.

Federal prosecutor Gerry Sair (LinkedIn)

Richmond residents Tzu Chun Joyce Chang, Qiong Joan Gu, Shouzhi Stanley Guo and Aillison Shaunt Liu went on trial June 29 for multiple charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Criminal Code related to a five-year investigation code named Project Husky, after the famed Yukon sled dog breed. 

Canada Border Services Agency announced the charges in November 2020. The four are accused of running a scam, which involved 67 permanent residency applicants and fake government documents, from July 2013 to September 2016.

In his opening statements, federal prosecutor Gerry Sair said evidence will include Gmail messages between Gu, Liu and Ian David Young of Whitehorse that show Young received seafood deliveries, a size 44 blazer and vacations at River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond.

Ex-Great Canadian Gaming VP Walter Soo with Mike Tyson

“There’s also interchanges between Ms. Liu and [River Rock casino VIP manager Walter] Soo about facilitating Mr. Young’s visit, which the Crown says expect the evidence to show he didn’t pay for,” Sair said.

Sair said the court will hear Young, who died in November 2020, was the person responsible for the Yukon Business Nominee Program up to April 1, 2014. The program required foreign investors to pump $150,000 into a new or existing business, have a net worth of $400,000 and meet English or French proficiency standards. 

“When that was done, the Yukon government would nominate these individuals and their family members, if they had a family, for Canadian permanent residency, and the proof of that would be the certificate of nomination,” Sair said. 

With that certificate, one could apply to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Case Processing Centre in Sydney, N.S. for permanent residency.

Sair said he will introduce email that shows Young offered Gu the opportunity to buy certificates for $7,500 each.

Yukon Territory flag (Yukon.ca)

Sair said the court will hear evidence that Chang controlled several companies involved in the scheme and was the only signing authority for the bank accounts. Banking records, he said, will show the defendants received more than $7.7 million in transfers, plus another $4.7 million was recorded on scoresheets. 

“So whether it’s almost $8 million or over $12 million, these clients invested a large amount of that money, either within a year of July of 2015, which I haven’t talked about, or just a few months in advance.”

The trial is scheduled through July 15.

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Bob Mackin  Richmond Provincial Court heard that a

Bob Mackin

A look at John Horgan’s rise to power, tumultuous time as B.C.’s 36th premier and beginning of the end for his political career.

2013

Sept. 18

Adrian Dix resigns as NDP leader, five months after losing the provincial election he was expected to win.

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

2014

March 17 

Thrice-elected Langford-Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan announces campaign for NDP leadership. 

April 8

Mike Farnworth, Horgan’s only opponent, withdraws. Horgan becomes leader by default.

2017

May 9

For the first time since 1952, a minority government in B.C. Christy Clark’s BC Liberals stay in power with 43 seats. Horgan’s NDP wins 41 seats, including a majority of Surrey ridings on a promise to end Port Mann Bridge tolls. Andrew Weaver’s Greens hold the three-seat balance of power. 

May 28

Horgan and Weaver spotted at the Canada Sevens women’s rugby sevens in Langford. A day later, they confirm speculation that the Greens will support the NDP’s bid to form a new government under a confidence and supply agreement. 

June 29 

NDP and Greens defeat the BC Liberals 44-42 in a confidence vote, 44-42. Horgan visits Government House where Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon asks him to form a new government. 

July 18

Horgan, the lacrosse-loving Langfordian with an Irish temper, is sworn in, returning B.C. to NDP rule after 16 years under the BC Liberals.

July 28

Clark resigns BC Liberal leadership after Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas challenges her to quit. 

Sept. 8 

Plecas becomes speaker. NDP and Greens have a two-seat cushion. 

Sept. 28

NDP introduces bill to ban corporate and union political donations and cap personal donations at $1,200. It also leads to subsidies for parties. 

John Horgan at the B.C. NDP’s April 23 Better BC rally. (NDP)

Oct. 4 

NDP tables bill to move the fixed 2021 election date from May to October. 

Dec. 11

In opposition, Horgan promised to stop the Site C dam. As premier, he orders the megaproject to proceed. Costs rise from $8.8 billion to $10.7 billion.

2018

May 16

BC Liberals say they caught several members of Horgan’s office mass-deleting email.

Nov. 20

BC Liberal-appointed Clerk Craig James and Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz suspended after Plecas calls in the RCMP to investigate corruption. 

2019

May 15

Horgan announces the Cullen Commission public inquiry into money laundering. 

Oct. 24

Bill 41, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act tabled. B.C. is the first province to adopt the United Nations declaration. 

2020

Feb. 11

Amid nationwide protests against the Coastal GasLink pipeline, protesters surround the Parliament Buildings on Throne Speech Day. A week later, police arrest three protesters for trespassing at Horgan’s house. 

Feb. 17

NDP tables third balanced budget in a row, projecting $59 billion spending. 

March 5

Finance Minister and Deputy Premier Carole James announces she won’t run again, due to Parkinson’s disease. 

March 6

With COVID-19 spreading around the world, Horgan announces B.C.’s pandemic response plan in Vancouver, upstairs from a dental conference that would become a superspreader.

March 17

COVID-19 public health emergency declared in B.C. Horgan says it’ll be the worst St. Patrick’s Day for restaurants and bars. A state of emergency is called the next day.

David Eby (left), John Horgan and Carole James, in Victoria (Mackin)

March 23

Horgan is among 12 MLAs at an extraordinary sitting to approve a $5 billion emergency spending package. He rises and offers condolences to families of 13 British Columbians dead so far from COVID-19. “At this unique time, partisanship has left the building. People are here to work together with one singular focus. That’s the health and well-being of all British Columbians.”

June-July

NDP runs a campaign training seminar, hires campaign workers, holds telephone town halls in swing ridings. Fall election talk accelerates.

Sept. 21

Ending weeks of speculation, Horgan visits Lt. Gov. Janet Austin before standing in a Langford cul-de-sac to announce an election for Oct. 24. It’s a year before the scheduled October 2021 election and marks the end of the confidence and supply agreement with the Greens. That agreement said Horgan would not call an early election. 

Oct. 24

Horgan wins a 57-seat majority, a record for the B.C. NDP and the only NDP premier in B.C. to win re-election. 

2021

Feb. 26

After pondering again whether to cancel Site C, Horgan carries on. But the cost is now $16 billion. 

April 20

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget forecasts a record $9.7 billion deficit and $102.8 billion debt. It includes a $3.3 million-a-year increase to Horgan’s office budget. 

June 9

Amid protests in Horgan’s riding, NDP agrees with three First Nations to defer logging old growth trees in Fairy Creek for two years. 

June 25-July 1

Heat dome brings record temperatures to B.C., kills hundreds of people and a wildfire destroys Lytton. On June 29, Horgan admits his government was preoccupied with ending pandemic restrictions, but is criticized for saying “fatalities are part of life.”

Premier John Horgan (BC Legislature)

July 21

Horgan finally calls a B.C.-wide state of emergency for wildfires, after being criticized for taking a vacation to Nova Scotia.

Oct. 18

After becoming premier on a promise to improve the province’s freedom of information laws, Horgan’s 2021 NDP tables Bill 22 to weaken the 1993 NDP-introduced law. It includes imposition of application fees. 

Oct. 28

Horgan announces he will undergo surgery for throat cancer, Farnworth becomes deputy premier. 

Nov. 17

State of emergency declared after record rains and floods cause billions of dollars of damage to highways and farmland. NDP imposes temporary gas rations.

2022

Feb. 1

Horgan back to the Legislature after cancer treatments. 

Feb. 5

BC Liberals choose Kevin Falcon as leader. He wins Vancouver-Quilchena by-election on April 29. 

March 25

The month after Russia’s Ukraine invasion, Horgan announces ICBC policyholders will receive $110 payments to cushion the blow from high gas prices.

April 4

Premier’s office announces Horgan tests positive for COVID-19

April 25 

During a Question Period debate over the shortage of family doctors, Horgan ends his testy response to the BC Liberals by exclaiming: “Ah, fuck.” 

May 12

Horgan tours Site C for the first time.

May 13

Horgan announces the $789 million Royal B.C. Museum replacement project. He later admits it “landed with a thud.”

June 21

A B.C. Supreme Court judge says Horgan didn’t break the law with the 2020 election. Despite the fixed election date clause, the lieutenant governor has the power to dissolve the legislature when he or she “sees fit.”

June 22

On the same day Statistics Canada says B.C.’s 8.1% inflation rate leads the country, Horgan stops the Royal B.C. Museum project. “I made the wrong call, I made a call when British Columbians were thinking about other concerns.”

June 28

During a caucus retreat at the same Vancouver hotel where he celebrated the 2020 election win, Horgan announces he will retire when the NDP chooses a new leader.

“Thank-you so much for giving me this opportunity British Columbia, It has truly been the thrill of my life, I have done my best to not let you down,” Horgan says.

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Bob Mackin A look at John Horgan’s rise

Bob Mackin

Almost two weeks after being named a host province for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, officials are warning that organized amateur soccer in British Columbia could grind to a halt.

Jason Elligott (left) and Gayle Statton of BC Soccer (BC Soccer/YouTube)

B.C. Soccer Association is preparing for a Canadian Soccer Association suspension after members turned down voting reform at a June 1 special general meeting. 

In a June 27 video statement to the soccer community, B.C. Soccer executive director Jason Elligott and president Gayle Statton delivered the doomsday scenario in the wake of rejection of the CSA’s voting equity directive. They are preparing for suspension, but do not know when or how it will happen.

“If it’s a sanction against all soccer related activity, that’s everything under the sanctioning umbrella of B.C. Soccer and Canada Soccer,” Elligott said.

That would mean cancellation of training, leagues, tournaments, team travel and education for players, coaches and referees across B.C.’s 15 youth districts and 11 adult leagues. 

“It could take immediate effect,” Elligott said. “They could also give us notice for weeks or months in order to wrap-up activity. As far as the length of suspension, it would be indefinite, I would imagine, until we address the directive that they’re asking us to do.”

Last September, CSA directed B.C. Soccer to update its membership voting system. The national governing body repeated that stance in an April 28 letter from president Nick Bontis, to “maximize the fairness of their voting systems, and that, in the case of B.C. Soccer, the votes between the Youth District Associations and the Adult Leagues will reflect and respect the principles of balanced stakeholder inclusion and fair and democratic representation.”

B.C. is the only outlier province or territory and Statton said it is not an ask, but a mandate.

“On the adult side, when we talk about registered players, which are the only stakeholder group in B.C., we have 15,000 approximately, registered adult players, and 95,000 youth players,” Statton said. “So the voting representation is 50/50. But the stakeholder representation is more like an 85/15. Canada Soccer has directed us to make this change.”

Statton said another meeting would have to be called and a two-thirds majority is needed to pass the amendment. 

CSA has not responded for comment. 

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Bob Mackin Almost two weeks after being named

Bob Mackin

The International Olympic Committee sent two employees and a consultant to Vancouver in May to tour sites proposed for the 2030 Winter Olympics. 

The IOC and the Canadian Olympic Committee both refused to release their names and titles.

IOC 2030 bid inspectors Mattias Kaestner (left), Pierre Dorsaz and Stefan Klos.

Email obtained from B.C. Place Stadium under freedom of information said the technical advisory experts were Mattias Kaestner, the head of candidature services for future Olympic hosts, Pierre Dorsaz, senior project manager, and Stefan Klos, a venue specialist advisor from Frankfurt-based consultancy Proprojekt. 

Proprojekt’s credits include work on the successful Qatar 2022 World Cup and Germany 2024 Euro bids and Almaty, Kazakhstan’s 2022 Winter Olympics bid that lost to Beijing.

Kaestner, Dorsaz and Klos visited Vancouver, Richmond, Whistler and Sun Peaks from May 2-4 after touring sites proposed by the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games. Sapporo, Japan, the 1972 host, is the other bidder. Barcelona and the Pyrenees withdrew last week. 

The IOC plans to announce negotiations with bidders in December and choose the 2030 host when it meets at the end of May 2023 in Mumbai. 

The Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympics could pose a sponsorship challenge for 2002 host Salt Lake City. U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee chair Susanne Lyons told the Associated Press her organization prefers hosting 2034 in Utah, but would be ready for 2030 if called upon. 

Vancouver, however, does not have the necessary financial backing of the B.C. NDP government. The COC plans to make formal proposals to the B.C. and federal treasury boards in the fall, but the first hurdle is July when municipal politicians in Vancouver and Whistler are expected to decide whether to carry on with the bid. The COC officially discouraged them from calling a referendum in 2022. 

Vancouver 2030 proposed venues map (COC)

The COC released its 26-page feasibility study on June 14 in conjunction with the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Lil’wat first nations. It did not include a cost estimate for the Feb. 8-24, 2030 Olympics or March 8-17, 2030 Paralympics. 

“It’s quite a complex calculation, and so we’ll just provide a briefing on that in July,” said COC contractor Mary Conibear, who was managing director of Games operations when Vancouver held the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Kaestner, Dorsaz and Klos’s May 3 itinerary called for visits to: Vancouver Convention Centre; B.C. Place; Rogers Arena; the Trimble Street side of the Jericho Lands, which is proposed for the Vancouver Athletes Village; UBC Thunderbird Arena; Richmond Olympic Oval; and Hastings Park. 

On the agenda, Hastings Park was also called the “Olympic/Paralympic Park” because the COC proposes the it use the Pacific Coliseum (figure skating/short-track speed skating), Agrodome (curling), Hastings Racecourse (big air skiing/snowboarding) and PNE Amphitheatre (medals ceremonies/concerts). 

The site visits were scheduled for 30 to 60 minutes each, but the Hastings Park stop was scheduled for 90 minutes.

While at B.C. Place, management arranged for a “welcome to B.C. Place” message on the centre-hung video board and ribbon board and provided a catered, 15-minute presentation in the B.C. Place Suite. Security director Brad Parker showed off the 2020-installed metal detectors and explained spectator flow methods before the entourage went next door to Rogers Arena. 

COC vice-president Andrew Baker led the feasibility team that accompanied the IOC trio. Joining him were: Vancouver 2030 master planner Tim Gayda; Vancouver 2010 Paralympics director Dena Coward; Niina Haaslahti of It’s Happening Productions; former BC Housing vice-president Craig Crawford; Squamish Nation New Relationship Trust’s Jessie Williams; Alpine Canada coach Pete Bosinger; and Tia Lore, the COC 2030 project coordinator. 

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Bob Mackin The International Olympic Committee sent two