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Bob Mackin

Her face is on the cover. Her name gets top billing. The title is the slogan she repeats at the government press conferences that she is paid to give.

But Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry claimed in internal email that her March 9-published book about her job is separate from her job.

Dr. Bonnie Henry (Russell Books/Instagram)

How is that?

The book, Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Safe: Four Weeks That Shaped a Pandemic [with sister Lynn Henry] was announced in late 2020. Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix were immediately met with questions. Dix said he had “no issues” with her writing the book. Henry pledged to donate an undisclosed amount of the advance payment from her publisher, Allen Lane, to the charity First Book Canada.

In December, filed under the freedom of information law for a draft of the book, Henry’s contract with the publisher and correspondence with the relevant senior government officials who would have given her the green light.

Government staff were quick to claim the records sought were beyond the scope of the freedom of information law.

When they did not elaborate, filed another request.

(BC Gov/FOI)

That yielded copies of Henry’s correspondence with the freedom of information coordinator she manages in the PHO.

On Dec. 22, Michelle Sullivan wrote to Henry: “Please see most recent requests in yellow. Can you confirm whether they relate [to] your duties as an employee or as a private citizen?”

Two minutes later, Henry replied: “Private citizen. It was done entirely on my time off.”

Just over an hour later. “Sorry Bonnie, another one!,” Sullivan wrote.

“As your book was written as a private citizen, this would not be applicable and be outside of the scope of FOIPPA? Please advise.”

“Yes, that is correct,” Henry said.

Henry is officially considered a senior public office holder, at the level of a deputy minister. She is not a private citizen.

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

The code of conduct for B.C.’s 30,000 provincial public servants prohibits the use of confidential information received through employment to gain personally or further any private interest. The same code of conduct states that a conflict of interest arises when an employee uses a position, office, or government affiliation to pursue personal interests or is reasonably perceived by the public to have benefited from information acquired solely from employment in the public service.

In the book, Henry acknowledged the help she received from Dix, her assistant Laurel Thompson, communications contractor Nicola Lambrechts, Ministry of Health strategic communications director Jean-Marc Prevost and staff in the health ministry, government communications office and health emergency management.

The book includes Prevost’s photo of the Henry sisters walking in he halls of the Legislature.

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Bob Mackin Her face is on the cover.

Bob Mackin

Staff at the B.C. Ministry of Health head office in Victoria were annoyed when a senior bureaucrat sent  a coronavirus infection memo to only those on the second floor last November.

Philip Twyford (LinkedIn) was first to report on Assistant Deputy Minister Philip Twyford’s Nov. 20, 2020 memo and his followup four days later. Twyford heads the finance department, which is based on the second floor of the former B.C. Electric Building on 1515 Blanshard St. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s office is in the fourth floor.

Email obtained by under the freedom of information law shows that within minutes of Twyford’s original memo, workers from around the building sought more information that Twyford was unwilling to provide due to privacy.

Some of them outright complained.

“Is it possible to find out when this employee was last on-site?” wrote one of several whose name was censored by the Ministry. “I was only working on the second floor yesterday morning, so the timing makes a  big difference if they were last on-site Wednesday…”

“Do they know which day the exposures occurred? It would eliminate worries for some fo us who only come in twice a week.”

“There are staff who do not work on the second floor however like myself (censored) do attend that floor to drop them off and talk to staff. Thinking maybe a message should have been sent to the building rather than just the floor. There would be no way of knowing who has been there and not.”

(BC Gov/FOI)

“In the middle of a pandemic when cases are they highest they’ve ever been , after someone in the building tested positive, in addition to the PHO (just yesterday!) announcing that businesses should postpone staff returning to in-office work…. calling the workplace safe is pretty bold. Borderline offensive, if I’m honest.”

Patti Laanstra, the Ministry’s facilities director and security officer, was one of the few names disclosed.

“The rumour mill is spinning wildly about this case,” Laanstra wrote to Twyford on Nov. 23. “One piece that came out of the rumours is that the individual was on multiple floors (2,3,7). It was only communicated to me about the 2nd floor and the common spaces/elevators, etc. Do we know if that individual DID go to 3 and 7?”

Twyford was clearly on his heels.

He thanked one staffer for “being candid with me” and told another that the infected staff member denied being in multiple parts of the building. He also said that the memo was based on a standard template, following discussion with Dr. William Lakey, the B.C. Public Service’s medical director for workplace health and safety.

Twyford finally confided in another assistant deputy minister, workforce planning and strategic initiatives head Susan Wood, on Nov. 24, at 12:48 p.m.

“I have been overwhelmed by staff responding that they felt betrayed by a lack of communication and that we were hiding something and broke trust,” Twyford admitted.

Less than two hours later, he sent a staff memo aimed at mending fences.

B.C. Ministry of Health headquarters in Victoria (

“The reporting of a positive case in our workplace was a new experience for us,” Twyford wrote. “There are clear protocols in place from public health and also the public service as an employer, with a need to balance transparency while protecting the identify of the individual. Since this occurrence, we have heard from staff about the impact of notifying only staff located on the second floor.

“This has been a huge learning for us. We appreciate your feedback and we will be taking a broader communication approach should this happen again.”

On April 8, when she announced a single-day record 1,293 new infections, Henry said WorkSafeBC inspectors would be empowered beginning April 12 to shut down businesses for 10 days or longer when three ore more people at a workplace test positive. The order does not apply to schools.

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Bob Mackin Staff at the B.C. Ministry of

Bob Mackin

More questions than answers, after the NDP government now says a former provincial court judge who denied China is committing genocide already ended his term as advisor to Premier John Horgan.

Bill Yee (far left) at a September 2018 Chinatown ceremony with Premier John Horgan and then-Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (BC Gov)

On April 6, reported that Bill Yee, the 2018-appointed, co-chair of the Premier’s Chinese-Canadian Community Advisory Committee, denied that China is committing human rights atrocities against Uyghur Muslims.

Evidence of mass-detention, forced labour and other human rights violations from Chinese government documents, intelligence agencies and eyewitness testimony led Canada’s House of Commons to vote 266-0 in February to declare China is committing genocide. Last month, Canada joined the U.S. and U.K. governments to sanction four CCP officials and a security agency.

Yee’s controversial March 30 interview on a Toronto Cantonese language radio program sparked calls for his firing from the committee. On April 8, NDP Minister of State for Trade George Chow issued a statement that said the committee had wound-up in February and Yee would not seek re-appointment to the new committee.

That contradicts the April 6 statement from the Premier’s office to, that said “Mr. Bill Yee has been asked to not identify himself as a member of the Advisory Committee when expressing personal opinions.”

The Feb. 23, 2018 announcement of the committee made no mention of term lengths for Yee or any of the other 16 appointees.

“Why would Mr. Yee allow himself to be introduced on the March 30 radio interview as the current co-chair of the committee?” said a statement from a group of 13 Chinese-Canadian human rights activists. “Why was the initial response from the B.C. government one of Mr. Yee expressing his personal opinion, if it knew then Mr. Yee was no longer their advisor?  What caused this inconsistency?”

The same 13 said they had not received a response to their open letter calling for Yee’s removal. The group wonders if Yee was screened before the 2018 appointment, after a history of comments in favour of the Chinese Communist Party. For example, 30 years ago, then-Chinese Benevolent Society president Yee opposed the Goddess of Democracy statue at University of B.C. in memory of students killed in the June 4, 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.

Bill Yee (BC Gov)

The 13 activists include Bill Chu of the Canadians for Reconciliation Society, Thekla Lit, Asian Holocaust education advocate, Fenella Sung of Canadian Friends of Hong Kong, and Mabel Tung of the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement. They also want Yee removed from the provincially funded Chinese Canadian Museum board. “Anyone who endorses suppression of citizens and minorities and keen on rewriting history for a foreign nation has no place in directing this government funded museum,” their statement said.

Ultimately, they say the Yee case should be a wake up call for Canadian politicians and parties targeted by the CCP’s United Front foreign influence and infiltration program.

“Through business and cultural exchanges, influence buying, cyber hacking, data harvesting, bribes, sex, trade, fame, blackmailing, etc., CCP infiltration and influence tactics are holistic and deeply embedded in our society. Behind the façade of peaceful-rising, CCP has been attacking our universal values and democratic foundation.”

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Bob Mackin More questions than answers, after

On April 6, reported that a genocide denier remains advisor to Premier John Horgan.

A coalition of human rights activists in the Chinese-Canadian community in British Columbia has written the following open letter to Horgan, calling for Bill Yee’s removal from his advisory role. 

We are a group of long time British Columbians of Chinese descent who are dismayed by the outrageous comments of Mr. Bill Yee, the co-chair of your Chinese-Canadian Community Advisory Committee on Toronto’s A-1 Radio on March 30.

Bill Yee (BC Gov)

In this Cantonese interview, Mr. Yee repeated some twisted logic as in the official response of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to Canada’s declaration that a genocide is carried out by China against the Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.

We have three major concerns:

The first is what Mr. Yee, introduced as the current co-chair of the Premier’s Chinese-Canadian Community Advisory Committee, says. In the interview, Mr. Yee expressed the following:

1.      The decision of our parliamentarians on the genocide motion was not based on facts and our parliamentarians have ulterior motive.

2.      The Uyghur genocide accusation is an excuse to create a cotton trade dispute.

3.      Our MPs don’t know where Xinjiang is, and haven’t been to Xinjiang or China; therefore, their assessments are based on lies. (Mr. Yee ignored the 2 Uyghur studies (2018, 2021) conducted by the parliament, expert inputs to the Common’s Special Committee on Canada-China relations and the Xinjiang Documentation Project.)

4.      The genocide accusation is false because the population in Xinjiang has grown and the life expectancy in the region has increased. (Apart from ignoring that millions of Han people were shipped into Xinjiang to control the region, Mr. Yee should know that the United Nations definition of genocide is much broader than number reduction: United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect)

5.      China has 56 minority groups; therefore, it doesn’t make sense (hence not true) for China to target the Uyghurs. (The fact is, China has exercised the same tyranny over the Tibetans, Mongolians, Hongkongers, Falun Gong followers, Christians, etc.)

6.      There are trouble makers who oppose government policy in every country; therefore, testimonies by the Uyghur witnesses are not acceptable evidence and not objective facts. (It is shocking to see a former judge is not aware, unlike any democracy, China’s one-party regime allows no freedom for people to criticize or vote out a non-performing government, and creates a sad veneer of peace by incarcerating or terminating any dissenting individuals or groups.)

7.      Our Prime Minister should not sanction China.

We hope this is not the advice that you have been getting from Mr. Yee. Given that advisory committees influence government policy, our second concern is on what criteria are members of B.C.’s Chinese-Canadian Community Advisory Committee selected. Is it based on the titles one has behind one’s name? One’s successful career? The frequency one appears on Chinese community events? Or is it based on one’s track record on allegiance to Canada, upholding Canadian values of human rights and justice, providing independent opinion on community issues rather than becoming a mouth piece for a foreign regime?

Bill Yee (far left) at a September 2018 Chinatown ceremony with Premier John Horgan and then-Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (BC Gov)

While the last one appears to be most relevant, Mr. Yee’s record has him, while president of Chinese Benevolent Association in 1989, defending the Tiananmen Square Massacre by first stating that no one was killed, then changed his tone to one killed after hundreds of fatalities were reported by media.

He was also the architect behind removing the pro-Kuomintang directors from the CBA Board and changing it to pro-CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Also after the Massacre, the traumatized Chinese community was split on whether to hold the celebration on October 1, the anniversary of the founding of P.R.C. Mr. Yee then defended holding the National Day celebration, claiming it was a 30 year old tradition. In late 1990, he wrote a letter on behalf of CBA to the UBC’s former president, urging him to reject the proposed erection of a replica statue of Beijing student’s Goddess of Democracy on UBC grounds. In it, he repeated the same famous official line: allowing such would amount to meddling in China’s internal affairs! We have not heard Mr. Yee demanding the release of the two Michaels, but he is among those praising the notorious National Security Law imposed by China on Hong Kong since July 2020.

From the above record going back 32 years, it is clear where much of Mr. Yee’s allegiance lies. What kind of community leaders or events would he recommend to you? Can you afford to have a genocide-denier and tyranny-defender as advisor? Can British Columbians risk the perception of B.C. endorsing CCP and embolden more P.R.C. proxies to come out and spread CCP lies?

Since P.R.C. President Xi Jinping’s 2013 order “To tell a good China story,” P.R.C.’s United Front has doubled up its effort to dilute and dismiss criticisms and promote narratives favourable to CCP’s interests. It also seeks to enhance P.R.C.’s status and authority by getting into global decision-making process, with the goal of remodeling the international system, and ultimately the world order. So, its “diaspora” management program targets influential community members and groups in an effort to use them to infiltrate and influence local regions. Every Wednesday on AM1320, Mr. Yee appears as guest in a live talk show from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., defending on anything that exposes the tyrannical nature of P.R.C.

Our last concern is with the damage to the reputation of the entire Chinese community. By having one lacking integrity, professionalism and conscience to represent the Chinese community is an insult to the community members. Mr. Yee is entitled to his personal views. However, when he is holding the key advisory position to the premier, media look to him for ‘expert’ analysis and comments. His “personal views” get an official platform. His obvious pro-tyranny and anti-Canada stands not only tarnish the credibility of the B.C. government, but also misrepresent what the vast Chinese community aspires to. Most of us who left China after 1949 did so for a freer world than P.R.C. Mr. Yee represents the minority who somehow identifies more with the autocratic policies of the CCP.

A woman with a Xi Jinping poster during a June 2019 pro-Hong Kong protest outside the Chinese consulate mansion in Vancouver.

At a time when CCP can no longer hide the lies behind its name (that it is neither the People’s nor is it a republic) or its constitution (that it never honours the long list of human right protections within), it resorts to reminding the world that it is “representing” its 1.4 billion people. But the truth is, P.R.C.’s leaders were not elected by and have no need to listen to the 1.4 billion. So, how can they claim to represent anyone? CCP doesn’t represent the Chinese people, let alone the Chinese-Canadian community.

It is totally understandable of the public anger against P.R.C.’s horrendous human rights violations and international aggression. Sadly, misplaced animosity against Canadians of Chinese descent has been on the rise due to ignorance on the diversity of opinions particularly on CCP among Chinese-Canadians. We are extremely concerned when geopolitically driven opinions by your key advisor would implicate the Chinese community further and fan the flame of racialized hatreds.

Based on the above serious concerns, we strongly recommend the removal of Mr. Yee from the Chinese-Canadian Community Advisory Committee. His divisive one-party worldview will not strengthen social, economic and cultural ties among members of the Chinese diaspora in this province and beyond, nor improve understanding of the diversity of the Chinese community by your government or others.

(in alphabetical order of last names)

Bill Chu, Founder of Canadians for Reconciliation Society

Victor Ho, Co-founder of Vancouver-based Media Analytical Inc.

Thekla Lit, Asian Holocaust Education Advocate 

Thomas Lou, Retired journalist

Stanley Ng, President of Institute for Christian Action and Contemplation 

Shun Kau Ngan, Writer

Fenella Sung, Founding Convenor, Canadian Friends of Hong Kong

Norman Sung, Canadian economist and Global news commentator

Tommy Tao, Retired lawyer

Mabel Tung, Chair of Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement

Ken Tung, Past Chairperson of S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Eleanor Yuen, Former Head of Asian Library, UBC

Rev. Howard Yeung, Spiritual Director of Institute for Christian Action and Contemplation

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On April 6, reported that a

Bob Mackin

A retired B.C. Provincial Court judge with a history of supporting the Chinese Communist Party government remains an advisor to Premier John Horgan, despite denying China is committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims.

Bill Yee (far left) at a September 2018 Chinatown ceremony with Premier John Horgan and then-Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (BC Gov)

Bill Yee, co-chair of the Premier’s Chinese-Canadian Community Advisory Committee, was interviewed March 30 on Toronto A1 Radio.

“I think on the recent Xinjiang matter, Canada’s decision is not based on the fact, but on some politicians who have ulterior motives, or countries using cotton trade to make up a huge story,” Yee said. “I think what they said about genocide and human rights in Xinjiang are being made up.”

In the House of Commons on Feb. 22, a Conservative-tabled motion passed 266-0, with support from all parties, to declare China is committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims and to call on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Games out of Beijing.

On March 21, Canada joined the United States and United Kingdom to sanction four CCP officials and a security agency, citing evidence from Chinese government documents, satellite imagery and eyewitness testimony. “China’s extensive program of repression includes severe restrictions on religious freedoms, the use of forced labour, mass detention in internment camps, forced sterilizations, and the concerted destruction of Uyghur heritage,” read a joint statement.

The group Vancouverites Concerned About Hong Kong said on Twitter April 6 that it was “outraged” that Yee is denying the genocide, “parroting CCP party lines” and acting as an advisor to Horgan.

He literally gaslit the many testimonies from Uyghurs and said he thinks it’s all made up,” the group Tweeted.

On April 6, the NDP Premier’s office distanced Horgan from Yee’s stance on Xinjiang, but stopped short of removing him from the committee.

Bill Yee was expressing personal opinions which do not represent the positions of the Advisory Committee,” said a statement sent to from press secretary George Smith. “The Government of British Columbia supports the federal government’s position on these important matters. The mandate of the Advisory Committee was set up to provide inputs to the government on domestic community issues and does not include foreign affairs. Therefore, Mr. Bill Yee has been asked to not identify himself as a member of the Advisory Committee when expressing personal opinions.”

An April 7 open letter to Horgan, from 13 British Columbians concerned with human rights in China, called for Yee’s firing. 

“His divisive one-party worldview will not strengthen social, economic and cultural ties among members of the Chinese diaspora in this province and beyond, nor improve understanding of the diversity of the Chinese community by your government or others,” said the open letter. 

Yee was the first Chinese-Canadian elected to Vancouver city council in 1982 and he remained at 12th and Cambie until 1986. The honourary citizen of Guangzhou, Vancouver’s Chinese sister city, also served on the Vancouver Police Board (1992 to 1997) and BC Hydro board (1997 to 1999).

While he was president of the Vancouver Chinese Benevolent Association, Yee supported the People’s Republic of China consulate’s campaign against a University of B.C. statue to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre.

In January 1991, Yee wrote UBC president David Strangway on the letterhead of the pro-Beijing CBA, urging him to cancel the local replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue that Chinese soldiers destroyed on June 4, 1989 when they violently ended a peaceful protest by students seeking democracy. A copy of the letter was obtained under the freedom of information laws by documentary filmmaker Ina Mitchell. 

UBC’s 30th anniversary ceremony of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 2019. (Mackin)

“The presence of a statue of this kind in the campus does nothing positive to the viewers who normally see it other than to remind them of an incident in Beijing,” said Yee’s letter. 

Yee claimed that the statue would amount to Canadian meddling in Chinese affairs and he likened it to China highlighting Canada’s head tax and Chinese exclusion act. He even suggested the human rights activists should take their complaints to China directly.

“If the aims and objectives of the applicants in this instance is to promote more democracy in China, it would seem only logical that the forum for their efforts should be in China, not Canada and definitely not in a setting such as yours,” said Yee’s letter.

Yee’s letter was along the same lines as one in October 1990 from An Wenbin, the consul general for the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver. 

But both Yee and An failed to convince UBC. The statue was eventually erected near the Students’ Union Building.

It was restored in time for the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 2019.

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Bob Mackin A retired B.C. Provincial Court judge

For the week of April 4, 2021:

Vancouver city council opened the door to bidding for the 2030 Winter Olympics on March 31. But it was not unanimous. Hear two councillors, Jean Swanson and Colleen Hardwick, speak passionately against a report that recommended the first step to bringing the Winter Games back to the 2010 host city, and hear Mayor Kennedy Stewart’s defiant reply.

Calvin Chrustie testified March 30 at the Cullen Commission (

When Vancouver invited the world to compete and party in 2010, criminals also came. Hear testimony from the Cullen Commission from a former senior RCMP money laundering and transnational organized crime investigator. Calvin Chrustie reveals how Chinese triads, Mexican drug cartels and Middle Eastern terrorists moved drugs and money through Vancouver.

Plus commentary and Pacific Northwest and Pacific Rim headlines.

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

Now on Spotify!

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

Support for as low as $2 a month on Patreon. Find out how. Click here. Podcast Podcast Podcast: Another Olympics for Vancouver in 2030?

For the week of April 4, 2021: Vancouver

Bob Mackin

Premier John Horgan is going on a marine mission to mend fences with millennials.

B.C.’s Premier taking a ferry up the coast on Victoria Day weekend. (BC Gov/BC Ferries)

Horgan’s March 29 “do not blow this for the rest of us” quip, directed at 20-39-year-olds he thinks aren’t taking the pandemic seriously, turned “Premier Dad” into “Premier Dud.”

So the NDP government is accelerating a plan that had been in the works for end of summer. The inaugural voyage of John Horgan’s Youth Cruise on BC Ferries will go ahead Victoria Day weekend, May 21-24.

The four-day charter cruise on the LNG-fuelled Salish Orca will depart Swartz Bay and stop at Tsawwassen, Horseshoe Bay, Langdale, Campbell River, Cortes Island, Port Hardy, Prince Rupert and Nanaimo. Tickets start at $49. 

BC Ferries Salish Orca

A special feature of the cruise will be COVID-19 vaccinations in one arm and a tattoo on the other to commemorate the Youth Cruise.

Sign for John Horgan’s Youth Cruise (BC Gov/BC Ferries)


  • Concerts by Said the Whale
  • Skateboard ramp and lacrosse box on the car deck
  • Craft beer and avocado toast tasting in the Coastal Cafe
  • TikTok zone for sea shanties
  • Bhangra lessons with Yukon’s Gurdeep Pandher
  • Meet and greet with the Premier and Dave “Dave” Mix, the BC Hydro spokes-hipster with the NDP orange beard.

Horgan will unveil more details about his Youth Cruise on April 1 during an 11:30 a.m. announcement from Swartz Bay. 

Bob Mackin Premier John Horgan is going on

Bob Mackin

The man charged with arson at one Masonic hall and suspected of doing the same at two others may have boasted of the spree on Facebook.

Ben Kohlman (Facebook)

Benjamin Orion Carlson Kohlman, 42, is accused by the Vancouver Police of arson, assault of a peace officer and failing to stop for a peace officer at the Park Lodge on Rupert Street.

Crown counsel has not yet approved charges related to the fires that damaged the Lynn Valley Lodge and destroyed the North Vancouver Masonic Temple.

Philip Tarrant, who lives across the street from the Lynn Valley Lodge, said there were sounds of someone knocking down a door around 6:30 a.m. A van fled the scene after a person had thrown something into the building. Tarrant said he tried to battle the blaze with his fire extinguisher until North Vancouver District fire crews arrived.


Just before 7 a.m., North Vancouver RCMP received reports of a fire at the Duke of Connaught Lodge No. 64, also known as the North Vancouver Masonic Temple, on Lonsdale near 12th. Firefighters from West Vancouver were called to assist their city and district cohorts.

Then, a third fire, around 7:30 a.m., at the Park Lodge. A person across the street recorded scenes of a man with a jerry can walking away from a blaze at the doorway. An undercover police officer appeared on the scene and drew his gun, but did not shoot. The man fled in a van.

At 8:07 a.m., a Facebook account for Ben Kohlman published a message stating: “I just cleaned 3 satanic club houses and nobody could do anything.”

Lynn Valley Lodge secretary Tom Anstruther on March 30 (Mackin)

Police arrested Kohlman later near North Fraser Way and Marine Way in Burnaby.

The Facebook page for a Ben Kohlman is rife with postings about flat earth, anti-vaccine, anti-mask and anti-freemason conspiracy theories.

Kohlman is scheduled to appear in Provincial Court April 6. 

“The Freemason fraternity is a worldwide brotherhood of friendship and brotherly love and for this to happen is totally, totally shocking,” said Tom Anstruther, secretary of the Lynn Valley Lodge. “It’s very sad.”

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Bob Mackin The man charged with arson at

Bob Mackin

The Winter Olympics may be closer to returning to 2010 host city Vancouver than you think.

Vancouver city council will ponder a staff report on March 31 that recommends exploring a regional bid for the 2030 Winter Games.

The Olympic ski jumps in the Callaghan Valley, where the Games began Feb. 12, 2010, were closed 10 years later. (Mackin)

The politicians will not be hearing from the public on what could be the first step down a $5.2 billion road.

That is how much 1988 host Calgary estimated it would cost to hold the 2026 Winter Olympics. The bid relied on renovating 1988 venues, but voters eventually rejected it in 2018. Not before politicians spent $7 million on the process.

In 2019, the International Olympic Committee realized that fewer cities are ready, willing and able to host the Summer or Winter Games anymore. Especially after evidence arose about corruption in the winning Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 bids. So it adopted a new process to negotiate, or “dialogue” as the IOC likes to call it. The dialogue “can begin at anytime and will be led by the Canadian Olympic Committee.”

The Olympic cauldron in 2010 (Mackin)

This new process means that any interested party can enter into a non-committal continuous dialogue with the IOC,” the staff report said. “There is no submission and no presentation by interested parties during the continuous dialogue. The initial dialogue does not have to target a specific year, thus the strict timelines and deadlines of the past have been eliminated. The goal of this new approach is to unlock greater value for future hosts as well as reducing costs across the board.”

This new process is how Brisbane, Australia suddenly became the frontrunner to host the 2032 Summer Games when it was declared the preferred bidder on Feb. 24. The IOC knows it is a buyer’s market and could very well anoint the 2018 Commonwealth Games host as the 2032 “rings-holder” much sooner than the 2025 deadline.

The deadline to pick a host for the 2030 Winter Games is 2023, which is two years before the 2025 opening of the Vancouver 2010 organizing committee’s agendas, minutes and financial records to public inspection at the Vancouver Archives. 

The real costs of the 2010 Games remain a mystery, because the auditor general of B.C. never did a final report and VANOC was designed beyond the reach of the freedom of information laws. How could citizens make an informed choice in a plebiscite?

John Furlong (left) and RCMP Olympic security head Bud Mercer in 2010 (

No surprise, the boosters for a 2030 bid are low-balling the costs on the basis of venue re-use. What they don’t say is the Richmond Olympic Oval and Hillcrest Community Centre would require significant retrofitting costs to bring long track speed skating and a curling arena back. Olympics also rely upon temporary structures — tenting, portables and fencing. Plus a $1 billion security bill.

The 2010 Games were leveraged to finally expand the Sea-to-Sky Highway, and build downtown to airport rapid transit and the downtown convention centre.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart has staked his re-election hopes on lobbying for SkyTrain to be extended from Arbutus to UBC and a huge influx of middle class and social housing. Vancouver would need to build another Olympic Village and local First Nations have the land.

To that end, the March 3 council-to-council meeting with the Squamish Nation included the 2030 bid and the desired subway on the agenda.

The North Vancouver-based Indian Act band already has plans to build towers around the south end of the Burrard Bridge. It is also a partner with the Musqueam Indian Band and Tsleil-Waututh Nation on the Jericho Lands in Point Grey, which is also a potential stop on the SkyTrain line.

The biggest headwind for a 2030 bid is the public purse. It is a lot lighter because of the pandemic. The federal debt could hit $1.1 trillion and B.C. is forecast at $88 billion. Higher taxes are inevitable, yet Vancouverites are also demanding an end to homelessness. The 2010 Games helped put more foreign millionaires in towers than Downtown Eastsiders in dry and clean beds.

Vancouver 2010 mascots Miga, Quatchi and Mukmuk (VANOC)

The head lobbyist for the 2030 bid is John Furlong, the VANOC CEO who fancies himself the chair of the next organizing committee, a la the late Jack Poole. Furlong’s legacy is tarnished, after parting ways with the Vancouver Whitecaps when the organization dithered about historic abuse and harassment of women’s team members in 2019. 

The controversy over Furlong’s 2011 Patriot Hearts memoir is likely to reignite later this year. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will hear from six Lake Babine First Nation members who accuse the RCMP of racism for bungling the investigation of their allegations that Furlong abused them when they were children and he was a gym teacher. They also claim the RCMP protected Furlong because the Mounties were assigned the $900 million task of securing the 2010 Games.

Furlong has always denied the allegations, but the allegations have never been tested in a court of law. He filed defamation lawsuits, but then withdrew them, against the Georgia Straight and reporter Laura Robinson over their 2012 story headlined “John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake.” 

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Bob Mackin The Winter Olympics may be

Bob Mackin

They came bearing flowers of many colours as the rain kept falling.

Men, women and children. Old and young. Under umbrellas. Most wearing facemasks.

Lynn Valley Village, March 28, 2021 (Mackin)

The drops of water on their cheeks were not from the clouds above.

They walked by a window that displayed a Mavis Gallant quote: “A short story is what you see when you look out the window.”

The library was empty and dark. Nobody was looking out the windows. 

When all the facts are known about the most-horrific day ever in this middle class North Vancouver community, the story will not be short.

The flowers stretched across the gap between the North Vancouver District Library and the Brown’s Social House. Both closed on this dreary spring Sunday afternoon. There were signs on the exterior of the restaurant, seemingly made by children: “Love to Lynn Valley. Peace to Lynn Valley.”

A small card in a plastic bag, beside the flowers read: “You are my sunshine, thank-you,”

The restaurant and the library were both a haven of activity some 24 hours earlier, until something went horribly wrong.

Lynn Valley Village, March 28, 2021 (Mackin)

Violence and hate took over sometime after 1 p.m. on March 27. A woman in her 20s, dead of stab wounds. Another six seriously injured. Countless others in shock from what they saw unfold before their eyes. Nobody had seen so many ambulances in Lynn Valley before.

The names of the heroes will come in due course.

For now, the name of the man charged with second degree murder. Yannick Bandaogo, 28.

[Bandaogo’s] background, history in BC and relationship to the victims, if any, is still being determined,” according to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

“Investigators, supported by the North Vancouver RCMP Investigative Services Team, are managing priority tasks, processing the scene, conducting witness statements and completing an extensive video canvass of the area.”

Before he was arrested, Bandaogo stabbed himself on Lynn Valley Road, in a crosswalk. Why did he stab others? Why did he stab himself? He underwent surgery.

He appears in a YouTube video from 2012 set in a Longeuil, Que. boxing gym called Techno Boxe. Little else is immediately known.

Lynn Valley Village, March 28, 2021 (Mackin)

IHIT spokesman Sgt. Frank Jang initially said he was known to police, but did not explain. Bandaogo does not appear to have a rap sheet in B.C.

Maybe that will be answered when officials give more details on March 29. Maybe it will have to wait until a trial.

Same goes for the motive. Why would anyone cause so much pain and fear?

A sandwich board from the previous day’s book sale doubles as a holder for the yellow police tape.

Only the Zazou hair salon was open for the day. That’s on the east side of the Lynn Valley Village complex. On the west side, beside a fenced compound of construction materials, a lone, potted flower yet to bloom, beneath a sign dampened by the rain. “For Emma, Speedy Recovery.”

Inside a heart it says “To the fallen, March 27, 2021.”

Lynn Valley Village, March 28, 2021 (Mackin)

Too many have fallen in Lynn Valley. In June 2018, a mother and child from an immigrant family died in an apartment fire, to the south of the mall.

A couple blocks to the west is the Lynn Valley Care Centre. The tragic site of the first death of the coronavirus pandemic in Canada in March 2020. There were a total of 20.

And now, March 27, 2021.

More than ever, Lynn Valley needs love and peace to heal the hurt.

If you were affected by the events of March 27 in Lynn Valley, North Shore Emergency Management is offering a drop-in resilience and wellness centre at the Karen Magnussen Community Recreation Centre, with counsellors on-duty 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for more information.
Bob Mackin was a Lynn Valley resident from 2002 to 2014.

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Bob Mackin They came bearing flowers of many