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Bob Mackin

What do the Mayor of Vancouver and the CEOs of TransLink and the Vancouver International Airport Authority have in common?

They are all taking pay cuts in the wake of the coronavirus recession.

TransLink’s Kevin Desmond (left), Mayor Kennedy Stewart and YVR’s Craig Richmond.

After his first attempt at a $200 million bailout from the provincial government went nowhere, Stewart, whose salary is $178,265 this year, proposed a 10% pay cut for all members of city council. It passed on May 12.

Ten percent is also the amount that non-union staff are losing from their paycheques under furloughs lasting until December.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond pleaded for provincial help, too, claiming $75 million in losses per month in Metro Vancouver’s multimodal public transit system after the stay home order cut ridership by 80%.

Some 1,500 bus drivers were laid-off, but they are now being recalled and TransLink will begin charging bus fares again on June 1. The province has come to the rescue, but the terms of the bailout have not been released. Desmond, who was paid $405,242 in 2018, is taking a 10% pay cut, along with senior executives and board members.

“Everything is being reviewed right now in light of the agreement with the Province announced last week. Nothing has changed and the salary reduction remains in place,” said TransLink spokeswoman Jillian Drews.

Vancouver International Airport laid-off a quarter of its 550 staff and said May 11 that it is forecasting the passenger count to decline from 26 million annually to as low as 8 million passengers during each of the next three years.

At YVR, spokesman Brock Penner said the board and executive have taken 10% reductions in pay.

The airport authority does not release executive salaries, but the most-recent annual report said CEO Craig Richmond is paid between $388,000 and $582,000 and the nine vice-presidents $188,000 to $282,000 each. The 13 board members received between $19,250 and $76,800 in 2018, with the chair maxing out at $175,000. (The retiring Richmond will be replaced July 1 when Tamara Vrooman leaves Vancity Credit Union and is promoted from the YVR board to the CEO suite.)

So what about other high-earners in B.C.’s public sector? MLAs already set the tone, by delaying indefinitely their statutory cost of living increase.

On April 20, theBreaker.news sent a questionnaire to seven of B.C.’s highest-paid public sector CEOs. It cited New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who slashed her own pay by 20% and ordered her cabinet and Crown corporation CEOs to do the same.

Not one of the big bucks B.C. bosses replied.

Who are they and what are their total pay packets for the most-recent fiscal year reported (2018)?

University of B.C. president Santa Ono ($601,772) and BC Hydro CEO Chris O’Riley ($554,900) topped the list, that also included: ICBC’s Nicolas Jimenez ($468,783); B.C. Pavilion Corporation’s Ken Cretney ($472,951); B.C. Lottery Corp.’s Jim Lightbody ($411,084); Deputy Minister and head of the Public Service Don Wright ($357,501); and Liquor Distribution Branch’s Blain Lawson ($267,420).

Clockwise from upper left: Don Wright (BC Public Service), Chris O’Riley (BC Hydro), Santa Ono (UBC), Greg Moore (BCLC), Blain Lawson (LDB), Nicolas Jimenez (ICBC) and Ken Cretney (PavCo)

The questions were simple.

Would they voluntarily and temporarily reduce their pay? Had their organization pondered layoffs or furloughs?

There was a reply from Duncan Blomfield, the spokesman for Cretney and PavCo. Since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11, a cascade of cancellations at B.C. Place Stadium and the Vancouver Convention Centre. The only new booking was at the convention centre’s west complex, where a field hospital was set-up.

“As you can appreciate, it is a difficult time for our organization, and for the entire meetings and events sectors,” Blomfield wrote in an email. “We are looking at all options to take care of our people and the viability of our business, while working closely with our government about appropriate next steps. When there is new information to share, we will do so.”

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Bob Mackin What do the Mayor of Vancouver

Bob Mackin (Updated May 13)

The RCMP completed its investigation of illegal donations by lobbyists eight months ago and recommended no charges.

That, according to a statement issued May 11 by special prosecutor David Butcher.

Special prosecutor David Butcher (Mackin)

Butcher’s statement, via B.C.’s public prosecution service, included a synopsis of the RCMP’s final report, which stated that the initial review from Elections B.C., whistleblowers and independent media suggested the scope of the problem was “significant and systemic.” But the Mounties’ investigation found no information to support the broad allegations.

“Both statistical and individual analysis of the donation data failed to identify a significant volume or pattern of donations,” the report said.

Butcher’s statement does not explain the reason for the delay, although he is one of two special prosecutors in the investigation of the B.C. Legislature corruption scandal, uncovered by Speaker Darryl Plecas.

Independent watchdog Dermod Travis of IntegrityBC is surprised with Butcher’s long overdue statement, after so many years of investigation.

“It’s as though he’s taken parts of various reports, copied parts he’s liked, pasted them together, hoping they’d be coherent,” Travis said in an interview. “It raises issues that, number one, were never part of the allegations. Number two, weren’t relevant to the allegations, you’re talking about how much money the BC Liberals raised, how much the NDP raised, you’re talking about that they were unable to identify a pattern of donations. If you go look at the by-elections at the time, there’s a distinct pattern of a lobbyist donating to a by-election candidate.”

In his statement, Butcher wrote that the RCMP found the BC Liberals received $44.9 million from 11,963 donors from 2013 to 2017, mostly large corporations in mining, lumber and property development. The Elections BC database says the BC Liberals actually took in almost $61.6 million from 2013 to 2017. During the same period, the NDP took in $19.17 million from 10,285 donors, mostly unions, according to the Butcher statement. Elections BC says the NDP total contributions received were $35.26 million.

Many of the large corporations who donated to the BCLP also donated to the BC NDP, but in much smaller amounts,” Butcher wrote. “Donations by registered lobbyists accounted for approximately 2% of the amount donated. Large law firms were prominent in the list.”

Butcher’s report said the RCMP did not deliver a report to Crown prosecutors, but instead a series of updates and a concluding report. The RCMP decided there was no substantial likelihood of conviction and the cost of pursuing a prosecution would outweigh the value of donations under investigation. The report does not show that number, but the amount of donations from registered lobbyists during the period is estimated to be $1.3 million.

Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch, was shocked with the result, after the BC Liberals admitted they returned almost $93,000 in illegal donations in April 2017.

“It’s unbelievable that special prosecutor Butcher has decided three years later not to prosecute any of those easily identifiable donors for violating B.C.’s political donations law,” Conacher said. “Mr. Butcher should drop his weak excuses and reverse the unjustifiable decision and prosecute the people who violated this key democracy law.”

Under the BC Liberals, there were no limits to the size or source of donations to political parties, although donors were required to identify if they had been reimbursed, indirect donations and donations from charities were banned.

Securities fraudster Paul Oei (left) with then-Premier Christy Clark and John Yap at a 2015 BC Liberal fundraiser. (Twitter)

Two months before the provincial election, B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer called the RCMP to investigate. Butcher was appointed special prosecutor on March 29, 2017.

The last straw was a Globe and Mail story by Kathy Tomlinson, B.C. The Wild West of fundraising, which included a photograph of lobbyist Mark Jiles on the campaign trail with then-Attorney General Suzanne Anton and MLA John Yap at a BC Liberal golf tournament with then-Woodfibre LNG lobbyist Byng Giraud.

Jiles had donated $68,209 since 2011, while Giraud had given $47,149 in three years.

Then-Premier Christy Clark received a $50,000-a-year party stipend, that Democracy Watch called a fundraising commission in an unsuccessful conflict of interest lawsuit after Commissioner Paul Fraser found no wrongdoing.

theBreaker.news found that Clark was driving a donated vehicle from Moray Keith’s Dueck GM dealership and that she lived in a Dunbar house with the name of Nevin Sangha on the deed. Sangha is a close associate of Vancouver Whitecaps’ owner Greg Kerfoot. 

Butcher wrote that B.C. had “some of the least restrictive rules in the western world,” but conceded that operating political parties and running election campaigns is expensive.

All parties in all democracies need money to fund campaigns and support candidates,” he wrote.

Public accounts show that the David Butcher Law Corp. was paid $467,540 for the year ended March 31, 2018, the first year of the investigation.

After taking power in 2017 with the support of the Green Party, the NDP banned corporate and union donations and set limits at $1,200 per year. The NDP government also began to directly subsidize political parties.

According to the May 5-released financial reports for 2019, the NDP finished the year with a $1.43 million operating surplus after taking in $3.7 million in donations and the $1.79 million annual allowance from taxpayers. The party’s 63 fundraising functions netted more than $505,000.

B.C. Premier John Horgan, Nov. 21, 2019 (Mackin)

The opposition BC Liberals netted $260,000 from 53 fundraising functions. The party often netted that much money in a single night during its 2001 to 2017 dynasty, when there were no limits on the size or source of donations.

The BC Liberals were opposed to the taxpayer subsidy program, but now rely upon the revenue. In 2019, the Andrew Wilkinson-led party reported $2.9 million in total donations and an annual allowance of nearly $1.8 million. The BC Liberals finished the year with an operating surplus of just over $1 million.

The party has four loans from TD, Canadian Western Bank, RBC and CIBC, and owes $203,125 to each bank, with deadlines at the end of January 2021.

The NDP reported owing $1.47 million to Community Savings, with a February 2023 deadline.

The BC Greens raised $644,000 in donations and received a $748,000 taxpayer subsidy. The party reported just 11 fundraisers that netted $1,710.89 during 2019, which was also a federal election year.

The NDP counted 4,060 donations over $250, totalling more than $2.55 million, compared to the BC Liberals’ 3,393 for $2.35 million. The NDP vastly outraised the BC Liberals in the under $250 category, with 11,200 donations for $1.16 million, versus 7,680 for $581,000.

Elections BC gave parties an extra month to file, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Bob Mackin (Updated May 13) The RCMP completed

Bob Mackin

The last phase of the B.C. NDP government’s lobbying reforms happened May 4 when a new website launched for monthly returns and disclosures of gifts and political donations from those who are paid to influence government decisions.

But, when it passed the new laws in 2018, the NDP left a loophole the size of a BC Ferry.

Premier John Horgan (left) and Danielle Dalzell, ex-government staffer turned lobbyist, at a 2019 Hallowe’en party. (Dalzell/LinkedIn)

Public office holders are banned for two years from lobbying after they leave government, but what is a public office holder?

The answer is not so simple.

A former public office holder includes:

  • former member of cabinet;
  • former parliamentary secretary;
  • former deputy minister or assistant deputy minister;
  • former officer, director or employee of a Crown corporation;
  • and anyone, other than administrative support staff, formerly employed in a current or former cabinet member’s office.

As theBreaker.news found out, the law does not include an NDP insider who worked hand-in-hand with the Office of the Premier on a daily basis to help John Horgan and his cabinet communicate to more than 5 million British Columbians.

“The law is still a sad joke and no one should be fooled,” said Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch, in an interview. “They are clearly in favour of secret, unethical lobbying.”

In April, Danielle Dalzell joined the Earnscliffe Strategy Group and registered to lobby the B.C. NDP government on behalf of B.C. Fruit Growers Association and the B.C. SPCA. On May 4, she registered on behalf of a third client, Armstrong Fluid Technology.

Dalzell started at the lobbying firm just four months after leaving her post at Government Communications and Public Engagement (GCPE), where she was paid $100,859 a year to be the director of strategic communications and leader of a team of writers producing daily content for Horgan — including his speeches.

Dalzell’s partner is Rick Devereux, another NDP loyalist who works in GCPE as executive director of events and planning.

Dalzell boasts on her bio that she was responsible for the communications rollout of major government announcements. While she was clearly a public employee, on the taxpayer payroll, she was not a public office holder, as defined by the NDP’s new lobbying law.

A director at the GCPE does not meet the test to be considered a ‘former public office holder’,” Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists spokeswoman Michelle Mitchell told theBreaker.news.

Dalzell had previously spent seven years as senior writer for the NDP caucus in Ottawa after three years as public events coordinator for Carole James when today’s finance minister was the opposition leader from 2007 to 2010. Dalzell also worked on the B.C. NDP’s 2017 campaign communications team before scoring her government job.

Dalzell did not respond to requests for comment.

Conacher said the NDP continues to deliberately allow party insiders to travel with ease between government jobs and lobbying, after criticizing the BC Liberals for doing so while they were in government.

Democracy Watch’s Duff Conacher

“I’ve never bought the argument that you won’t get good staff if you have these cooling-off periods, because what you want are people who are dedicated to the public interest, not someone who is in there just to get some inside access and contacts and go out and sell it to the highest bidder,” Conacher said. “That’s not the kind of person you want in government, that’s not a good staff person.”

The NDP reforms were supposed to close the lucrative revolving door that profited two aides close to former Premier Christy Clark.

In October 2013, Gabe Garfinkel left his position in Clark’s office to join FleishmanHillard. In February 2016, press secretary Samuel Oliphant quit to join Kirk and Co. Oliphant made a brief comeback in June 2017 with Clark’s office when he was paid more than $7,400 to write the ill-fated throne speech.

Dana Hayden was the BC Liberal-appointed chair of PartnershipsBC when she registered in early 2016 for developer Westbank Projects to lobby B.C. Pavilion Corporation, where she had formerly been CEO. Hayden was fined $800 by the ORL for not disclosing her past as a deputy minister in government.

“Despite all their complaining about the BC Liberals in the past, the B.C. NDP are quite content with — and even encourage — secret, unethical lobbying, because they’ve left open secret lobbying loopholes and they’ve left open unethical lobbying loopholes,” Conacher said.

A request for comment from the office of Attorney General David Eby was not answered.

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Bob Mackin The last phase of the B.C.

Bob Mackin

In the rush to build a homegrown medical masks and gloves industry, the Trudeau Liberals gave a 10-year, no-bid contract to AMD Medicom.

The deal calls for 20 million N95 and 24 million surgical masks a year for a decade, from a 60,000-square foot facility in the Montreal area. The dollar value of the contract has not been released and the building of the factory will be partly subsidized. Dun and Bradstreet lists 7593759 Canada Inc. as the ultimate owner of Medicom. The numbered company’s sole director is Medicom president Ronald Reuben. 

SNC-Lavalin’s Vancouver office (Mackin)

The Trudeau Liberals have been blamed for shortages at hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic after donating 16 tonnes of gear from the dwindling federal stockpile to China in early February.

Medicom, in turn, hired Montreal-headquartered SNC-Lavalin to design and engineer the factory, which is targeted for a July opening.

Last December, SNC-Lavalin pleaded guilty to fraud related to projects in Libya. Had it been convicted in a criminal trial in Quebec, it would have been temporarily banned from federal contracts.

The SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal that dominated Canadian headlines throughout 2019 was a factor in the Liberal government losing majority status in last October’s federal election, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke the conflict of interest law in an effort to end the criminal prosecution.

SNC-Lavalin is also involved with U.S.-based PAE in the design of up to 10, 100-bed mobile health units for the Canadian government.

SNC-Lavalin chair Kevin Lynch announced his resignation at the May 7 annual general meeting, where shareholders decided to keep the door open to moving out of Quebec after the scheduled 2024 repayment of a $1.5 billion loan to the province’s pension fund.

In the latest PPE folly, the federal government has rejected eight million N95 masks from an 11 million unit shipment from China. Neither the Chinese manufacturer nor the Montreal supplier has been named.

On May 9, Trudeau told reporters that the government is in talks with the supplier.

“We will not be paying for masks that do not hit the standards that we expect to give to our frontline workers,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau said there had been 23 personal protective equipment import flights from China. He was not clear whether he counted the two that came back to Canada empty over logistical issues at the Shanghai airport.

Chinese government officials donating medical supplies to B.C. on May 5 (PRC consulate)

Meanwhile, Chinese diplomats held another photo op at the Shaughnessy consular compound in Vancouver to donate medical supplies to the British Columbia government.

A photograph from the May 5 event is on the Chinese language version of the consulate’s website, but not on the English site.

A translated consular statement said Deputy Consul-Gen. Kong Weiwei handed over 20 boxes of 50,000 medical masks to Melinda Mui, interim vice-president of the Provincial Health Services Authority. Mui is the bureaucrat in charge of B.C.’s $2 billion-a-year medical supplies buying program. The May 5 ceremony included a banner saying that the donation was on behalf of Jiangsu Province.

Mui also attended an April 24 ceremony with George Chow, the NDP junior minister of international trade, and accepted 56 boxes from Guangdong province containing masks, gloves and coveralls worth almost $117,000.

The events are part of Chinese government propaganda campaign after groups allied with the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department, such as the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Canadians, drained Canadian shelves of PPE in January and February and exported millions of dollars worth of medical supplies to coronavirus epicentre Wuhan and other Chinese cities.

theBreaker.news has confirmed that staff in the office of Premier John Horgan knew on Feb. 19, at least, that PPE supplies were running low in Canada.

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Bob Mackin In the rush to build a

The Canadian Football League could be the veritable canary in the coalmine.

As professional sports seeks a way out of the coronavirus pandemic, some financially suffering leagues will be looking to be rescued by taxpayers. Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said the nine-team, three-down Vancouver-to-Montreal circuit may have to cancel the 2020 season, which would put the Canadian institution’s future in doubt.

Canadian Football League commissioner Randy Ambrosie on the May 7 virtual meeting of the House of Commons finance committee (HoC)

Unlike the National Football League, the CFL cannot afford to play without ticket buyers in the stands. Hence the request for a bailout of up to $15o million, if the 2020 season is cancelled. 

Listen to highlights of Ambrosie’s appearance before the House of Commons finance committee, including his answers to tough questions from the NDP’s Peter Julian and the Conservative Party’s Kevin Waugh.

Julian asked Ambrosie why players were not involved in Ambrosie’s committee presentation. Waugh pointed at the recent financial success of community-owned teams on the prairies and the wealth of owners, including Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Calgary Sports and Entertainment. 

Plus commentary, Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest headlines and clips from songs by B.C. politicians who are aiming to lift spirits during the pandemic.

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

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theBreaker.news Podcast: CFL commish’s bid to save the league gets a rough ride from House of Commons committee
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The Canadian Football League could be the

Bob Mackin

The first British Columbia food processing plant closed by a coronavirus outbreak failed a health and safety inspection just over a year earlier, theBreaker.news has learned.

Clifford Pollon’s United Poultry, closed by a coronavirus outbreak (Mackin)

On April 21, Provincial Health Office Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 28 people from United Poultry on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside had tested positive. There are now 35 cases of COVID-19 from the chicken plant, near Oppenheimer Park. It remains shut-down until further notice, by order of Vancouver Coastal Health.

According to documents obtained under freedom of information laws, two prevention officers from WorkSafeBC toured United Poultry on Feb. 28, 2019 and found that workers were at risk of spreading hepatitis B, the joint health and safety committee existed in name only and a supervisor had not been provided health and safety training.

“When providing first aid treatment, a first aid attendant is at risk of occupational exposure to the hepatitis B virus which may be present in the blood and/or bodily fluids of an injured worker,” the WorkSafeBC report said. “The employer stated an offer of vaccination against the hepatitis B virus has not been made to all first aid attendants in this workplace.”

The prevention officers spoke to a supervisor who did not have training to ensure the health and safety of subordinates.

“This employer has not provided the workers with adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure the health and safety of those workers in carrying out their work and to ensure the health and safety of other workers at the workplace,” the report said.

As for the legally required joint employer/staff committee, the prevention officers learned that one had been struck. However, the date of its last meeting could not be confirmed, no records of meetings had been posted in the workplace, the names and work locations of the committee members had not been posted, worker representatives had not been selected for the committee and no rules for the meetings had been set.

“This employer has not established and maintained a joint health and safety committee in this workplace,” the report concluded.

Poultry tycoons Clifford (left) and Ron Pollon

The report said United employed 70 people on a production shift from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, with maintenance and cleaning 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Production continued Saturdays and maintenance on Sundays.

WorkSafeBC’s followup report said United began to deal with the problems identified. The supervisor was provided training, the joint health and safety committee’s first meeting was scheduled with two managers and four workers, and a first aid attendant was offered the hepatitis B shot.

United also contracted Acciona to develop a written procedure for cleaning the de-feathering drum, crane deficiencies were addressed after a report by Cinco Cranes and Equipment, and an unsafe ladder was removed from service.

Prevention officer Shannon MacDonald made a followup inspection on April 3, 2019. While the company’s annual training session took place Feb. 14, 2019, United management did not include the required anti-bullying and anti-harassment training.

“The most recent [bullying and harassment] training took place in 2018 but the exact date could not be confirmed,” the report said. “Workers hired after the annual training date in 2018 have not received the B&H training.

“An employer must provide to the employer’s workers the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety of those workers in carrying out their work and to ensure the health and safety of other workers at the workplace.”

A session was eventually held April 19, 2019, when the company brought an external trainer who spoke both English and Chinese. An additional session was scheduled for workers unable to attend the first.

United Poultry GM George Johnsen (Facebook)

United’s website boasts the company is “fully committed to the health and safety of our clients, their customers and our team.” It also states that “to ensure that every process is followed diligently, meticulously and correctly, we have doctors and inspectors on our staff who are on site at all times.”

The WorkSafeBC inspection reports call into question those claims. Vancouver Coastal Health spokesman Matt Kieltyka said he was unable to comment, but he said the health authority believes the reference to doctors actually means veterinarians.

United Poultry general manager George Johnsen did not respond for comment before deadline.

Last month, theBreaker.news reported exclusively that United’s sister plant in Coquitlam, Superior Poultry, failed a health and safety inspection in April 2019. As of May 8, 61 people attached to Superior had tested positive for coronavirus.

The April 2019 inspection resulted in a total 15 violation orders at the plant, where 280 workers were on-site.

Superior had ignored the statutory annual fit test for workers required to wear a respirator mask and a worker was found wearing gloves that would not protect against punctures or cuts. Superior was also unable to show records about orientation and training for new or young workers and did not have any policies, procedures or training to prevent or mitigate bullying and harassment.

Superior Poultry in Coquitlam (Google Streetview)

Regular safety inspections of the workplace were not conducted at Superior and the joint management-staff health and safety committee had not held its required monthly meeting since February 2019.

Both plants are owned by Clifford Murdie Pollon, whose companies are major players in poultry processing, farming and hatching in B.C. Pollon also owns Hallmark Farms, J.D. Sweid and Heritage Farms, and Church’s Chicken franchises across B.C.

Elections BC records show $84,710 in donations from Clifford Pollon or his companies to the BC Liberals from 2007 to 2017.

In 2017, Pollon donated $5,000 to the winning leadership campaign of Andrew Wilkinson.

Pollon has not responded for comment.

VCH spokeswoman Carrie Stefanson said the health authority is working closely with United Poultry management on the requirements needed to reopen. She said VCH has also attended Hallmark “to review the engineering, administrative controls and PPE measures, re-COVID.”

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Bob Mackin The first British Columbia food processing

We are a group of concerned Canadian citizens of Chinese descent. Our concerns have arisen from this COVID-19 pandemic that is devastating our fellow Canadians and countless millions all over the world, and the related but misdirected anger against people of Chinese or Asian descent.

Justin Trudeau, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Xi Jinping (PMO)

As citizens of Canada, we share the same frustrations, fears, worries and grief arising from COVID-19. We are concerned that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has covered up information about the new coronavirus at the initial stage, understated its contagiousness which contributed to its spread from its epicentre of Wuhan, China. The resulting global lockdown, sickness and even death, have gravely affected everyone including ourselves, and dangerously undermine the physical, mental, social, as well as financial well beings of many nations.

Sadly, we have recently noticed a rise of hate crimes against people of Chinese or Asian descent, in the forms of vandalism, verbal or even physical attack. The perpetrators seem to be irrationally venting their anger against people of Chinese or Asian descent whom they apparently assume to be the cause or carriers of this disastrous pandemic. We condemn such behaviour, but we believe that these perpetrators are few in number, and that their anger is misdirected and scapegoating the wrong party.

We are angry too, and have questions about how COVID-19 started, got out of control, spread and grew into this pandemic. We want to have forthright answers to our questions, without evasion and propagandist spin.

We denounce the CCP government’s suppression of whistle-blowers’ communications in December 2019 among health professionals about an apparent outbreak of a SARS-like pneumonia in Wuhan, China. Was it not the CCP government’s cover-up of such “bad news” that resulted in the failure to contain the spread of the virus at the crucial initial stage?

Infamous WHO Tweet parroting Chinese government propaganda (Twitter)

We stand with and support the call for an independent investigation of the origin of COVID-19 and the responsibility of the CCP government to the people of the world for their damages sustained as a result of this pandemic. And we do not want this global health investigation to be evaded and to be side-tracked by a racial discrimination issue. However, we also shall remain vigilant against anyone trying to hijack this pandemic health issue to promote racism and generate racist attacks.

As Canadian citizens, our allegiance is to Canada. As Canadians of Chinese descent, we, or our parents or grandparents have at one time or another chosen to leave China, and ended up in Canada, either directly or after staying in various parts of the world. So we could have come from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad, Mainland China, etc. We are a diaspora with very diverse backgrounds, native dialects, and opinions about and attitudes toward the 70-year-old Communist Chinese regime. What is common for a lot of us is that our exodus within the last 70 years is for good reasons –including seeking inner peace and freedom from fear. So it would certainly be wrong for anyone to presume that the Chinese diaspora would generally support or bow to the dictates of the CCP government.

Therefore

1. We urge our Canadian government to join the increasing global demand for an independent investigation into the origin of COVID-19 and the responsibility of the CCP government in suppressing the timely and full disclosure of information about the new coronavirus and its initial outbreak.

2. We call on all Canadians to stand together to condemn any incitement or perpetration of hate crimes directed at people of Chinese or Asian descent using COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse. Let’s support each other in fighting COVID-19 as fellow citizens of Canada and of the world.

3. We also call on the general public to contact their respective MPs, urging them to denounce the hate crimes against Canadians of Asian/Chinese descent and to support the global demand for the COVIC-19 independent investigation.

By a group of concerned Canadians of Chinese descent (in alphabetical order, organizational titles are for identification purpose only and do not represent the opinion of the respective named organization): Bill Chu, Founder of Canadians for Reconciliation Society; Victor Ho, Co-founder of Vancouver-based Media Analytical Inc.; Ivy Li, Retired design professor; Mabel Li, Chair of Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement; Thekla Lit, Founder and President of B.C. Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA); Thomas Lou, retired journalist; Stanley Ng, President of Institute for Christian Action & Contemplation; Fenella Sung, Convenor, Canadian Friends of Hong Kong; Norman Sung, Canadian economist and Global news commentator’Tommy Tao, retired lawyer; Ken Tung, Past Chairperson of S.U.C.C.E.S.S.; Eleanor Yuen, former head of Asian Library, University of B.C.; Rev. Howard Yeung, Spiritual Director of Institute for Christian Action & Contemplation

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We are a group of concerned Canadian

Bob Mackin (updated July 12)

Two days after a man that appeared to be Doug McCallum “Zoom bombed” a city councillor at her naturopathic clinic, the Mayor of Surrey’s Buick was photographed in a parking spot outside Mountainview Wellness Centre.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum (top) and Mountain View Wellness Centre’s Zoom bomb man (bottom)

Coun. Allison Patton was on the May 1 COVID-19 virtual town hall hosted by the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce when a door opened behind her and a man identical to McCallum popped his head in the room. Naturopath Patton was wearing a medical face shield, the man was not. WATCH the video below.

On May 3, a reader of theBreaker.news snapped a photo of McCallum’s vehicle parked directly outside the clinic, which is located in an office and commercial complex beside Semiahmoo Shopping Centre.

A source told theBreaker.news that, four days earlier, RCMP officers were called to Mountainview on April 30 around 6:45 p.m.

Surrey RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Elenore Sturko would not comment on the address or name the business because of privacy laws. Sturko said police did attend a location in the 1600-block of Martin Drive at that time “in response to a breach of peace.”

“The incident was determined to be a civil issue and not a criminal matter and, as such, the RCMP is not investigating and our file is closed,” Sturko told theBreaker.news.

Neither McCallum nor Patton responded to theBreaker.news on May 6.

A person who answered the phone at Mountainview confirmed that the other two naturopaths and business partners, Caleb Ng and Galina Bogatch, were no longer working at the clinic.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s Buick outside Coun. Allison Patton’s clinic on May 3.

Ng is Patton’s husband. Neither Ng nor Bogatch were available for comment on May 6. The MVWC website has been offline since the weekend.

Patton, Ng and Bogatch were featured frequently in Metanoia, a Mountainview-published, glossy lifestyle and politics magazine loosely inspired by “O, The Oprah Magazine.” Metanoia was a vehicle to promote Patton’s political ambitions and achievements. She had previously been aligned with the BC Liberals and B.C. Conservatives.

Sources told theBreaker.news they have witnessed McCallum and Patton arriving and departing from a Rosemary Heights condo building where Patton bought last December.

The title application for Patton’s condominium, with a declared value of $535,000, was received by the Land Title and Survey Authority on Dec. 18. That was four days after the 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. housewarming and ribbon-cutting on Dec. 14 at Mountainview that appears in McCallum’s calendar, but not Patton’s. theBreaker.news obtained the calendars under the freedom of information law.

The pair has also been spotted at a Crescent Beach house where McCallum has lived. 

Oliver Lum, the spokesman for McCallum’s office, would neither confirm nor deny McCallum and Patton are in a relationship. Lum said on Jan. 21 and April 16: “The personal affairs of the Mayor is outside the scope of this office.”

Cover of the post-2018 election of Metanoia, the magazine published by Mountain View Wellness Centre in Surrey. (MVWC)

Former Surrey Mayor Bob Bose told theBreaker.news Podcast on May 3 that McCallum and Patton owe citizens of Surrey an explanation, especially since the April 20 passage of a new code of conduct for council members.

“Are they acting independently in terms of discharge of their public responsibilities or are their decisions compromised by relationship?” Bose asked. “As [Pierre] Trudeau said, the state has no business in the bedrooms of the community, but transparency is also imperative here.”

Bose said “conflict of interest is at the core of this,” and questioned McCallum’s controversial September 2019 removal of Coun. Steven Pettigrew as a Surrey representative on the Metro Vancouver regional government board.

Surrey Coun. Allison Patton, Caleb Ng and Galina Bogatch in happier times (Metanoia)

McCallum installed Patton instead.

“There was no justification that I’m aware of for removing Steven Pettigrew and the appointment of Allison Patton to replace him carries with it monetary considerations,” Bose said.

Metro Vancouver pays each appointed politician $397 per meeting up to four hours and $794 for a meeting that goes beyond the four-hour mark.

Pettigrew was elected with Patton on the McCallum-led Safe Surrey Coalition ticket in October 2018. Pettigrew defected last year with Coun. Jack Hundial and Coun. Brenda Locke over McCallum’s leadership style and his crusade to replace the RCMP with a municipal police department.

Safe Surrey Coalition holds a slim one-vote majority on Surrey city council.

Pettigrew declined an interview request this week.

theBreaker.news wanted to know whether McCallum and Patton enjoy the confidence of the remaining Safe Surrey Coalition councillors. But Mandeep Nagra, Laurie Guerra and Doug Elford did not respond.

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Bob Mackin (updated July 12) Two days after

On this week’s edition, former Surrey Mayor Bob Bose tells theBreaker.news Podcast host Bob Mackin why he is concerned about Mayor Doug McCallum and Coun. Allison Patton, who have avoided questions about the status of their relationship.

Former Surrey Mayor Bob Bose (SCC/YouTube)

The Canadian Football League wants a bailout of as much as $150 million because of the pandemic economic crash. Hear what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan said.

British Columbia’s courts are finding challenges and opportunities through technology, as operations were adversely impacted by the pandemic. Hear Melissa Gillespie, the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court, explain.

And clips from the Planet of the Humans, the green sheen-exposing documentary that everyone is talking about.

Plus commentary and Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest headlines.

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

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theBreaker.news Podcast: Ex-Surrey mayor speaks out on the McCallum mystery
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On this week’s edition, former Surrey Mayor

Bob Mackin

On April 30, under the headline “When the personal intersects with the political, the public has the right to know,” theBreaker.news challenged Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and Coun. Allison Patton to confirm or deny they are in a personal relationship.

Neither politician has replied. 

It is in the public interest, because a personal relationship could influence the way a politician votes on policy and legislation. Ex-BC Liberal leader Gordon Wilson, ex-Richmond Mayor Greg Halsey-Brandt and ex-Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson all faced this dilemma while in office. 

On May 1, Patton appeared on the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 update webcast. Patton, a naturopath, was wearing a medical face shield supplied by a Surrey company and was sitting in a room inside her Mountain View Wellness Centre practice.

While another participant spoke, a man opened the door to the room where Patton was on camera. The man appeared surprised that a camera was pointed in that direction. Patton’s microphone was muted, so we do not know what was said.

Was that man McCallum? You be the judge. Watch and share the video.

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Bob Mackin On April 30, under the headline