Time for Minister Rich Coleman to step down – calls to Surrey Councillors absolute political interference in process.

There is more to come on Coleman and the Gateway story - it’s huge and is still developing on several angles, but Alex Browne of the Peace Arch News scooped a hint of it with this story just out:

“BC Liberal MLA Gordon Hogg says he is “surprised” and “disappointed” to learn that B.C.’s minister responsible for gaming made personal calls to Surrey councillors during last week’s public-hearing process on the Gateway casino-entertainment complex.

 “I’m planning to have further discussion with my colleagues on this,” the Surrey-White Rock MLA said Tuesday.

Hogg said it’s a matter of concern for him that his BC Liberal colleague, Rich Coleman, was talking to council members between two public hearings on the South Surrey project.

Hogg said such conversation was open to interpretations that it was an attempt to influence the decision.

Repeated attempts by Peace Arch News to reach Coleman since Monday morning have been unsuccessful.

Couns. Tom Gill and Bruce Hayne confirmed to PAN independently Tuesday that they had both received calls from Coleman between the first public-hearing session Jan. 14 and a second session Jan. 18. Both councillors said Coleman advised them that if the project didn’t pass, Surrey would not receive any other applications through BC Lottery Corporation.”

This is not only unregistered lobbying, this is political interference from a Minister who should, by position, remain exempt from comment or influence in any manner. As a former RCMP member, Coleman more than anyone, should know this.

I would hope Coleman would do the right thing and step down immediately, but failing that, Christy Clark needs to do the right thing and ask him to stand down pending a full investigation into this proposal from beginning to end. Well done to Alex Browne of the Peace Arch News for this!!!!

*** A little bit of connection here…. Senator Larry Campbell has a seat on the board of directors of Great Canadian Casino…. perhaps Coleman was/is gunning for a seat on the board of Gateway Casinos ? http://www.gatewaycasinos.com/board-of-directors.html

This entry was posted in BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, Corruption, crime, Laila Yuile and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Time for Minister Rich Coleman to step down – calls to Surrey Councillors absolute political interference in process.

  1. judi sommer says:

    Wow! Huge development! Finally a Liberal MLA has thrown off his muzzle and talking points to do the right thing: representing his constituents-not his party. Randy Hawes also tackled Coleman on the Prince George brewery boondoggle where the very business Coleman was giving tax breaks to was also a heavy donor to the Liberals. Hawes, however, was not running for re-election.I hope Hogg can stick to his guns and there are ripple effects. I doubt the story will be covered in any of the langley papers who tend to protect coleman and who rely on Liberal $$ and businesses to fund them.

  2. nonconfidencevote says:

    Another week, another Liberal suicidal comment.
    Who needs an election when these idiots are killing themselves.
    Just keep digging ,Rich, Christy, etc.
    cause the hole is getting deeper by the day

    • judi sommer says:

      If Coleman, the party kingpin falls, there goes the rest of the Liberal Hpuse of Cards. Good on the South Surrey local paper for tackling this but let’s see if the MSM picks this up!

      • judi sommer says:

        Err…I meant House of Cards.

      • much2say says:

        They have had every opportunity to do so and have washed it away. They are as corrupt as Coleman. I would bet money that right near the end of the election, the MSM prints an editorial that the Liberals are good for BC.
        Filty bunch they are. Least respected profession in the province.

  3. Curt says:

    Hmm, really? The whole thing stinks. The plan continues in the back room. Desperate people do desperate things even if it means getting rid of some of their own.
    Rich. Didn’t I hear a senate Appointment at one ime.

    • Mary Garner says:

      The Senate, you say, Curt??? Good grief! I wonder how many crooks sit in that Senate when they’ve become “inconvenient” and their party has to get rid of them.

      • judi sommer says:

        I doubt that even Harper would touch him with a bargepole-but stranger things have happened in politics. If stench of this follows Coleman. perhaps the Conservatives will be seeing how this affects their seats in BC in the next election. Wishful thinking, perhaps…

      • Canadianbud says:

        @Mary G .. there are more crooks than good, so I don’t think they’re worried about anything happening other than having it made public. Our track record with the LIEbs on accountability is abysmal

  4. It gets fun when they start throwing each other under the bus.

  5. Kim says:

    Wow! Between this story and Furlong it seems the Liberal “Brand” is unravelling at the speed of our bandwidth ;) Do keep us abreast of the situation Laila.

    In my humble opinion Coleman has always been the proverbial Cop on the Take. I will be very happy on the day that these stories are fully revealed.

  6. judi sommer says:

    I sent this and your link to Vaughn-I hope he picks up on this.I have not lost hope in him. he has promised to read it. With the bollywood mess and the recent Doyle boondogle I suspect he has material a plenty.

  7. Laila says:

    It is interesting to note that a former BCLC Director of operations,Casino and community gaming Division, Rod Bailey, left BCLC in August for a position with Gateway Casinos in Edmonton, as Executive General Manager. as of December. There seems to have been a bit of an exodus from BCLC to Gateway recently.

  8. Pingback: Columns: Time For Coleman To Step Down For Political Interference - Langley Today

  9. Gary says:

    Gordie has his faults, but I’ve felt that he got the shive from Campbell, and he is not afraid to stand up to a fight.

    It is obvious that the backroom of the Pizza Parlour in Cloverdale is still being used by the Falconites, Coleman’s, Polak’s, and DeJong’s. A little far for CC to travel, but they would have unlimited use of the phones for a conference call. Unlisted number of course.

    This is standard procedure for Coleman, ex. Abbotsford seat, Interior seat, Brewery tax quota’s. For background reading on the training ground in which Coleman learned his tactic’s read;
    http://re-sergeance.net/

    Kudo’s to following up on Browne’s article. Would think this one has big legs to run with.

    • judi sommer says:

      I hope Vaughn will follow up on this. Keep the links to the odor coming! I have given up on Michael Smyth. What gives with him?

      • Gini says:

        Michael seems to have a strange ‘modus operandi’. I followed his column in 2009, too, and he did the same thing he’s doing now. He holds the BC Libs feet to the fire until just before the election, and then all of a sudden, he’s their best bud. At least that’s how it appears to me. Does anyone else notice this?

        • judi sommer says:

          Yup. His articles are few and far between and eratic: perhaps an indication of turmoil and transition in The Province as it fols into The Sun?

          • Ban says:

            I think Michael Smythe got whacked and warned that if he stepped out of the MSM/Lieberal party line, he would be fired. Just my guess, but I’ve heard some grumblings.

  10. Coleman is not going anywhere. You would need a case of dynamite to blast that boor out of office.

  11. procedure after the public hearing

    page 2 of http://www.city.parksville.bc.ca/cms/wpattachments/wpID282atID3300.pdf

    “The general rule is that the Municipal Council cannot consider any information or material after the Public Hearing, since the consideration of new information or receipt by Council could deny other persons the opportunity to be heard in relation to the new information and material.”

    Rich Coleman’s intervention is being seen as Lobbying, but what is worse he has violated the Local Government Act, and that’s illegal.

    Makes one wonder how many other Councils he has leaned on to gain his way…… and the closer we come to the provincial election there will be more incidents being released because Councils know now, that the end is near for the BC Liberals Twelve years of interfering with Due Process.

    • Don F. says:

      What I believe Mr. Coleman also is guilty of by definition is Extortion! The fact that he made those call between meetings trying to influence their decision makes this so. This is a criminal offence also.

    • Laila says:

      And this is why I love you so much North Van Grumps… you rock!!!!

    • Catherine says:

      Makes you wonder what he (Coleman) personally receives for these mafia like shakedowns? Follow the money, anyone???? It’s a pity that our elected representatives are so hell bent on exacerbating addictions for their own benefit and advancement. Coleman etal deserves a dishonorable discharge with no chance of pension etc.

  12. Gini says:

    Coleman has so many skeletons in his closet, he probably has to keep his over-sized wardrobe in his basement. I was just doing some research of the Kamloops double murder/suicide on October 15, 2002, during the aftermath of Gordo’s slashing and burning of 11,500 government jobs.

    Coleman was involved in that infamous time in BC Liberal history too. Google ‘Death in the Afternoon’ – HazMat magazine.

    • judi sommer says:

      Death in the Afternoon is also a piece of non-fiction by Hemmingway about bull-fighting in Spain-perhaps and hopefully an apt metaphor for the fate of Senor Coleman?

      • Gini says:

        I suppose I’m a tad ‘off topic’ here, but this bit of history hits close to home, for me. Rich Coleman was B.C. Solicitor General at the time and refused to reveal the contents of the disciplinary letter that precipitated the murders/suicide. The RCMP, regional coroner, WCB, and the Public Sector Employee Relations Commissioner supposedly launched an inquiry, but nothing came out in the media, as far as I know.

  13. tf says:

    Then there’s the fact that Coleman threatened municipal councillors – “if you don’t do what we want, we’ll never come to you again.” That kind of threat can be dangerous coming from Coleman. He’s the minister responsible for Housing, Energy and Mines, and BCLC. He is Vice Chair of the Cabinet Priorities and Planning Committee and on the Cabinet Committee on Jobs and Economic Growth and Environment and Land Use. Coleman is also Government House Leader. And the singular portfolios of Gambling and Liquor Distribution follow him around wherever he goes. That’s a lot of weight (no pun intended) to have behind a threat from the Province to a municipality and it’s courageous of those Surrey councillors to vote in face of that threat.

    • Laila says:

      I think you have to look at this a little deeper than just Coleman.

      Yes, Colemans actions were completely out of line, regardless.

      Don’t tell me experienced politicians don’t know the rules. He completely tainted the public hearing process.

      • Canadianbud says:

        He was following directives from his (Colemmans) higher ups. He wouldn’t put his position on the line without provocation. Me thinks he had a vested interest (for himself, not constituents) in that he would receive a position or other big payoff for making sure the Surrey Casino happens.
        Four terms.. he’s built a nice network for himself so another bet would be he don’t care anymore as he’s got his private investments and other job(s) setup, plus his hefty (no pun) retirement package.
        There really should be a two term maximum for elected officials, with the ability to stay in other capacities afterwards, and ministers shouldn’t be shuffled around (like Campbell did, and Clark is doing) with up to 5 ministers shuffled through a post in a term without any prior training for the occupied ministry (ie:going from Minister of Forestry to Minister of Children + Families, without any training). How could anyone be expected to do their job properly when they are uniformed and just handed money hand-over-fist no matter what the outcome of their term.

    • much2say says:

      His threats are hollow. Of course he will never come to them again. He is never going to be minister of anything again come the next election.

  14. Mosko says:

    Un- frigging – believable. I hope this gets some traction.

    Illegal, ministerial interference with the democratic process. If that isn’t enough to force a resignation? In an ethical government it would happen in a heartbeat. With this gang of desperate, morally-challenged leeches probably nothing will happen.

    What an embarrassment BC has become.

    • Don F. says:

      Mosko, I am going to bed tonight angry. I am angry not only at Rich Coleman’s obvious behavior but at myself for feeling so helpless as to what I can do. We keep relying on the powers that be to do something while they are the very ones doing it to us.
      What happened to our recall powers? What happened to the fact that now laws are being broken???
      What is so broken that we feel powerless in the face of outright corruption and seem to have little recourse?
      I myself intend to explore what has taken place and what we can do, not to do something is unthinkable.

  15. judi sommer says:

    I think Coleman has more influence than Clark at the moment and that is saying something!

    • whiterockj says:

      I’m pretty sure that CC spent her entire influence budget in the party the day she hired pammy…. i dont think she has made a decision since then without it being approved by party brass.

      and if thats not what happened it is only because everyone a BC Liberal party headquarters was allready too busy sending out resumes to bother talking to the dummy.

  16. Gary says:

    In 2009 the RCMP’s Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team was dissolved by Coleman. His reason, “It is just not cost effective”. At $1M, not cost effective? Earlier in 2009 the IIGET submitted a report as reported by the Vancouver Sun:

    In a 2009 report obtained by The Vancouver Sun through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the IIGET warned of casinos’ “extreme vulnerability” to money laundering. Many investigations across Canada have found that members of organized crime use casinos for criminal purposes, the report states. A separate internal assessment, obtained by the Globe and Mail through a FOI, advised that Hells Angels members had, in some cases, succeeded in infiltrating the province’s “legitimate gaming operations.”

    The article also stated;

    “It was “unbelievably irresponsible” for the government to disband the IIGET, a source who asked to remain anonymous told VO. “Monitoring and surveillance of organized criminal activity in casinos and illegal gambling operations is a highly specialized skill.”

    So again we have Coleman putting his big mitt’s into an issue once more. Interesting, very interesting

  17. Ian says:

    I now actually believe Christy Clark and Rich coleman are on the payroll of the provincial NDP.

  18. Amazing, Clark and Coleman, dropping off the Press Radar in the same fashion as Campbell and Clark. The head cheese who rushed in to fill the Void left by the missing Premier and Deputy Premier was Finance Minister Gary Collins,…..

    Has anyone seen Finance Minister Mike de Jong, or is he in hiding from the Moe Gill

  19. judi sommer says:

    So. A short time ago, Peace Arch News who broke the story in their local paper , has an update. The previously unavailable Coleman has just surfaced. He has now “lauded (Surrey) council for exercising its responsibility on behalf of residents by conducting a thorough and open process that led to an independent decision”.He “respects its final decision”.What gives? There is obviously a huge back story here. Was he warned about what to expect? Did he get legal advice? Did he get heat from his caucus? Did he hope his epiphany on the road to re-election would crown him again? thsi story has legs and i hope the MSM don’t bury it.

  20. Catherine says:

    The Msm isn’t saying anything – they can’t – the gravy train would end. Liebrals will spin it to deflect the fact they broke the law. This issue should not be allowed to wither away conveniently – it’s an absolute breakdown of trust! And this behavior is somehow accepted as accountable and transparent in government???? What kind of koolaid is he drinking anyway?????

    IMHO – do one thing contemptible and you know they’re capable of and probably do a lot more than that! Sleazy is all I can say!

  21. Mosko says:

    Does anyone remember their ancient history when Gordon Campbell said the Liberals would not allow expanded gambling and they would run the most open and accountable government in Canada?
    When the public is willing to keep re-electing politicians who so blatantly lie to them like that and shrug it off they deserve the government we now have. What incentive is there to tell the truth and listen to the public when those in power get rewarded for lying?

  22. Gini says:

    I remember, Mosko, and Campbell may think he got off scot-free, but as Yogi Berra once famously said, “It’s not over ’till it’s over.” When the Christy Liberals get thrown out in May, Dix has promised a public inquiry into the BC Rail scandal, and with a little bit of luck, Gordo and his cronies will end up in one of Harper’s new prisons.

    Good things come to those who wait, and Lord knows we’ve waited a long time for this!

  23. Gill and Coleman are idiots! They don’t understand what Open and Transparent means. They don’t understand how Public Hearings work. An adjournment of a Public Hearing and the End of a Public Hearing doesn’t mean that Council may contact for “clarification” an individual, a Minister Responsible, without having the PUBLIC present. As it is, it leaves the impression that two things may have happened, in this instance, and HAS happened in earlier instances.

    ONE: What else did they talk about, and TWO What have they talked about BEFORE on other topics who’s outcome would be determined by Minister Coleman, for everything that he multi-tasks eg. Housing, Energy, and Lottery. What pressure has Minister Coleman been applying, not just to BC LIberal supporters on Council at Surrey, but throughout the Province. I say Liberal, because if the Minister were to contact OTHERS on Council, those that are the Independents or the NDP, the proverbial you know what would have hit the FAN long before now.

    At no time was a CC: sent from Gill to others on Council, nor was there a CC: from Minister Coleman about their discussion on NEW information. Nor were the Public in receipt of a CC: Telephone calls was supposedly the medium of communication that was used, maybe…. or was it a meeting between two men in side by side parked cars…. whisper, whisper….. on a dark night in Whally….. or what’s the halfway point between Gill and Coleman.

    This meeting of minds, in secret, is despicable!

    “SNIP…..Councillor Tom Gill, who supported the casino application, said Coleman was returning a call he had made to find out if Surrey would be able to put the casino in another location if the residents didn’t want it. He supported the project, he said, because he didn’t want to lose the $3 million-plus in revenue from the project.

    “The purpose of the call was to clarify BCLC’s intent in Surrey,” Gill said. “I was trying to determine what level of opportunities existed. It was quite clear it was South Surrey or nothing..SNIP….Vancouver Sun”

    Councillor Gill is reported to have said, he was seeking NEW information that he used to make his decision final, in favour of the Casino, without others on Council, or the General Public being made aware, of how he reached his conclusions.

    This process of Public Hearings is NOT flawed. The process by which some politicians “cherry pick” from Legislation, to suit their goals, is FLAWED

  24. e.a.f. says:

    the article in the Peace Arch news certainly was entertaining as is your article. It is of no surprise to me. The lieberals and their cohoerts are corrupt. they have a sense of entitlement and dear old coleman must think he knows better than everyone else. Not so. It is what the people in south surrey wanted. it is their neighbourhood, they should decide what is planted there, not some one who wants to make a junk of money. Good on Hogg for stepping up to the plate and doing the right thing. better late than never.

    the lieberals really need to exit stage left. a few more mlas who decide to take a more moral stand is all that will be needed to send the lieberals into an election.

    • Laila says:

      It’s nice to see so much press on it today. I will be holding my new post until Monday for more traction. This is far from over yet. For all involved and for the city and people of Surrey.

  25. notamused says:

    Rich Coleman has always been a lobbyist for big business. He has always operated as if conflict of interest rules don’t apply to him. I shudder to think that voters in Backwardsville BC will re-elect this creep.

  26. Merv Adey says:

    Came across this letter via Sandy Garossino, from charities asking for Coleman to be removed from Gaming portfolio. Well worth reading. http://t.co/qbRdP9Q2

  27. Peter says:

    Please check the advertorial in todays Province linking Trinity Western University with Coleman. Its on the r/h side near the front. An interesting read.

  28. Peter says:

    If you mean the Sunday Province, it is near the front. It is a privately paid ad from a private citizen. It was on the right hand side of the paper, perhaps 7 or 8 pages in.

  29. judi sommer says:

    We have been waiting with baited breath for Ms Clark’s response to this debacle and we got it today in Peace Arch News.”He’s minister responsible. He got some questions and he answered the questions. I think it was as simple as that. It’s a crown corporation.” I’m underwhelmed. No clarification of the role of the Lottery Corporation or comment about Mr G’s inappropriate comments. As well, she seems to be giving tacit agreement that Surrey is to be a time out-a life time ban on anyfuture casino applications-but I doubt she has thought this through.

    • Laila says:

      Its very unlikely that this will occur, in fact I take a look at this in my coming story. Still waiting on a few items before posting.

      • B Benjamin says:

        I’ve been following this story and this thread and am absolutely sickened. The level of corruption is unbelievable. From government officials to BCLC, the whole thing is disgusting. I’m anxious to read your next post Laila. I can’t believe the level of corruption that’s being shoved in our faces here. So, who regulates the regulators? Who is responsible for investigating this? Clearly several people are profiting in many ways. Who’s mandate is it to investigated and prosecute these people?

  30. judi sommer says:

    Benjamin, have some faith. On tonight’s Global at 6 pm, Jas Johal really took Coleman to task on a number of issues: flip-flop on Smart Meters, the Surrey Casino unpleasantnesss and his conflicts with Gordon Hogg, a fellow Liberal MLA being only a few. He looked very uncomfortable and was sweating. I never know where this often Liberal friendly station will go. Perhaps they smell fear and Liberal blood in the water?

  31. B. Benjamin says:

    Glad to see that it hasn’t just died off. Its just that I think that this is all much bigger than any of us know. It’s much more than simply an issue of an irresponsible government official. It seems there could be some serious legal/criminal issues at hand. Not just one person involved either, it appears. Simply having one government official step down is not the only answer. There needs to be a full-scale criminal investigation of everyone involved. Including employees of BCLC at all levels. Something is going on here. But who is responsible for that? Who investigates BCLC? Clarke says they’re a crown corporation and that seems to absolve them of any wrong doing. I have a feeling that we’ll hear something really significant when Laila does her next post. She’s been awfully quiet. I think she’s really on to something.

    • judi sommer says:

      I really hope you are right. We have seen Coleman crabby in the past but he was furious this time.Why so angry? We know he is tight with developers and some very powerful, monied people. If you saw him on Global last night, he was sweating and clearly uncomfortable with questions lobbed at him by Jas Johal. Now we learn that the old meters that have not been switched over to the smart ones won’t be a problem for the grid. He is waiting for holdouts to be educated but hey, no pressure. Will revisit this after the election. I am one of those holdouts as I feel we have been lied to about so many things on this programme. No I don’t wear an aluminum hat but I am holding out on principle.

  32. B. Benjamin says:

    Well I think this story is HUGE. Corrupt government. Corrupt BCLC officials. There seems to be several people here who have used a crown corporation for their own benefit. Legal and ethical violations everywhere. Who knows what else? Laila…we’re dying to see what you’ve dug up!

  33. Laila says:

    Patience is a virtue.

  34. Pingback: Two Important Developments British Columbians Need To Pay Attention To, Now. - Abbotsford Today

  35. Manny Meyer says:

    The same Rich Coleman when Forest minister let Western Forests Products (his brother Steve one of the directors) take huge tracts of Tree Farm land around Victoria and Sooke and give to a developer. The Auditor General at the time (he was just fired for opening his mouth), said this was a very bad deal for B.C. “Sleepy Wally Oppal” just turned a blind eye to the deal ….. now Rich Coleman is minister of Energy…. The same minister when running for office recently promised: a nearly 50-per-cent cut in proposed rate increases for BC Hydro customers, saying “families need the break and the Crown corporation can afford the cut”. Now some former B.C. Hydro employees are running the Corix company that is making millions on the “smart meter” program and raking in millions (Brett Hodson CEO) and other ex employees. From B.C. Hydro’s book of conduct: ” A Director or Employee has an actual conflict of interest when the Director or Employee is performing a duty or function of the position and in the performance of that duty or function has the opportunity to further his or her private interests.” ….. The stealing of $94,000 by a senator is peanuts compared to this.

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