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