How ironic! If there’s one stance unelected unmandated premier Christy Clark has taken that has drawn support from all political sides, it has been her outspoken oppeosition to bullying. On CKNW as a talk show host, also after she became an MLA and even after being installed as acting premier, Clark has maintained her opposition to the intimidating, hurtful and damaging practice of bullying.
Apparently unless it’s done by one of her own cabinet ministers.
Deputy Premier Rich Coleman not only attempted to bully, he also reportedly issued a threat to Surrey councillors before they voted on a proposed casino project: if they rejected the $100 million project for south Surrey, “they could forget about a new casino anywhere in Surrey”.
Sure sounds like bullying to me! And worse!
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts (no NDPer!) and has said it was inappropriate for Coleman to call Surrey council members before the vote …let alone vow if they voted “no”, they won’t see the BC Lottery Corporation allow a new casino to built anywhere in the municipality. And other Surrey councillors have backed up the mayor’s criticism.
The project at stake was a $100 million casino proposal by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. Surrey councillors voted 5 to 4 to turn down the project.
The wider political issue is NOT about whether the project was a good one, or the site was the best … or even whether Gateway is a suitable operator for a new casino.
The REAL issue is Coleman’s bullying attempt to influence the vote and even intimidate those who would be making the decision.
The RCMP should take a very hard look at the legality of Coleman’s unacceptable actions to influence the vote. The fact that he is a cabinet minister and deputy premier makes it, in my opinion, even worse.
The minister’s statement a few days after the vote … and AFTER his tactics hit the fan …saying he respects the decision is not good enough. Especially since he did NOT even mention or address his own improper actions.
Where is the acting premier?
Her fight against bullying must extend to more than just photo ops, press conferences or program funding to fight it.
Clark …like the rest of us …has a duty to STAND UP, SPEAK OUT and TAKE ACTION wherever and whenever she sees it taking place.
And dealing with Rich Coleman’s pre-vote bullying tactics and threat would be a very good place to start.