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Christy’s Inaction Condones Coleman’s Bullying

January 28th, 2013 · 37 Comments

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.

Harv Oberfeld


Tags: British Columbia

37 responses so far ↓

  • 1 G. Barry Stewart // Jan 28, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I just don’t see Christy holding the reins here.

    She doesn’t command respect.

  • 2 ron wilton // Jan 28, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Rich Coleman has a history of personally interfering and influencing questionable actions by the present government.

    The small brewery taxation interception, the liquor distribution sale proposal, royalty deferments for Western Forest products, the outrageous $30 million compensation to Boss Power, etc. etc.

    Last Saturday evening at a public event in Kelowna, a sitting MLA referred to the Boss Power ‘settlement’ as corrupt.

    Rich really should be investigated, but, by whom?

  • 3 D. M. Johnston // Jan 28, 2013 at 8:58 am

    This is nothing more than the death throws of the BC Liberal Party. Coleman, who has built a dubious reputation within the BC Liberals is desperately trying to seal all the deals before he sits in opposition or if he loses the next election.

    The BC Liberal party has been reduced to a rump of bullies, sleazy deal makers and the grossly inept, lead by premier photo-op who just can’t “put Humpty Dumpty together again”.

  • 4 Gary T // Jan 28, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I hope you don’t mean the same RCMP who deliberately ( it seems ) overlooked so much in the BC Rail episode.

  • 5 Ralph Anderson // Jan 28, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Its about time someone has brought Rich Coleman to task. He has got away with a lot of this type of Bullying during his terms.

  • 6 workforfun // Jan 28, 2013 at 10:45 am

    BC LieBerals = incompetence and corruption !

    It sure seems that Coleman thinks that he doesn’t have to obey the rules (laws) and Crusty Clark looks the other way.
    One is an outright dishonest bully, hypocrit and shouldn’t be in politics, the other an (challenged) oppurtunist who does what ever it takes to get attention.
    These two – along with numerous other BC Liberal MLA’s clearly illustrate what is wrong with BC politics.
    The election cannot come soon enough – I predict an almost 100% win to the opposition (NDP, Greens and Independents).

    (Response: I hope you’re wrong. I doubt at this time I would vote Liberal (unless the campaign carries a bombshell), but also would not want to see just NDP, Greens and indpendents. Democracy and the public interest would not be best served. h.o)

  • 7 Kim // Jan 28, 2013 at 10:55 am

    As Coleman’s little storm troopers from Corix and BC Hydro prepare to invade thousands of homes to force smart meters and Harper continues to smear one Chief Spence with half truths and outright lies. Bullying is just the cost of doing business, it seems.

  • 8 Mark // Jan 28, 2013 at 11:13 am

    You’re absolutely spot on, Harvey. In any other administration, Coleman would have been forced to resign, lose his cabinet seat or at the very least offer a contrite apology. But this is the Liberals. The RCMP brass will not allow this matter to be effectively investigated as Coleman was one of their own and has maintained good relations with them, so they will look after their own. That’s the Mountie way.

  • 9 Lee // Jan 28, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Coleman having been a RCMP cop looks at laying the lumber on Surrey councillor s simply as “business as usual”….he is a bully and needs to go!

  • 10 judi sommer // Jan 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Hi Harvey,

    By remaining silent about Coleman’s bullying, Ms Clark is tacitly agreeing that the will of voters in Surrey is meaningless and that money should trump their wishes. In addition to that, he is apparently slamming the door forever on any future applications. The premier seems afraid and very unwilling to tackle her minister who seems to have the real power in the party. There are legs to this story for sure as the mayor of his riding has expressed interest in having a casino in The Township-dreadful optics.

  • 11 212Degrees // Jan 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Clark always maintains she has high moral standards, she relies on the bible to guide her actions, and she claims she is a paragon of virtue and ethics, so would it not be too much to ask her to show some leadership on this contentious issue and initiate an RCMP investigation into what is clearly a possible breach of ministerial power from one of her own high ranking ministers. And this time, it would be nice if there was some written documentation and comment on the progress of the investigation from the “Premier”. The issue should not be allowed to die, due to lack of action from the Premiers office, the media, and the police authorities.

  • 12 Dave A // Jan 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Well said, excellent article

    Too bad we likely won’t see this type of reporting (holding either party to account) in the MSM, or what passes for it today

  • 13 G.J.W. // Jan 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Harper declared himself a devout Christian, during his x-mas interview. Is Christy a, Christian Fundamentalist too? I must have missed that one. How about Gordon Campbell? Is he too a Christian? How about Boessenkool?

    I see no ethics nor morals in this country, what-so-ever. There are certainly, no ethics or morals in BC, that’s laughable.

  • 14 e.a.f. // Jan 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    What Coleman did was highly inappropriate. Given the actions of the lieberals no one really cares, except those who see it as bullying. Clarke isn’t going to do a thing. Hogg spoke up but he has nothing at stake.

    there could well be more of this in the next little while given the lieberals are on their way out. Coleman did what he wanted and will continue to do so until the lieberals are un elected. The RCMP isn’t going to investigate anything. We saw how well their investigation went with B.C. Rail. The RCMP know how to investigate NDP premiers but not elected lieberals.

    I expect when the leg. is called together we can expect to see more of this bullying style. We have elected the lieberals to a majority for over 10 yrs. You reap what you sow.

  • 15 dan // Jan 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    The second poster in this topic Ron Wilton states;

    “Rich Coleman has a history of personally interfering and influencing questionable actions by the present government.”

    More importantly this history reveals a commitment on Coleman’s part to such behaviors and leads one to wonder about his conduct during the years of RCMP employment.

    GJW mentions Harper……

    I would urge people strongly to obtain a copy of Harper’s MA thesis. His depth of knowledge in economics is cursory at best. To read an MA thesis extensively drawing upon primers is rather shocking.

    It is a public document and your local public library can bring in a copy if you ask. If you are college or university alumni or affiliated it’s on ProQuest DAI…

    Nice to have you back posting Harvey, I hope all is well with you

  • 16 Larry Bennett // Jan 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Kim – Get real; Theresa Spence should be sitting in a jail cooling her chubby little heels, with her $850 a day boyfriend. Time to wake up and smell the coffee! Trouble is finding a prosecutor and police with the testicular fortitude to stand up to the political correctness that inflicts this country!

  • 17 tf // Jan 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Harvey’s back, yeah!
    I trust you had an enjoyable holiday.
    Thanks for your writings!

    (Response: Thanks. Almost makes me feel guilty when I take a break to travel. Almost! 🙂 Good to be back at the keyboard. h.o)

  • 18 Crankypants // Jan 29, 2013 at 12:03 am

    The thing that comes to mind about Coleman’s actions in this case is that he has most likely acted in a similar manner in other dealings. To assume that this is just a one-off incident is highly improbable.

  • 19 RS // Jan 29, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Me thinks Coleman doth protest too much.

    Skin in the game?

    Scratch scratch / Scratch scratch?

    Post public (dis)service opportunity at stake?

  • 20 judi sommer // Jan 29, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Well Harvey,

    Ms Clark stood up aand spoke out on this very issue in a file from Peace Arch News. “He’s (Coleman’s)the minister responsible. He got some questions and he answered the questions. It was as simple as that. It’s a crown corporation.” A non- answer if there ever was one. No comment about propriety and political respect for a municipal government. No clarification of the role of The Lottery Corporation and the totally off-side comments by Mr Greydon (sp?)-no hope for future Surrey applications for another casino site. Her silence on these are tactic agreement about how things were handled but did we expect anything else from her?

    (Response: So I ownder if Christy would see nothing wrong if one senior student at a high school called a few other junior students on the council before a vote on an issue and warned them they’d better vote for a proposal he backed … or face the consequences? h.o)

  • 21 Scotty on Denman // Jan 29, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Until I looked it up I had a pretty fuzzy image of what “hoist upon his own petard” means (or is that “foist”?) It was something like a cross between part of a male duck and Two Years Before The Mast, all wrapped up in a halyard. Anyway, it really refers to someone getting blown up by his own bomb. And Coleman really bombed on this one.

    I liken the final wave of BC Liberal perfidy to a real wave: almost totally submerged in pelagic form, standing tall but shallow as it loses the last of its energy in the littoral. And then it’s gone.

    Many of the comments above observe the salient point: Coleman’s bitter reaction to Surrey rejecting his pet casino indicates he must have become accustomed to behind the scenes bully tactics and to getting the results he wanted for quite some time now, his sour grapes hissy fit being the tell. With only 15 weeks left (we hope), he’s succeeded in exposing, and adding to the long list, another demerit to the BC Liberal record.

    Hey! Way to go Rich! Might not have it anymore but at least you gave everybody something to surf on!

  • 22 Kreditanstalt // Jan 29, 2013 at 11:57 am

    “…unelected unmandated premier Christy Clark…”

    One point…even with this US-style mandated four-year election stuff, we don’t “elect” premiers.

    That office, technically “President of the Executive Council”, is filled by the leader of the largest faction in the legislature. He or she is elected by the legislature and doesn’t actually even have to be an MLA at all. All that is necessary is to retain the confidence of the assembly.

    Perhaps today’s all-powerful-Premier system is what should be curtailed, so that some measure of control could be returned to individual MLAs…

    (Response: We don’t vote for premiers directly, BUT the historical tradition, which Christy herself loudly supported until she took power, is that any new leader who also takes over as premier or prime minister goes to the public in a reasonable period to seek personal endorsement and a mandate for his or program. h.o)

  • 23 Larry Bennett // Jan 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    We now have four (4) female premiers in Canada, and if you thought the old boy’s club was bad, you may be in for a learning experience yet. We have Clark here, than Redford next door, and this new gal in Ontario (who assures us that lesbianism is no big deal, but can’t quit blathering on about it) and the twit, Marois in Quebec. Wait til this coven meets around the cauldron. Talk about your witches on blasted heaths!

  • 24 workforfun // Jan 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Don’t forget the one for Newfoundland and the one for territory up north. We have a total of six female premiers in Canada now.

  • 25 sjm // Jan 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    What’s the problem Larry Bennett? Not sure if you have the “testicular fortitude” to see females in roles of authority?

  • 26 Larry Bennett // Jan 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Crikey – You really made my day there, workforfun!

  • 27 13 // Jan 29, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I wonder how many more absurd actions will play out in the next few weeks . Of all the accusations and plausible and not so plausible scenarios re Coleman and the casino I got one thing. Coleman was an RCMP. His behavior smacks of the typical RCMP behavior over the past few decades. A less than ideal police force that has lost most peoples respect. Mr Colemans attitude of intimidation and arrogance come straight from the RCMP playbook.

  • 28 crh // Jan 29, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    For Dave A…’Well said, excellent article

    Too bad we likely won’t see this type of reporting (holding either party to account) in the MSM, or what passes for it today’

    Really Dave? Either party? Do you really need an explanation of what really has gone on in BC in the last two decades? The MSM only holds the NDP to account, not the Libs.

    Keep up.

  • 29 Larry Bennett // Jan 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    sjm – That 70’s feminist cant might work with some of the more sensitive younger guys, but your sucking slough water if you think it will work on me. It is so like Obama to approve allowing women into combat, but as has been said – any country that sends women to war, is not worth fighting for.

  • 30 D. M. Johnston // Jan 30, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Notice that the Province has penned a deal with SNC Lavalin for the Evergreen Line, just in time with May’s election.

    For history junkies, every rapid transit line built in the region had the deal inked just before an election.

    Now SNC is in a lot of hot water over questionable dealing abroad and in Quebec and since BC is nothing more than a Banana Republic, I wonder if there is any transit or SNC skeletons that might see the light of day?

    Just wondering?

  • 31 morry // Jan 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Why was Coleman so adamant about this Casino deal?

    What did he have to gain?


    (Response: I too wonder why an experienced politician, so close to an election, with his party already facing many many challenges, would do that! Can’t wait for our intrepid greyhounds at the press gallery to push, push, push for answers. h.o)

  • 32 Larry Bennett // Jan 31, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Mr. Johnston – So very true about SNC Lavalin, but then everything found in La Belle Provence, fell off the back of a truck. Didn’t Chretien’s daughter marry into that family or was it the ones who own Bombardier? Can’t recall, but she married into big money. And we know that da little guy from Shawinigan works for the lawyer group that arranged many of these questionable money transfers and etc..

  • 33 R // Jan 31, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Tar pipe

  • 34 Alexandra // Feb 1, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Larry Bennett go back to watching your Lawrence whelk hour.
    I see you have been double dosing on your “Catholic church fairy stories” again

  • 35 Larry Bennett // Feb 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

    How very curious; to wit: … you have been double dosing on your “Catholic church fairy stories” again! Perhaps not curious at all, perhaps very telling. Harvey, did I, or anyone here mention Catholic hagiography or phenomenology? Of course this could refer, by extension to Judaism and Genesis, from creation (myths?) through Noah and Jonah and a dozen stories found in the Old Testament, and, indeed in the Koran. You see the problem with atheists is not the fact that they believe in nothing, but rather, that they believe in almost anything. Perhaps it is some kind of witchery that tells her that I have just recently been involved in things ecclesial, being just back from burying my mother. Of course this would have included prayers for the dead (something Catholics partake of, but not Protestants) and the requiem mass or funeral mass the following day. But Alexandra seems to have an aversion to all things traditional, (known as generational hatred) thus her “Lawrence Welk” comment, who was actually long before my time. That would be because she would prefer the sentiments (if one dares call them, that) of ”’ oh, I don’t know … Metallica or The Who, or the Dead Kennedys, or some such. Her tastes run, not to the numinous or light comedy or even the George Lucas genre, but to the likes of Quentin Tarantino.
    One of the best political stump speeches of this century, was not made (to my mind) not by the mirror gazing Obama, but in the inaugural speech of Senator Bob Dole many years back. She, Alexandra, may have missed it.
    “Age has its advantages. Let me be the bridge to an America that only the unknowing call myth. Let me be the bridge to a time of tranquility, faith, and confidence in action. And to those who say it was never so, that America has not been better, I say, “You’re wrong, and I know, because I was there … And I remember.
    And I say, that theme applies to everything we are experiencing today.

  • 36 crazy eh... // Feb 4, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Leaving Christy as premier in this province is the biggest smokescreen in history. Coleman and other insiders have had plenty of time to finish up Gordon’s agenda, and their own as well. Successfully leaving a scorched earth financial mess and at the same time ensuring themselves and their friends, that all will be well even if they don’t get re-elected. Incredibly we have all been duped into Snookies world of photo-ops and vision of BC, while the real issues, are quietly covered up and buried.
    We really have to change the electoral and mla behaviors in this province. Quebec has the right answer, and they are achieving great results with their corruption commission.

    This would only be the start of the solution, investigation of all financial and development projects by this regime, is definitely in order, and folks only judicial inquiries will do, public inquiries truly are a waste of money…

    We can have real change and answers, time to start demanding them…these clowns think they can,,, get away with this. Let’s prove them wrong…big time!

  • 37 born vancouverite // Feb 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Coleman and Bagman kinsella run this province,chrusty is the distraction.