Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why Isn't Coleman Country (Gambling Division) Under Siege On...

...Two Fronts?

Vaughn Palmer wrote a column late last week in which he concluded that the fact that some folks are now willing to take specific members of the BC Liberal government to task is a sign that said government's time in the sun is, perhaps, coming to an end.

And as one example Mr. Palmer cited Surrey mayor Diane Watts' and Liberal MLA Gordon Hogg's piping up about how inappropriate it was that the BC Liberal Minister of Everything, Rich Coleman, had called up Surrey municipal councillors to make it very clear to them that it was his way or the highway on that casino deal.

But here's the thing....

While internal BC Liberalish squabbles are one thing, I would sure like to know why it is still only Alex Browne of the Peace Arch News who is really going after the story in Surrey.

In fact, Mr. Browne had another king hell follow-up in which he reported on the more recent salvos Mayor Watts fired back at Mr. Coleman after the MofE sprayed the landscape with misdirection gas about how the recent meetings about the Surrey casino weren't real public hearings and therefore his influence peddling wasn't actually the peddling of influence.

Or some such bizarre thing.


Interestingly, it is entirely possible that Surrey is not the only front in the big money gaming war that the VSun et al. are not covering.

What the heckfire am I babbling on about this time?

Well it turns out that there is another Lotuslandian group that has complained about Mr. Coleman's interference in the not so distant past.

More specifically, the 'Alliance for Arts and Culture' raised concerns that it was being targeted with similar 'my way or the highway' stuff when it raised questions about the massive Casino Industrial Complex that was to have been built by a Las Vegas concern called Paragon that had, as one of it's principals, a very fine fellow, and former BC Liberal government-appointed BC Lottery Corporation chairperson, named Mr. T. Richard Turner.

Here is just some of what the Alliance had to say at the time:

...In February, 2011, a message was conveyed to individuals close to the BCACG that unnamed persons in the provincial government were unhappy with the challenge by the BCACG and the Alliance to the Paragon Gaming casino application in Vancouver. It was stated that continuing this strategy could result in charities being hurt.

On Thursday, March 3, the BC Persons With AIDS Society received an unexpected cut of $50,000 from its gaming grant, which had remained stable for 6 years. BCPWAS has been a supporter of the challenge to Paragon Gaming's application to expand its license. The implication is clear.

As Minister Coleman's strong personal attack on Inspector Barry Baxter, head of the RCMP Proceeds of Crime Unit, demonstrates, there is a price to be paid for speaking up.

"For too long, charities and non-profits have been intimidated into silence," says Susan Marsden, Executive Director of the BCACG. "Our member organizations support families and communities, and the crisis in gaming grants has become a crisis for too many British Columbians across the province. It is deeply unhealthy that organizations not only feel the financial pressure, but are silenced by fear of the minister responsible."...


Given the fact that Mr. Coleman has now demonstrated that he will pick up the phone to 'give his input' to folks involved in casino decisions, why are the high ranking members of the Lotuslandian landed proMedia gentry not going after this story with all they've got?

I mean, they, themselves, don't have to wait for waning influences and/or internal squabbles within political parties to emerge before they go after a story of huge import, do they?

After all, it's not like there's anybody around who would take them out behind a barn and start yelling, screaming and, perhaps, spitting if they did....

Is there?

For anybody interested, I graded the performance of various pro and non-pro members of the local media on their performances in the first skirmish of the second front battle (which is sure to flare up again soon)
And thanks to Merv Adey for suggesting I have another look at the Arts Alliance thing...



Scotty on Denman said...

Why didn't Coleman run for BC Liberal leadership? On surface he looks perfect for the job.

Anonymous said...

Scotty, he didn't have to, any more than Cheney needed to be President - Merv