Sunday, May 15, 2016

Choosing A Chief Councillor In Old Massett...A Tale of Two Elections.


Back in 2013, Mr. Ken Rea, the Chief Councillor of the Old Massett Village Council on Haida Gwaii, was re-elected easily:

Residents of Old Massett went to the polls on Dec. 2, overwhelmingly returning incumbent Chief Councillor Ken Rea to the community's top spot.

Rea was running against three other candidates for the position and received 184 of the 363 votes, giving him just over 50 per cent of the popular vote. The next closest challenger was Roger Smith, who finished with 88 votes....

Then, in 2015, Mr. Rea was re-elected again, but things were much closer this time around when he beat rival Mr. Kimball Davidson by just 42 votes.

Which might have reasonable folks wondering if there might have been some doubt about the outcome of the recent 2015 election in the last week campaign (i.e. in late November of 2015.

Interestingly, as was explained in a Globe piece written by Mark Hume just after the 2015 election, the winner, Mr. Rea, supported a wind farm project backed by Mr. Bruce Clark, the brother of premier Christy Clark, while Mr. Davidson, the loser, did not.



Which election was preceded, by just one week, by the out-of-the-blue arrival of a private jet containing Premier Christy Clark bearing a $150,000 cheque for Mr. Rea and the Old Massett Village Council to explore the expansion of the village school?


Hang on a second while we go have a look at the photo-op laden records of Ms. Clark's government...

Ah, yes - here we are:


The following, in my opinion at least, is a very important question....

Where, precisely, is the written record of discussions within Ms. Clark's Ministry of Education that resulted in the executing of that cheque (that could not be unearthed by the BCNDP's FOIR)?

And why, exactly, is that a very important question?

Because if there really is no such record, and if Ms. Clark really did decide to do this on her own because she was asked to do so 'directly' by one of the people running in said closely contested local election...


Would it not be reasonable for reasonable British Columbians to wonder if, by not waiting until AFTER the closely contested local election was over to make a big splash and handout $150,000 to one of the people running, that, at the very least, Ms. Clark created the perception that she was trying to influence said election?

And with public money no less.

And, lest you think I am being overzealous in my request to see the record of what (if anything) went down in the Ministry of Education, do not forget that, when he was contacted by Mr. Hume about all of this last December, Mr. Bruce Clark said that he told Mr. Rea who to contact in the Ministry of Education, which is something that Mr. Rea confirmed...Additionally, Ms. Clark's spokesperson, Mr. Ben Chin told CKNW's Matt Lee that the government had been working on the issue for more than a year.



North Van's Grumps said...

“We need to consider every possible option and partnership to benefit students and communities. The study we're announcing today will take a hard look at the possibilities before us, and I hope it will show a path forward together,” said Premier Clark. “B.C. schools are more than brick and mortar classrooms - especially in communities like Masset, where they also serve as social hubs for everyone in the community.”

Haida Gwaii's 'brick and mortar classrooms'???? Sounds more like the Premier is using Vancouver's School Board buildings than as an example but skipping the $150,000. Or, did the $150,000 come from Metro Vancouver school board budgets?

Bill said...

From the attached Flicker shots I was interested to see Ms Clark speaking from the 'British Columbia Partners in Education' podium. If there is no Ministry of Education record on any of this Hadia Gwai gambit... who, what, when where was this all sussed out and what was the real why? The Ministry says they have no records of involvement. Something is not passing the smell test.

Maybe the more likely explanation is just the simplest explanation. Based on past shady rogue dealings - this was just another over confident, brazen, self interested 'family first' brotherly favour. One that was neatly wrapped up in a friendly Haida feel good greeting, all to smoke screen the true intent of her impromptu, low key (on the sly?) visit.

Clark's mix of evasively detailed explanations and non answers to Mr Horgan's straight forward questions really looked and sounded like someone being evasive. Money has been doled out under very questionable circumstances. A case can be made that this gifting had an ulterior motive. A motive that puts the Premier in at least a potential conflict of interest.

Like in past incidents she has three options. Show the evidence that this was all on the up and up, distract to next news cycle, go to ground and let her captured media do the deflecting and minimizing. Follow the money (and motives).

North Van's Grumps said...

like shoveling the money off of the truck election ploy. Didn't Premier Glen Clark do the same thing, and LOST

Anonymous said...

RCMP need to investigate

e.a.f. said...

This stinks on ice.

In my opinion, this isn't coincidence. a prudent person would have waited until after the election so as to avoid the impression of.........whatever.

Once again Christy Clown Clark has displayed a lack of judgement. Its time for her to go.

How about Christy gives all the other school districts in the province an extra $150K. they won't need to "study" anything. they know where they need to use the money.

Lew said...

Christy Clark’s executive excuse maker Ben Chin said in December the province had been discussing expanding the local school in Old Massett for more than a year. Chief Councillor of Old Massett during that period was Ken Rea.

If the province had been discussing expanding a school under Chief Rea’s jurisdiction, would it not be reasonable to assume they would have discussed it with him or someone working directly for him? Or were they planning on dropping in to expand the school without his knowledge?

Why would it be necessary for Bruce Clark to give him a number to call about an issue he’d already been discussing with the province for a year? And why would he have to call anybody in the bureaucracy in any case if he had already talked and made the request directly to the head school marm herself?

There’s a very simple way to clear all of this up, as Bill has already pointed out above. Release the entire document trail leading to the grant approval, including the travel arrangement bookings. And ask Bruce Clark or Ken Rae to kindly reveal the phone number Bruce Clark provided.

I’m sure the Legislative Press Gallery will be pressing hard on those clarifications, so all we have to do is wait, right? Although holding your breath while waiting is not recommended.

RossK said...

I'm sure Press Gallery is working on it 24/7 Bill and Lew--

One thing to add...

In last week's back and forth in Ledge, CClark told JHorgan that the request came directly from Mr. Rea to her.

In September...

Of 2015.

Which was less than 3 months before the money was doled out just before Mr. Rea's re-election in late November 2015.

That, too, seems to be directly at odds with Mr. Chin's statement made in December of 2015 that Lew noted.


Lenin's Ghost said...

Christy will win again. Same platform as Trudeau, the sequel. Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy. No substance. No financial worries.

The real crime is that the uneducated masses will vote wrong again.
Education, not indoctrination.

Glen Clark said...

Don't recall losing

RossK said...


Point taken.