Archive for April, 2013

When I decided to come out of political retirement for the 2008 election and ran for Mayor I did so only after seeing and hearing issue after issue which were, in short, just plain wrong. At the center of many of those issues that concerned us was the issue over land deals to friends and insiders, the Dixon Pit property was the best example. This Post is not to rehash that disaster but that disaster is very instructive when looking into the Township of Langley’s insecure future in land deals that will so negatively affect Township residents! Question – Should it not be the general public / taxpayers of the Township of Langley that benefit?

Remember the following excerpt from a private conversation I had with Rich Coleman from an earlier BLOG Post –

Rich Coleman: And you have been making noises about some land deals, and I want you to know we are OK with them.

Rick Green: Well we are not, it is bull shit and it is going to stop.

NOTE – I still want to know who the WE are.

First, a little pre-amble – I was born in the City of Vancouver and have lived in Vancouver, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Delta and the Township of Langley during my close to 67 wonderful years. I have a passion for the lower mainland and its quality of life and liveability. So, after hearing of the passing of Art Phillips recently, I was reminiscing about his relatively short tenure as Mayor in the City of Vancouver; but remembering his remarkable legacy. One has to be impressed. Two keys to that legacy 1) The prohibition of freeways through the City of Vancouver and 2) The creation of the “Property Endowment Trust and Trust Fund”. What he saw back in those years is exactly what is going on out here today. He established control and transformed Vancouver’s approx. $50 million asset of owned properties about 30 years ago into an asset value today of over $2 Billion.  Within this approx. 30 year period Vancouver City received close to $300 million into general revenue (to offset tax revenue) from the Property Endowment Trust Fund.

So Fast Forward to the Township of Langley – How does that affect us? Pre the 2008 Municipal Election Campaign the Dixon Pit Property sale became a hot topic of conversation as I stated above. That issue coupled with what I had heard from a few inside sources, specifically that the Township of Langley had a considerable property portfolio amounting to some $500 million caused me to seek out the detail of the Vancouver Trust. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to look at the track record of Township of Langley property management (lack of) and see the opportunity to introduce a “Property Endowment Trust and Trust Fund” into the Township TO BENEFIT taxpayers going forward. It was a major plank in my 2008 election platform coupled with a three year 0% tax increase paid for by the benefits of the Endowment Trust. Well you would have thought it was a good idea, but given the culture that exists in the Township, I found out NOT SO MUCH after being elected! After a number of meetings, discussions, and work-shops there was no interest. Interesting?

The existing property management process in Township Owned Property?  – There is a long standing process dealing with property purchases, property sales and land swaps being decided behind closed doors. Today is no different. In my experience, senior staff makes the decisions and come to council for a rubber stamp of approval no matter how archane. Council members are NOT in the habit of questioning the decisions of senior staff.

FACT – Property purchases and decisions on which properties to sell must be held in camera under the terms of the Community Charter which makes abundant sense. What isn’t required to be in-camera is the public process of selling. That should be very public to maximize the return for the taxpayer. (Unlike that which happened in the Dixon Pit advertising and sale)

Unfortunately the internal process and decision making that is in place for property sales can lead to the potential for abuse, putting at risk the opportunity to achieve current market price or re-zoned market price potential on Township property. There are three issues to be concerned about for the protection of our public assets 1) The process of decision making to sell or to buy a piece of property 2) The price a given piece of property is sold, swapped or purchased for. (All properties should be appraised through an independent third party appraisal) and 3) the lack of co-ordination between planning and our property division which loses the benefit of potential zoning improvements to achieve an increased value for the taxpayer owned asset.

Important Note: No – While some will suggest that this is the start of an election process I can assure you it is not. This idea was proposed by me in 2008 and 2011 election. The bad news (but not surprising given the culture that exists) it was readily denied by members of Council. If it wasn’t so sad it would be humorous – The last challenge I had from Charlie Fox on this issue was “Mayor Green, give us a business plan”. Now Councillor Fox, you heard directly from Bruce Maitland on a number of occasions who very successfully managed Vancouver’s plan for 20+ years. Vancouver’s plan was created by Art Phillips who established one of the most successful investment firms in the country “Phillips, Hager and North, now a subsidiary of RBC Financial”. OH and by the way Charlie, we wanted to create a value added transparent internal process not open up a supermarket.

My proposal? – NOT SUCCESSFUL – Establishing a “Township of Langley Property Endowment Trust” – Establish control of the process of purchasing, selling and swapping property owned and/or being bought (with council approval) by the Township. Management of the “Township of Langley Property Endowment Trust and Trust Fund” would be through a Board of Directors or Select Standing Committee consisting of the Mayor, Administrator, Director of Finance and two Council members of the Mayor’s Standing Committee of Finance (who would be voting members) plus the Director of the Property Division (non-voting). Before a property is put up for sale all zoning and planning issues would be reviewed with the Township Planning Department with a view to look at the potential for improving the zoning to increase the market price potential if possible. If it is decided to sell the property it would be marketed extensively through a very open and public process to Real Estate Agents, Land Developers (Commissionable) and to anyone who might have an interest in the property through Community Charter regulations for advertising. It IS NOT about selling all of our property assets, it is about enhancing our portfolio value through sale, purchase and rental properties. The decision to ultimately approve a sale would be that of council after a briefing from staff as to the planning impact of the sale.

My proposal? – NOT SUCCESSFUL – Establish a “Township of Langley Property Endowment Trust Fund”Funding of this Trust Fund will be through a process where the Current Assessed Value of the property sold (pre up-zoning) would go into General Revenue, while the additional revenue over and above the original assessed value would go into the Township Property Trust Fund. This fund, under specific rules of its founding, commits all revenue, principle and interest to be used to help offset future tax increases.

My proposal – SUCCESSFUL – A Permanent Public Accounting of all Township Owned Properties – During the 2008 campaign, despite numerous attempts to obtain a detailed list of Township owned properties we were unsuccessful. We were told that they did not have a consolidated inventory list. After the election I requested this inventory from the CAO and had about five binders delivered to my office within a couple of weeks. There is now a detailed inventory available to the public in the Township Real Estate Department. (Or there should be)

In Summary – You do have to wonder what else is going on when you receive a reception like this on an idea that has been proven very successful in Vancouver, is transparent, protects council’s rights of final decision and offers an extensive number of benefits to the taxpayers of the Township of Langley. In the 2008 election I was publicly challenged by Kurt Alberts in an all candidates meeting in Fort Langley that I was going to sell Fire Halls and Community Centers. In the 2011 election we were similarly criticized. Isn’t it interesting how many Township property sales we have seen since the 2011 election, including the attempts to sell the Glenn Valley Forest? Taxpayers should be very concerned.

Elected members of Council owe it to their taxpayers that they are and will do their level best in service to their community. It is about service to the community at large, not special favors for friends and insiders which has been the practice in the Township of Langley by some for decades.



I am working on a few posts at present that I believe should be of significant concern leading up to the provincial election connecting the dots municipally. – Not Healthy!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

Share this BLOG; forward it to your friends, neighbors and relatives!

To comment on this post – Click on this Post, top left hand corner under recent posts.

This BLOG was created as my reaction to watching the irresponsible actions of this Council after one full year in office. Nothing has changed from my three years… It has gotten worse!!!

So a little skill testing question…. WHAT IS THE COMMON DENOMINATOR between the 2008 Council and the 2011 Council?

THE ANSWER – Councilors Ward, Long, Ferguson, Fox, and Dornan… and in this term supported by Councilor Sparrow and Mayor Froese!!! Why should we be surprised?

The Langley Times feature news item (Dan Ferguson) dated Tuesday April 23rd, 2013 puts everything into perspective. It seems The Fort Langley Community Association and the Salmon River Enhancement Society both took the position that attending a Public Hearing in the Township of Langley was a waste of their time. This decision on their part was based on a long held belief, supported by THE FACTS of numerous planning and project votes by this Council. “We no longer feel that attending public hearings and having council ignore our input is a suitable investment of the time of volunteers who reap no monetary benefit for the many hours they have contributed to this community” said Doug McFee, director of the Salmon River Enhancement Society. Connie Blundy, Chair of the Fort Langley Community Association states “We have chosen to forward our position as a written submission so as not to spend our time in lining up to speak to the issue before Council, given this council’s recent history of adjudicating recent submissions by largely ignoring the community input at Public Hearings.”

So what are the examples identified by those opposing the University / Wall proposal and more?

The Inconvenient Facts – Just a few examples of bad practice:

  • Fort Langley’s Bedford Landing Parklane Waterfront Condominiums Phase 1 –  “The Condo Wall” – In mid-2008 the ParkLane condominiums on the waterfront of Fort Langley was approved at 3rd reading for a three story development. At 4th Reading and Development Permit Phase, despite resounding objection from the community, Council approves a four story development. Now known as the “Condo Wall”. Under the Community Charter you can only change Form, Character and Design after 3rd reading. Adding an additional floor breaches that rule in my opinion. All of this happened before the 2008 election.
  • Fort Langley’s Bedford Landing Parklane Waterfront Condominiums Phase 2 – “The Condo Wall” – The Park Lane Condo Development, despite numerous public meetings and public dialogue, a four story configuration was approved. The Public Hearing was contentious with very significant public opposition in the form of petition and speakers at the Public Hearing. In my opinion the public consultation was a token sham! All of the 2nd phase occurred post the 2008 election.
  • The Forewest Condominium Development on the bottom of the Willoughby Slopes. Staff worked with the developer and made an attempt in my last year in office to change the OCP and complete a rezoning (two by-laws) in one process that would completely change the density and character of this community. With a very strong opposition it was turned down. With very little change from the original proposal this development was brought back in front of the New Council, received strong opposition and it was approved. Ask yourself WHY?
  • The Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley – How is it possible that Council passed the Statewood application for the Coulter Berry building which did not comply with the OCP or the Heritage Conservation area, was turned down by TOL staff in Heritage and Planning and yet was passed 8-1 when the developer presented it to Council. This building for the record is three stories or 14.5 feet over the height limit of 29 feet and two stories. Site coverage exceeded the allowable limit by 7% and it was contrary to the town’s main street heritage character. Approval was given despite wide spread opposition of a 950 person petition and 2 – 1 in opposition at the 2 evening Public Hearing. (There are only roughly 2,500 that live in Fort Langley) The kicker! In Fort Langley, – Eric Woodward, the owner of the Coulter Berry building, plus a substantial property portfolio in the Fort, a Township of Langley appointee to the Heritage Advisory Committee, President of the Fort Langley BIA, fellow resident with Jack Froese in Bedford Landing and a donor of $2,000 to Jack Froese in the last election received approval! It is important to note that three other builders adapted their new buildings in Fort Langley to the OCP. Why Special Treatment for Mr. Woodward? Only in the Township of Langley you say! Are you surprised?
  • Athenry Development / WilloughbyI researched this project and its history through a variety of Staff Reports. I was frankly shocked in finding the project that was proposed and given the appropriate readings, including Public Hearings bore no resemblance in my opinion to what was before us at Development Permit Stage and 4th and final reading. Changes can only be made after 3rd reading in Form, Character and Design. These changes in my opinion did not meet that standard! The original June 2008 approved project was for one building located roughly in the center of the property while the 2010 version was for three, four story apartment buildings, a two story office building and a Cultural Center. This change impacted all surrounding private homes severely with a dramatically reduced set back, increased height of buildings and close imposition immediately next to surrounding homes. In my opinion and experience this was and is a travesty that happened to local hard working taxpayers. (NOTE – As I understand it, the affected residents had launched legal action but withdrew without giving up their right for taking action in the future.) Due to their position they have been denied access to speak directly to councilors (They must go through Township lawyers) about ongoing problems with the development that has so dramatically affected their quality of life and home values! For any residents reading this and wondering what their reaction might be IF they were in the same position? I know of one resident who has sold their dream home in this development, it has cost them about $100,000. This has been verified by local real estate representatives. (A Full Post on this issue at a later date)
  • Soil Deposits on Agricultural LandThis issue is a very serious rural concern and another example of Municipal neglect that affects property values and livability, not unlike Athenry, Forewest, Mufford Cresc. Overpass and Fort Langley issues do in our urban environment. Regardless of where you live in the Township of Langley, issues such as this affect your fellow residents. We should all be very concerned about how all of our communities are being treated by Municipal Hall and your elected Council. Under Provincial ALC Legislation a resolution of Council is required before a soil deposit application can be forwarded to the ALC. The CAO of the Township of Langley sent a letter to a Provincial Crown Agency (ALC) stating there was a resolution of Council when in fact there wasn’t a resolution of Council. As a result of this action they proceeded to send all soil deposit applications to the ALC for review and decision despite the legislation that was in place and essentially washed their hands of any repercussions. How many innocent landowners have been drastically affected between Nov. 22nd, 2005 and June of 2010? Staff and Council have a Fiduciary responsibility to residents of the Township of Langley to abide by the law (provincial legislation) and to act in their interest. What went wrong? How could they disregard this responsibility?
  • Mufford Crescent Diversion – For the record, the Mayor of the day in answer to questions from a resident in mid-October 2008 said NO application had been made to the Agricultural Land Commission. THE TRUTH? Contrary to what the Mayor said (surprise) an application had been made in September of 2008. The decision to give conditional approval by the ALC was given the week after the election in 2008 a week and a half before the swearing in of the new Council. No public consultation, no notification, no advice! Public Consultation as promised and the RESULT! – Two Open Houses and a Public Meeting later that saw over 1,000 people involved with 97% in opposition. This was the measure of public interest and public opposition. This level of public response is unheard of. The Vote – At the conclusion of the public process the Council of the day at a 4:00 PM afternoon Council meeting (nobody in the audience) indicated they wanted to have a vote on the Mufford Crescent project as presented. I advised members of Council that if their wish was to vote and it was in favor I would use my Mayor’s authority to bring the vote back for another vote in two weeks at a public televised evening meeting. Council chose an immediate vote which we held; the result 6 – 3 in favor of the project. I served notice as promised that I would bring it forward for another vote as promised. My point was that on such a contentious issue you cannot hide behind an afternoon meeting with nobody in the audience. Well, not that it was a surprise, but two weeks later with over 300 overflow in the Council Chamber audience and on TV the second vote was held, the result a 6 – 3 in favor. Mayor Green, Councilors Richter and Kositsky opposed, Councilors Ward, Ferguson, Fox, Dornan, Long and Bateman in favor. These six dismissed the results of the public consultation process and the wishes of the electorate. Just a thought – Given the incident in Surrey over Casino-Gate with Rich Coleman contacting members of Council during a Public Hearing, is there any chance he contacted members of our Council prior to any votes? Can you conceive of a parallel situation with Township of Langley Councilors?
  • The University District / Wall Townhouse Development on ALR landThe University District idea within the Township of Langley (TOL) is not new; it has been around for years. Unfortunately, like so many issues within our community, it is sadly lacking in any kind of democratic public process thanks to the control of a few!! This is also the case with the Wall development proposal on farmland which I only learned about in my last year on Council. The Facts!Rich Coleman, Mayor Froese and members of Council are“Not letting the facts get in the way of a good story”! Another land deal? It is all symptomatic of what is wrong in the Township of Langley!Ask WHY? WHO REALLY BENEFITS? Don’t forget – The Wall family have been considerable donors to Christy Clark’s Leadership Campaign, to the B.C. Liberal Party and have also contributed to a number of Council members. Remember Rich Coleman’s public comments for this project and against Metro? I wonder why? Despite the opposition of Metro Vancouver (contrary to a previously agreed to Metro Regional Growth Strategy), despite the ALC not agreeing to the proposal they (Council) press on. What will it take for this Council to pay attention to the community that elects them?

So what is the outrage NOW? Just look at the following comments from a few members of Council from last night’s Council meeting. It is hard to believe these people are elected to represent us thinking like this:

The pre amble – Mayor Jack Froese and a majority of Council objected to the letters. (a number of letters sent by those opposing the University / Wall application and their unwillingness to appear at the Public Hearing) saying that just because the groups didn’t get their way doesn’t mean council was ignoring them.

  • Councilor Bob Long said “Somebody should write these folks and explain how the public hearing process works”. The Mayor agreed!
  • Councilor Charlie Fox bristled at the tone of the letters, calling some of the comments “offensive”.
  • Mayor Froese stated “They obviously don’t understand Public Hearings” and “I can’t speak for anyone else, but I certainly do listen”.

Response –

  • Councilor Long, you are obviously past your best before date, insulting the intelligence of the electorate. The general public are well ahead of you.
  • Councilor Fox – Offensive? Take a look in the mirror! What is offensive is your condescending attitude. What does this call for Charlie, another threatening letter or email?
  • Mayor Froese – What can we say. Sitting in the Mayor’s chair without one iota of experience, you are insulting the public saying they don’t understand the process? In one short year you are past your best before date!

So you say you listen, Mayor Froese? Remember these comments, you can run but you cannot hide.

(Pete McMartin Vancouver Sun column on Mayor Jack Froese) Nov. 29/12 RE Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley:

Mayor Froese was asked why he voted for it despite the evidence of so much local opposition states:

  • “He does not govern by petition”.

Of the preponderance of speakers opposing the variance at the official hearings Mayor Froese states:

  • “We really have to listen to the silence of the people who didn’t come out.”

Pete McMartin states “How Froese intuited that this absent cohorts silence was in favor of the Coulter Berry development and not against it, or split down the middle, is a mystery I will leave with him. Politicians have powers of the mind I cannot fathom.” Despite the size of the opposition only one councilor voted against it, it sure says something about what is going on, doesn’t it!


It is long past time that the citizens of the Township of Langley unite and get motivated to respond and fight back against the actions of this Council. When you voted in the last Municipal Election I don’t believe you voted for a dictator but one that believes in our democracy. I believe you voted for someone who would not side with friends and insiders but would treat all citizens equal. I believe you voted for someone who would be or understand what it would take to be fiscally responsible.

This BLOG is presenting the facts, not some dreamt up gossip or innuendo, – I am up for the challenge if you wish to dispute any of the foregoing!



I am working on a few posts at present that I believe are of significant concern to Township of Langley Residents, come back often for news of interest to Township residents.

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

Share this BLOG; forward it to your friends, neighbors and relatives!

To comment on this post – Click on this Post, top left hand corner under recent posts.

This BLOG posting draws a parallel comparison between our Municipal Government and the current Provincial Government. Fundamentally it is about a comparative lack of transparency and public consultation on both levels. With the Provincial Election well underway, you and I are being bombarded with political messages that have one thing in common, from Rich Coleman, Mary Polak and the B.C. Liberals, “Don’t Let the Truth get in the way of a good story”. These people are drinking the same bath water as our Municipal politicians in the Township of Langley. There is more to the story.

It was interesting this week reading a few different letters to the editor coming from two different perspectives. Now, I understand politics very well and fully understand those that support individuals with different opinions and points of view. That’s democracy. But it is very important to dig a little deeper to maybe understand the whys of a particular viewpoint. It is all about connecting the dots and then let the electorate make up their mind about what is really happening. But let’s start with the truth shall we!

The Township of Langley –

–          Just connect the dots and see who is supporting who  –

Misty vanPopta Letter to the Editor Langley Times Thursday, April 11th – The Langley Times published a Misty vanPopta letter to the editor headed “Township Councilors have a tough job”. She bemoans the fact that they have the “unglamorous task of governing through these difficult decisions; what it is our elected officials do on their behalf and accusations are made about being paid off, of not listening to the public and of conspiracy in general”.

Misty goes on to state that she “would fear a community that was governed on the whim of emotions and not on a good sound thought process”. She goes on “I think our society in general abuses the terms democracy and free speech”.

I could go on but I hope you get the idea. This is THE finest example of someone who just does not get it, nor do they obviously have the life experience to know what is involved in Council decisions nor how a Municipal Council should run. Remember, just because a member of this council says something or this Council acts in a certain way doesn’t make it right nor does it put them in a good light compared to the process and procedure in most if not all other communities I am aware of. What is happening with this Council is a complete joke being perpetrated on the people of the Township of Langley fueled by special interests!

Conclusion – NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THIS BUT just so everyone is aware! Misty vanPopta was a candidate for Council in the last Municipal Election who was on THE list of recommended candidates by one Joel Schacter as published in his email (dated Nov. 15th 2011 at 3:00PM) previously posted on this BLOG. Joel Schacter is also a well known friend of Mark Bakken, Township CAO and Liberal MLA Rich Coleman for Fort Langley Aldergrove. That list supported Councilors Bob Long, Charlie Fox, Bev Dornan, Grant Ward, Steve Ferguson and Michelle Sparrow. Not bad, they got six of eight! Misty supporting this council? You draw your own conclusion.

And then we have the alternate….

Doug McFee Letter to the Editor Langley Advance Tuesday April 16th – The Langley Advance published a Doug McFee (Salmon River Enhancement Society) letter to the editor headed Public Hearings not worth attending! Now for the record Doug McFee and I did not agree on everything and I couldn’t honestly tell you what his politics are nor do I care. What I do care about is the position he and the society have decided to take with respect to the Public Hearing process in the Township. I don’t like their position but after watching, participating and seeing what has been going on in the Hall, I fully understand their position! Doug McFee is a very solid citizen of the Township with countless hours of volunteering. Despite the fact we didn’t agree on everything, which is good and healthy I might add, I used to enjoy having Doug in my office every couple of months or so for a meeting and discussion on a wide range of issues in our community.

You see Misty talks about the Democratic process and free speech. Well I think she should go back to school to understand the true meaning of democracy and free speech. It is my view, after years of experience in municipal governance in Delta, Metro Vancouver and the Township, that this Council from the Mayor on down (except David Davis) has no clue what those words mean!

Consider what this Council has done over the past few years (partial list) which brought with them a significant, just and responsible opposition –

  • The Park Lane Condominium Wall in Fort Langley
  • The Willoughby Forewest Development
  • The Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley
  • The Wall Townhouse Development on Prime ALR Farmland
  • The rejigged Trinity University District
  • The rejigged Wall Townhouse Development on Prime ALR Farmland
  • Out of Control Soil deposits on Agricultural Land.
  • And much more….      

These are not the actions of a reasonably thinking Municipal Council. Remember Pete McMartin’s column in the Vancouver Sun on Mayor Jack Froese? –

(Pete McMartin Vancouver Sun) Nov. 29/12 RE Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley

Mayor Froese was asked why he voted for it despite the evidence of so much local opposition states:

  • “He does not govern by petition”.

Of the preponderance of speakers opposing the variance at the official hearings Mayor Froese states:

  • “We really have to listen to the silence of the people who didn’t come out.”

Pete McMartin states “How Froese intuited that this absent cohorts silence was in favor of the Coulter Berry development and not against it, or split down the middle, is a mystery I will leave with him. Politicians have powers of the mind I cannot fathom.” Despite the size of the opposition only one councilor voted against it, it sure says something about what is going on, doesn’t it!

Conclusion – The actions (votes, process and procedure) of this council speak volumes about what they are all about. This is more about serving special interests than it is about responsible government.

B.C. General Election –

So now we have the goings on and ignoring of the facts by the B.C. Liberal Government and their current elected MLAs. I have already published a BLOG posting that outlines a number of lies told by the B.C. Liberals, but they continue to go on and continue to ignore the facts!

In the Vancouver Sun there was a guest editorial or opinion piece dated Wednesday April 17th, 2013, by one Martyn Brown, Gordon Campbell’s former Chief of Staff. It is titled “B.C. Liberal’s TV show offers no threat to the NDP”. It clarifies the facts surrounding debt and deficit in our province. It speaks a very different story than the likes of Christy Clark, Rich Coleman and Mary Polak would have you believe. The figures that he outlines have been known for some time but coming out of his mouth, it says it all. He was there, he should know!

So here we have the B.C. Liberals trying to scare the daylights out of John Q Public by running their campaign on the theme of fear “The NDP will run deficit budgets and our debt will grow out of control”, and OH yes they are the only ones that could provide good management of government. The problem is that just doesn’t pass the smell test!!!


Christy Clarks record! Total Provincial Debt which includes self-supporting debt and tax-payer supported debt has grown from $45 billion to $56 billion an $11 Billion increase or 24% increase in 2 short years and to a projected $69 Billion or 34% increase by 2015 under Christy Clarks plan! Purveyors of good sound fiscal control, I think NOT?

Rich and Mary, you sure know how NOT to control the debt and manage government!



The Christy Clark Liberals put now up an NDP Spend-o-Meter? What an unmitigated joke. Contrary to the FACTS, the Lieberals continue to perpetuate the biggest lie (and there is a lot to choose from) in the last 12 years. Seeing that Rich Coleman is the Co-Chair of the Provincial Liberal Campaign, we have to believe he is at the heart of perpetuating this BIG LIE!!! The numbers, an increase of $11 billion in debt by Christy Clark and her band of incompetent (are you listening Rich Coleman and Mary Polak) ministers over the past two years speaks volumes as to what these people are all about. Once again, they are an embarrassment to any and all free enterprise governments of the past.


The Question – Do we want to continue to elect those that continue to provide very questionable and unsatisfactory government or are we going to start to make those elected accountable?

Remember that old saying

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result”!

As a society we have got to start spending more time deciding who it is we want to form Government, Federal, Provincial and Municipal. I have made a decision, after my time and experience in the Mayor’s Office, to say enough is enough. The easy decision for me and everyone else for that matter is to say the hell with it and go about our lives. What about having a moral commitment to play a part for change? I can hear the chatter now, how can I change it? Well I can tell you, based on personal experience YOU CAN change it!

I will have lots more in the days, weeks and months ahead. Stay tuned!

Over the next three to four weeks I will be posting some thoughts on what we will hear and see throughout the Provincial Election Campaign and where those issues intersect with Township and/or Municipal issues going forward.


I am working on a few posts at present that I believe should be of significant concern leading up to the provincial election connecting the dots municipally. – Not Healthy!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!


Share this BLOG; forward it to your friends, neighbors and relatives!


To comment on this post – Click on this Post, top left hand corner under recent posts.

All of those that have been a part of this B.C. Liberal Government have been an absolute embarrassment to the principles and ideals of Free Enterprise in British Columbia. The only measuring stick taxpayers can use is past performance, well in the following we are reminded that they, the LIBERALS, truly could not run a peanut stand!

Watching this train wreck called the B.C. Liberal Government reminds me of the “GANG THAT CAN’T SHOOT STRAIGHT”, something that is a sad testimony compared to the rich history of Free Enterprise in British Columbia. When I hear the likes of Rich Coleman and Christy Clark mouth the names of W.A.C. Bennett and Bill Bennett trying to align themselves for comparative purposes, it is frankly quite sickening. Nobody in Victoria today could hold a candle to the vision and management skills of the Bennetts. Were there issues and problems back then, absolutely, but nothing remotely close to what the current B.C. Liberal Government is doing to British Columbia?

What is even more pathetic is watching the likes of Rich Coleman, Christy Clark and Mary Polak try to sell the cock and bull story that these are the NEW Liberals; when in fact they and many more currently in a leadership position in this government are responsible for the following list of ill-conceived, ill-planned and ill-timed events. Adding a few new candidates who are doing nothing more than doing a favor for the Liberal Party, under pressure, does not change the structure and/or leadership of this party or Government. It is still the same party and the same government that is absent of any moral conviction. It is still a corrupt party and government!

Don’t forget the following when voting May 14th…………………

1.    Introduction of the HST despite pre-election promises not to. Never before has a government raised the ire of the electorate as the B.C. Liberals did over this one. The sad reality is the debate wasn’t about whether this was good or bad tax policy it was about the fact the B.C. Liberal Government lied to the taxpayers. FACT – It was a $2 Billion transfer from business to the consumer.

2.    The sale of B.C. Rail despite pre-election promises not to. OH sorry it was a 999 year lease. (Just a thought, how many countries will exist in 999 years? How insulting!) To refresh everyone’s memory one of a very few reasons Gordon Campbell lost the 1996 election to the NDP was he campaigned on selling B.C. Rail. So in 2001 that issue was off their platform. What happened – the B.C. Government sold B.C. Rail, they lied to the taxpayers.

3.    The pay-off of $6 million to Basi and Virk in exchange for a guilty plea. On the eve of Gary Farrell Collins testifying at the B.C. Rail trial the B.C. Government comes out with a settlement in exchange for a guilty plea and they pay off their legal fees of $6 million. They actually expect the public to believe this. What unfettered garbage.

4.    Refused to initiate an inquiry on B.C. Rail / Basi and Virk to ensure public transparency. Given the justified public suspicion and profile of this issue, the B.C. Liberal Government could have solved their problem by holding a transparent public judicial inquiry. IF THERE WAS NOTHING TO HIDE why not! What is the TRUTH Rich Coleman – you were in Cabinet?

5.    Claims of being the lowest tax regime in the country is absolutely false when taking into account the wide-ranging increases of user fees in every area of the Provincial Government starting with dramatic increases in HSP (Health Services Plan). I now believe from the outset this was all part of the Liberals master plan. Lower our marginal tax rates and make up the shortfall in user fees that are most often than not a significant burden on those that can least afford it. This type of action is just another character and moral flaw among many.

6.    A complete failure to lower mainland residents by failing to work with lower mainland Mayors to find a sustainable funding model for Translink while hiding behind the secretive Private Board of Directors they established. I was sitting at the Mayor’s Translink Council and experienced first-hand the complete arrogance and contempt the B.C. Liberal Government had for the Mayors of the region. They had an incredible opportunity to be a part of a partnership, unfortunately their arrogance got in the way. Now, with defeat staring them straight in the eye, we have Mary Polak agreeing to set up a special committee to help solve that problem this fall. Does Mary Polak actually believe she will be there? Mary, all of this was just too late.

7.    The Liberal Government’s (Minister Rich Coleman) complete mishandling of the B.C. Hydro file, turning B.C. s jewel of a Crown Corporation into a fiscal basket case. BC Hydro has signed long term contracts with various “green power producers” who are generating via “run of the river, solar and wind power”. These contracts call for power to be purchased at rates which represent 3, 4 and 5 times the current retail price of power. You cannot buy product at several times your resale price and make it up in volume. Two major power producers in California-PG&E and Southern California Edison filed for bankruptcy due to these ill-conceived concepts over a decade ago. BC Hydro seems to enjoy using “off balance sheet deferral accounts” so the true nature of their red ink generating activities are not seen on a daily basis by BC taxpayers-this was one of the major shortcomings leading to the downfall of Enron-the major power trading and wheeling entity which got BC Hydro’s PowerEx stuck with several hundred million dollars of unpaid bills with the State of California and charges of collusion. Do we want to put BC Hydro-which has the second lowest power rates in North America-at financial risk? This Crown Corporation will be the key to attracting industry to BC just as Hydro Quebec uses North America’s lowest rates as the ultimate incentive to bring business to Quebec. The B.C. Auditor General has severely criticized B.C. Hydro and the Liberal Government for special deferral accounts estimated at $2.1 billion expected to increase to $4.7 billion by 2014. Further they have Implemented Smart Meters at the cost of $1 Billion with absolutely no consultation or communication at a time that we are enduring a tough economy. This debt that is being put off to a later date. Rich Coleman’s defense is so pathetic it is no defense at all!

8.    As minister responsible for gaming in B.C. Rich Coleman was actively at the center of the promotion of a $100 million South Surrey Casino project. He is the regulator not the promoter, or is there more to this Rich? Interfering with local elected officials by contacting members of council during deliberations and public hearings is totally out of line. As or even more serious is his defense of his actions, clearly he just doesn’t get it.

9.    Perpetrating a massive lie on the electorate prior to the last election with respect to the budgeted deficit erroneously pegged at $450 Million coming in after the election at what $1.86 Billion?

10.  Selling off 100 Crown owned properties with an estimated value of $800 million in order to balance the provisional 2013 budget. This by any standard is wrong, you do not sell off capital assets (actual value unknown until sold) to cover operating costs. It is the law of diminishing returns. So what do we sell off next year? This is like selling the family silver to pay today’s food bill, what do we sell tomorrow?

11.   An $11 Million shameless Ethnic Voter scandal utilizing publicly funded partisan staff to pay for partisan activities while underfunding persists in the Ministry of Families and more

Free Enterprisers DO HAVE ANOTHER CHOICE IN THE UPCOMING B.C. General Election!

This is just a partial list of so many incidents of wrong doing by this Liberal Government. As I have said before, you could not write this stuff! But it goes beyond the dysfunctional government in Victoria, it is also about how many senior Cabinet Ministers view there roll as it pertains to relationship with local government. We have seen first-hand the bullying and intimidation practiced by Rich Coleman in telephone calls to elected Councilors in Surrey. Where else is this practiced? – A good question?

The Provincial Liberal Government has breached the trust of the taxpayer in virtually all aspects of provincial governance in British Columbia. They cannot hide from that responsibility. And that failure.

IF the B.C. Liberal Government is supported by your vote it will be taken as a vote of confidence in everything they are responsible for. Is that what you want or they deserve?

Breaking News: While preparing this BLOG Posting it was just announced that Christy Clark has been cleared of conflict of interest allegations over the sale of B.C. Rail filed by MLA John van Dongen. This was the decision by the appointed Northwest Territories Conflict of Interest Commissioner Gerald Gerrand filed today. To say this is an unmitigated joke would be a compliment. Commissioner Gerrand did not interview Clark, Marrisen and former lobbyist Bornman but did accept sworn statements, but he did interview John van Dongen at length. There was no interview or sworn statement from Basi / Virk. Isn’t all of this convenient? Given Clarks very public statement of a potential conflict and the fact she used that as a reason to step aside from a Legislative discussion and a few Cabinet Meetings where B.C. Rail was discussed; she by evidence already on the record, attended Cabinet Meetings when B.C. Rail was discussed. You can’t have it both ways! You either step aside in all discussions or none of them? What is it?

All of this speaks to the demand for a judicial (not just public) inquiry. Given all of the evidence that is on the public record, the B.C. Rail case and the Basi / Virk settlement DO NOT pass the smell test! Will it cost, yes, but there is a price to pay for democracy. We cannot let it go unchallenged and not thoroughly investigated.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All of us residents have to thank MLA John van Dongen for his application and challenge of his former colleagues. Now to be clear I am not putting words in John’s mouth, but I will read between the lines and just use common sense. Consider  – John was a Cabinet Minister in this government sitting at that cabinet table. He is still governed by Cabinet Confidentiality so is limited in what he can say BUT you can’t tell me he doesn’t remember what was said at that Cabinet Table! Having said all of that, he believed so strongly in his charge that he paid his substantial legal bills personally. Why would anyone do this unless there was much more to the story? Reading the transcript of the interview between the Commissioner and John van Dongen, any reasonably thinking individual would have expected far more from a Conflict of Interest Commissioner during this investigation.

Now I am no supporter of the NDP but today (April 11th) after the NDP released their fiscal framework, Rich Coleman was interviewed and said it was disgusting – Well Rich I will tell you, and I believe the voters will tell your party on May 14th, what is really disgusting is your government and what you have done to this province! You and your party’s actions have caused us to be in this situation. Look in the mirror and with any luck you won’t like the guy looking back at you!

The Election writ is about to drop – one week away and then it is up to all of us to talk to our neighbors, friends and to attend the many all candidate meetings that will be held in every constituency in the province. Watch and listen to the leaders debates. Read the editorials. There will be mountains of information thrown at us over the next 5 weeks. Inform yourselves.


More IMPORTANT – VOTE May 14th, 2013. – If you don’t vote, you can’t complain!! 


I am working on a few posts at present that I believe are of significant concern to Township of Langley Residents, come back often for news of interest to Township residents.

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!


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To comment on this post – Click on this Post, top left hand corner under recent posts.

In part one I uncovered and exposed the fact that the Township of Langley deliberately misled residents from November of 2005 about Soil Deposit responsibility on Agricultural Land. This lasted until June of 2010, the month we uncovered the November 2005 letter to the ALC stating they had a resolution but in fact they had no resolution. The Township of Langley knowingly went against the requirements of Provincial Legislation. It was now time to correct the problem. Well, anywhere else it would have been easy, but in the Township there were and are other forces at work!!

First let me be very clear – this is not about banning Soil Deposits on Agricultural Land but it is about abiding by legislation allowing appropriately planned, inspected and responsible Soil Deposits. Rural property owners should expect to have their property protected against the actions of irresponsible neighboring land owners. Unfortunately in the Township of Langley we have been pre-disposed with protecting the offenders (problem soil deposits) than we are innocent land owners that want nothing more but to maintain their land in the condition they bought it. They want to protect it’s value; not too much to ask?

This entire soil deposit on agricultural land issue – the uncovering of the 2005 letter to the ALC from the Township Chief Administrative Officer (CAO); followed by the memo to only five councilors by the CAO in an attempt to prop up his defense of that letter and most important; a letter from the ALC clearly defining soil deposit on agricultural land being a non-farm use. Up to this point, for the best part of the past decade the Township of Langley had been the wild, wild west for soil deposit on Agricultural Land. Put it another way it was and is “a license to print money”. This was all the result of a legal interpretation of the act by Township lawyers, so says Councilor Fox. Is that what it was, really Councilor Fox, or was it possibly an intentional attempt to circumvent Provincial Legislation? Just asking the question?

The following is an interesting contradiction; NOW WHO WOULD YOU BELIEVE?

In an interview with the Aldergrove Star May 31st Fry said “both of these cases are considered non-farm use and local government has the authority to reject them and not forward them to the ALC for consideration. In our legislation for applications that are called non-farm uses, and in fact those involving fill, an application of that nature may not proceed to the (ALC) unless authorized by a forwarding resolution of Council,” said Fry. Colin Fry – Executive Director Agricultural Land Commission

Fox lashes out at ALC Staff – “Fox disagrees with Fry’s interpretation, believing council must send every application to the ALC for them to make a decision.” Monique Tamminga, Times Reporter.

In my view: – Somehow Councilor Fox you come out second best in that comparison which is certainly not surprising given your track record. Colin Fry’s reputation is beyond reproach! After three years sitting in the Mayor’s office I have another, very clear view – Staff and Legal Counsel are only advisers to members of Council, it is incumbent on members of Council to ask the pertinent questions and challenge those providing the advice and not sit there nodding their heads and taking orders. If bad advice is given by staff and Legal Counsel they should be called to account. This is an extremely serious miscalculation and misreading of the ALC legislation. It should never have happened let alone be defended by members of Council.

So where are we now? This brings us to a June 7th, 2010 Special Council Meeting when the following resolution of Council was passed unanimously:

That Council direct that:

  1. A letter of thanks be issued to the staff of the Agricultural Land Commission (“ALC”) for the Letter and the detailed analysis therein provided as quickly as they did; and further that
  2. Staff work with legal counsel to amend and revise Township of Langley Bylaws and policies in accordance with the Letter (the “Review”); and further that
  3. until the Review is complete that all soil deposit applications for the removal or deposit of fill in excess of 600 cubic meters (approximately 100 loads) be referred to Council for consideration; and further that
  4. Council request that all soil deposit applications presently with the ALC originating in the Township of Langley be referred back to the Township for consideration in accordance with the Letter; and further that
  5. processing of future soil deposit and removal applications by Council be deferred until the Review is complete; and further that
  6. after Council has considered a soil deposit or removal application, that the ALC be provided with notification of the decision to ensure compliance with the Act and the Regulation; and
  7. that this memorandum and the attached materials be released to the public.


This resolution was passed by Council on June 7th 2010, with most of the above entered into the Township of Langley POLICY MANUAL – Policy 05-776 dated 2010.07.19. Number 2 and 5 above was ignored by council and staff. Why? Does staff get to pick and choose what they want to follow?

Fast forward to the Spring of 2012, a full two years later when a number of rural residents throughout the Township of Langley got together over some serious concerns about some planned fill sites. Delegations were planned and received by Township of Langley Council. Through this initiative which received considerable media attention at the time they discovered that the resolution of June 2010 was not followed in it’s entirety. The June 2010 resolution called for an amendment and revision of the Township by-laws. As residents found out in the Spring of 2012, this requested by-law revision and amendment was not acted upon.

So, in typical Township of Langley Council fashion they further complicate the issue – WHY was it not acted on? The June 2010 resolution of Council clearly stated that staff and legal counsel would collaborate in it’s revision and amendment? Who are we trying to benefit?

Councilor Fox once again gets in the way by offering the following motion for the Sept. 10th, 2012 meeting of Council –

Whereas, the Township of Langley has received a growing number of fill site applications; and

Whereas, these applications are contentious and enforcement has been downloaded to Township personnel and resources at the local taxpayers expense; and

Whereas, the Township of Langley has received legal advice that it cannot formally establish a moratorium or prohibition on any fill site applications, it can only regulate them,

Therefore, be it resolved that the issue of non-farm use fill site applications on ALR Lands be referred to staff to provide an appropriate radius of influence and neighbourhood approval threshold to establish a benchmark before these applications may come before Council for due consideration, and

Further, all fill site applications presently in stream  be put on hold until the new approval threshold and benchmark details has been ratified by Council’ and

Further all future non-farm fill site applications on ALR land will be subject to these approval thresholds and benchmarks.

Councilor Fox here you go again – WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! 2nd whereas – This was not downloaded by the ALC onto the Township, it has always been the responsibility of the Municipality despite Council’s repeated attempts to abdicate their responsibility. 3rd whereas – Well after discovering what we did about their advice about responsibility of soil deposits, me thinks the Township should seek a second opinion. 4th – Establishing so-called approval thresholds and benchmarks speaks to how out of touch Councillor Fox is and how far Council is willing to go.

Once again, why make things easy and beneficial to residents in the Township when we can throw more mud on the wall to confuse the masses?  

The Township of Langley held a December 3rd 2012 CPC (Council Priority Committee) Meeting devoted entirely to the Soil Deposit Issue. A two hour meeting with delegations representing the community, the Ministry of Agriculture, the development community and Township Legal Counsel. I have to tell you that I am in possession of a written transcript of this meeting and there are more questions than answers.

Your Mayor – When your Mayor comes out with the comment “tougher rules create less compliance” you just have to shake your head. That comment will go down in history with his on the record comment that he “doesn’t govern by petitions” and he “doesn’t respond to numbers at a Public Hearing”. He wants to consider that all of those that didn’t come out to the meeting obviously approve, has to be the most inane thought process yet by any Mayor of record, at least publicly!

So here we are on April 2nd, 2013 and we don’t have a by-law passed (there is one going through the process but it’s content is of serious concern and is seriously being questioned). Three years since we uncovered the truth and we are no further ahead in looking to protect rural residents. Remember 80% of our land base is in the ALR.

The reality is, soil deposit by-laws which are much stronger from surrounding Cities and Municipalities were ignored. Instead we have gone through a seemingly endless number of meetings eating hundreds of hours of staff and legal counsel time to achieve what?

Here is a thought for you – Given the rules that existed in the Township of Langley prior to us getting in the way, making that 2005 letter public and interrupting their way of doing business, are we seeing a new convoluted way of doing business. Is this Option B? This is looking like an extension of the policies this Council is starting to be known for in all aspects of government. Transparency is not high on their list!

I have to close with a very succinct comment from a very good friend. This is an individual who is a very good operator in the Soil Deposit business in another Metro Vancouver City. After reading the transcript of the CPC meeting he states

“Wow, to say that I am surprised would ignore everything that I know about the Township. This is more of the same shit that has gone on for years, hide the real issue behind a fake meeting that is seeking fake solutions to fake problems that will generate real profits for a chosen few.” This is a great example of why I won’t move back to the Township of Langley!

I find this comment sad but understandable. This friend sold his property in the Township about a year ago. You know – We don’t have to put up with it! Lets say enough is enough!!


I am working a few posts of interest however the next post will contain some Provincial Government election musings in the countdown to May 14th, 2013!


Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

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