BREAKING NEWS – Metro Vancouver Freedom of Information Request and Response tells a much larger story! What was Deputy Premier Rich Coleman getting at? You decide….

Posted: June 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

While some who have been close to Township politics for some time have a good handle on who is really running our municipality, Rich Coleman’s chain of emails between himself and Greg Moore, Chair of Metro Vancouver surely confirms any doubts if there were any, doesn’t it? This FOI response goes some distance to fill in the blanks. With this kind of attempted interference by Deputy Premier Coleman into a decision under discussion and consideration by a regional government, who were only following the direction of Provincial Legislation, speaks volumes as to what really goes on behind the scenes. Remember, the Township of Langley Council adopted the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) unanimously in mid-2011. They were only following the dictates of provincial legislation and then the Deputy Premier gets involved? Also, does this not also shine a spotlight on the true intentions of this Liberal Government re changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve and it’s Commission?  

The following were gained from a Freedom of Information request I submitted some time back, post Metro’s decision to appeal. Here is the copy (word for word) of the emails I received in answer to that request between the MLA for Fort Langley Aldergrove and Deputy Premier Rich Coleman and Greg Moore, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Regional District. This communication, as you will see, was initiated by Rich Coleman with respect to the decision under consideration by the Metro Board whether to Appeal the court decision on the Trinity / Wall development application putting 69 Townhouses into the middle of Prime ALR farmland.

1st – Email from Rich Coleman

From: Coleman, Rich

Sent: March 14th, 2014 11:44 PM

To: Chair Moore

Cc: Mark Bakken

Subject:

Greg, I told you this was a problem. We won the lawsuit as we discussed. Please accept the result graciously and work with the communities in Metro. Otherwise the region will not be able to stay together.

2nd – Email response from Greg Moore

From: Chair Moore

Sent: Sunday, March 16th, 2014 7:10 PM

To: Coleman, Rich MEM:EX

Subject: RE:

Rich

I am not sure I understand whom you are representing when you say “we won”, are you speaking as the Provincial Government Deputy Premier?

I also don’t understand how you would suggest that we accept this result graciously when we are simply working in accordance with the Province’s regional Growth Strategies legislation, which is within your Government’s jurisdiction. How this can be a good ruling for the region or for the Province? This region unanimously supported both regional growth documents, at the Metro Vancouver board and each council table. If we cannot enforce a regionally approved document, what is the use of having such a document?

I am curious how you think how this region might not be kept together. The regional district is stronger now, than we have ever been in the past and we achieve significant economies of scale through our regional governance model. If you know of any reason why our local governments think things should change, I ask you to enlighten me.

3rd – Email response to Greg Moore

   From: Coleman, Rich MEM:EX   (RTC@gov.bc.ca)

Sent: March16, 2014 7:10 PM

To: Chair Moore

Subject: Re:

Well, we went to court and the court clearly stood on the side of my community. Our frustration with Metro is such that we would gladly join the FVRD I think. The treatment we get from those weighted votes from the other side of the river is tiresome. So yes we feel we won something because we have been treated with disrespect.

4th – Email response to Rich Coleman

From: Chair Moore

Sent: Sunday, March 16th, 2014 10:00 PM

To: Coleman, Rich MEM:EX

Subject: RE:

Rich

With the exception of this item, what other issues are you referring to? Langley’s neighbor, Surrey, has the second most votes, there is no fact to your comments that north of the fraser dominates the votes. There is a reason why Langley wants to stay with Metro for most of our services, we provide excellent value and are equal in our decision making. I can not think of one item Langley has voted against, other than this RGS issue.

5th – Email response to Chair Moore

From: “Coleman, Rich MEM:EX” RTC@gov.bc.ca

Date: March 16th, 2014 at 10:18:46 PM PDT

To: Chair Moore chair@metrovancouver.org

Subject: Re:

I guess you need to get better informed on the history of Metro and us. Lots of files led up to the reasons to go to court on these ones. I was at an event the other night politicians from Surrey, Delta, Maple Ridge, all happy for the court decision. None of them had any doubt that Metro has reach a level of arrogance that needs to be curtailed.

Questions in response to Metro / Rich Coleman FOI – Why did this happen and how widespread is this activity? Is this an attempt to try to influence a decision being considered by a lower level of government? Just asking the question?

  • Why is our Deputy Premier involving himself and interfering directly in an issue between Metro and the Township of Langley? Once again he refers to “we won the lawsuit”? Who is he talking about? There is that “we” again. Who is “we”?
  • As wrong as he is by involving himself in a Municipal issue why has he cc’d Mark Bakken, the Township CAO and not Mayor and Council? (For the record, Mark Bakken is a close personal friend of Coleman’s, by his own admission.)
  • What is the Deputy Premier doing attempting to interfere in a regional legal issue? Is this not improper influence, interference and/or obstruction by a provincial politician in a legal matter? This could be perceived as a threat at the very least, pertaining to IF Metro was going to appeal the Metro vs Township of Langley’s original court decision, something Coleman was obviously trying to prevent. Why? This issue dealt with the Wall application for 69 Townhouses to be constructed right in the middle of prime agricultural (ALR) farmland – (Wall has made campaign donations to some local politicians as well as the B.C. Liberal Party and was a key contributor to Christy Clark.)
  • What is the Deputy Premier, in what again could be considered a perceived threat at least, suggesting “otherwise the region will not be able to stay together”? What does he mean? Is there more to it? Given Metro Vancouver operates under permissive Provincial Legislation and Rich Coleman is Deputy Premier, was he considering some other Provincial action? Was he speaking as the Deputy Premier, he never answered that question?
  • The Deputy Premier states “I told you this was a problem. We won the lawsuit as we discussed.” Obviously, by virtue of this statement there was a previous conversation and / or written communication? What was said? Should there be an RCMP investigation into what interference and/or discussion may have taken place by or with Deputy Premier Coleman?
  • This kind of action by our Deputy Premier could very easily be described as bullying, threatening and/or intimidation which is eerily similar to his actions leading up to the Surrey Council vote on the South Surrey Casino. (Phone conversations with a few Surrey Councilors prior to the vote) Is this a senior Provincial Government elected official making a suggestion, you do this OR the region WILL NOT be able to stay together? Just asking the question but Rich Coleman should be asked to step down until an investigation takes place.
  • This attempted action of interference by our Deputy Premier is unconscionable and must be investigated to establish, from ALL players involved, just what was intended. It should not allow a typical dismissive comment from Coleman to derail what should be considered a serious case of poor judgment at best.
  • Coleman states “Lots of files led up to the reasons to go to court on these ones”. In three years in the Mayor’s office I NEVER had one so called file brought to my attention by staff, Council or Coleman with respect to Metro. I am very skeptical of this statement from Coleman with respect to Metro politician’s comments – In three years of working with Metro Board members I have never heard of any such comment. Issues yes, but on balance it is a very workable regional government, one that has gained considerable praise from many other regions in North America. This very clearly was a comment of convenience not of fact.

For a reminder of what all of this is about RE the Trinity / Wall issue you can go into our www.langleywatchdog.com BLOG Post Directory – Post #55 – www.langleywatchdog.com/2014/04/

RG

I am working on a few posts at present that I believe are of significant concern to Township of Langley Residents. Check in daily!

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

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Comments
  1. Mei Lin Yeoell says:

    WOW….!!! This is a story that should hit the mainstream press….although it would have to be more clearly explained. Elected Provincial Politician threatening regional Municipal business….makes me even more afraid for the future of this Province under this government. Maybe Mr. Coleman should ressign?!

  2. The mainstream press receive my emails and yes it should warrant regional coverage. As far as explaining it better, it is a long story that is why I used the link to the main story at the end. It is worth a read!

  3. gadfly says:

    It ought to be remembered that RTC was a developer’s lobbyist in the days before his election as MLA in 1993.

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