Updated – Rich Coleman – Strange Behaviour from Minister of Housing.


 

Update April 5, 2017

I haven’t had as much time for blogging as circumstances warrant lately, but I’d be truly remiss if I didn’t add links to this post from Bob Mackin and the Breaker News, as well as new information that at least one of these real estate deals involving BCHousing is the subject of an RCMP investigation…Click the following:

http://thebreaker.news/news/bc-liberal-pay-play-chinatown/

http://thebreaker.news/news/colemans-chief-staff-email/

http://thebreaker.news/news/4257/

Thanks to the work of Glen Chernen and the SouthVan Parks Society, we learn (only now) from the Vancouver Sun that the RCMP has been looking at this file since October 2016. http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/rcmp-federal-unit-investigating-controversial-vancouver-land-swap

While an implication is safe from the fact no Special Prosecutor has been requested… (Coleman would seem to be in the clear)…the Minister of Housing’s Strange Behaviour when questioned makes more sense now..

The opposition NDP has been questioning land deals connected to the agency meant to support expansion of low income housing in BC, and whether high flying developer donors have been allowed to use BCHousing as a loan slush fund (my term).  Much more investigation is needed. I’ll link at the end of this post to three articles from Jen St. Denis and  MetroNews Vancouver. I urge you to read them.

This matters because Rich Coleman has behaved very strangely.. When questions arose in the Legislature, he blustered and bragged about the government record in expanding affordable housing. He said David Eby had his facts wrong. He promised documentation proving the deals involving Wall Financial Corp, Brenhill developments and market condo pre-sale specialist Bob Rennie actually enhanced the stock of low income housing…

$80 million loaned to these companies.  $80 million not reported in response to an opposition Freedom of Information Request. And as far as I can tell, there’s been no demonstrated increase in low income housing stock beyond what would have occurred if the developers had proceeded under existing Vancouver zoning laws without provincial help.

Coleman promised documents within a week…it actually took nearly two weeks, during which the Legislature shut down early without passing a number of priority bills. When documents came, they were provided to “some reporters” at a “not for attribution technical briefing” by BCHousing. Nobody at BC Housing would go on record…Coleman did not attend.

Coleman has been Minister of Housing for 15 odd years, carrying the file with him wherever he goes.

Add up what we know…Add the BC Auditor General’s report (find it in the linked articles) which says value for money has not been adequately guaranteed when BCH gets involved in low income housing financing and sales..And this stinks

It stinks enough for many more questions to be asked to find all the facts. We don’t have enough information on the table to be sure how dirty or clean these deals are, and for $80 million public dollars, we should have it all laid out , in court if necessary.

Read and share: I say share because I think people overestimate the reach of both small bloggers asking questions and a small news outlet like MetroNews. This should be an election issue.. Coleman should be asked to back up his statements at every debate and presser. And all the documents (not a selection) should be released to the NDP rather than “a few journalists” at a very strange meeting.

http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/03/30/developers-low-interest-loan-from-bc-housing.html

http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/03/30/social-housing-selloff-under-fire-from-auditor-general.html

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/dollar1500-for-500-square-feet-vancouver%e2%80%99s-shockingly-high-%e2%80%98affordable%e2%80%99-rents/ar-BBz7qWY?li=AA54rW&ocid=spartandhp

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to imply specific wrongdoing by any individual or entity. It’s meant to further the ends of public accountability regarding public dollars in large amounts. If anyone has facts to add, send links and I will update or provide a new post to include those.

 

12 thoughts on “Updated – Rich Coleman – Strange Behaviour from Minister of Housing.”

  1. Look, we don’t give a *&it about what you think. And that Merv is exactly what the BC Liberals are saying to BC voters. And why not ? After all what are timid little BC voters going to do ? These are the same voters who re-elected an individual who spent a night in jail on a DUI. The same BC voters who will cry foul and express their concerns if a drunk driver story is open to comments on the CBC website or elsewhere.
    The BC Liberals can do what they please because they know BC voters are brainwashed and will only react negatively if it involves the NDP.
    Look at Christy Clark and Brad Bennett ? Can you imagine John Horgan doing this ? The media & public would demand a public hanging in front of the leg.
    BC voters are too busy trying to keep their heads above the financial water and have no time for politics. Besides they can get all the info they need to make a decision on the tube.
    It’s a sad state of politics in BC and it will continue. The rich are in control and money will win out.

    Thanks Merv,

    Guy in Victoria

  2. In addition to the aforementioned activities involving Mr. Coleman I would add:

    “Based on this evidence, I concluded that the removal of private land from TFLs 6, 19 and 25 was approved without sufficient regard for the public interest,” Doyle said.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/auditor-general-s-report-slams-sale-of-forestry-lands-1.725266

    “…auditors rejected B.C. Housing’s claim that Hudson Mews would improve directly or indirectly social housing in Victoria. It concluded that the project would expose the province to “significant and unnecessary financial risks.”

    https://thetyee.ca/News/2014/07/11/Audit-BC-Housing-Victoria/

    “We have to remember that a person on social assistance — a single person on social assistance in British Columbia — gets double the annual income of a person in the Third World. And we should remember that — not because we say it’s right but we should remember actually how good this country is.” – Rich Coleman

    http://globalnews.ca/news/3267490/coleman-should-be-embarrassed-for-comparing-social-assistance-to-third-world-incomes/

    Mr. Coleman has also consistently promised the citizens of BC a thriving LNG industry in the face of much evidence that the promises are unsupportable, and meets each undelivered promise with a new promise clearly unachievable on its face.

    And yet he has been elected by the folks in Fort Langley – Aldergrove in every provincial election since 1996.

    Why would he care what we think?

  3. That should tell you something about the people in Fort Langley -Aldergrove shouldn’t it….at least a majority of them

      1. Hi Donna.. Thanks for reading and commenting. Very sorry I was slow to approve. I’ve had some back trouble which keeps me off the computer the past while.

  4. Curious…Bob Rennie is a very wealthy man…Why would Bob Rennie even consider being BC Housing chair..he didn’t need the money, his time is valuable….he hasn’t shown a penchant for solving social housing issues….it’s almost as if he was placed in that position for a reason….An $80 million dollar theft?

    Michael Flanagan….I wonder if the RCMP has done a forensic audit of Flanagan’s banking….

    Flanagan was a city of Vancouver employee in the real estate division, he brokered the initial deal….he then left the City of Vancouver and was hired by BC Housing…why..to cover his tracks?
    Why did BC Housing omit the Brenhill papers in all freedom of information requests….Clearly BC Housing was afraid of divulging the details and contracts..

    Rich Coleman’s ministry tried to conceal the information from prying eyes…which means there WAS something to hide….

    This story has legs…very long connected legs..

    if BC Housing released the Brenhill data to prying eyes voluntarily and someone spotted something out of place or shady…perhaps then BC Housing and CO could claim ignorance…but, that’s not what happened…

    Rich Coleman’s ministry deliberately thwarted FOI..omitted all the Brenhill information…

    That proves that BC Housing ministry knew irregularities took place…
    Remember Nixon…it wasn’t the crimes that brought down Nixon…it was the elaborate cover-up…

    Cheers

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