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Van Rassel levels corruption charges against city of Coquitlam over Burke Mountain
July/21/2009 Coquitlam Land Owners Being Held Hostage   Jul 23, 2009

Coquitlam resident Jim Van Rassel, an advocate in a losing cause for the Burke Mountain families, hoping to keep their large acreage properties, is asking that a public inquiry be held into "the entire matter relating to these Burke Mountain families, the city of Coquitlam, elected officials in the city of Coquitlam, and others."
Van Rassel adds, "When I hear one of these families tell me that the city of Coquitlam representatives and or agents are offering an extra 5-8% 'off-the-record payment' in return for these homeowners to sell property they never intended to sell in the first place, I get really angry. There are also allegations that the City has 'fudged' a recent purchase price, which is now registered in the Land Title Office in New Westminster, because it did not include an alleged side agreement including special considerations on the conclusion of the sale of the property. This may not be an isolated case."
"After witnessing these poor citizens being treated very badly, lied to or misled or strung along—then to be responded to by city council with a united front for a park where no one has provided any city plan for dealing with the high level of wildlife there, I get sad. It’s that pathetic. Most of these people have lived there for decades, have raised their families and made plans for the future to keep their properties within their respective families and do with it what they will."
"The City of Coquitlam keeps stating that this is all for the 'common good.' I'm willing to bet, that if the general public was made aware of the details on how the City obtained (or in my opinion, cheated and manipulated the rules in their favour) this property for soccer fields over private property, they would be outraged. Remember, the City has changed the zoning (OCP designation) of private property where families are living, that the City does not own. How the hell is this fair and how can there ever be fair compensation for this?"
"We need an inquiry into the City of Coquitlam and dealings with the Burke Mountain families—and fast. I wouldn’t want to lose any of the city’s correspondants relating to this matter."
The seven councillors who voted to annex this property are as follows:
Mayor Richard Stewart Councillor Mae Reid Councillor Linda Reimer Councillor Barrie Lynch Councillor Selina Robinson Councillor Doug MacDonnell Future hopeful federal NDP candidate and present City Councillor Fin Donnelly.
Jim Van Rassel

Commentary
Glen's notes: I Know B.C. politics. It comes off a boast true. No-one has ever owned me.
Almost always an an independent businessman. Stock market, printing, newspaper, now public opinion. Always in the lead--that's where I like it, its' tough sometimes but worth it.
I met Jim Van Rassel a few years ago-and we have had an interesting relationship. Mostly as friends-but certainly the conversation that dominates our time is politics.
I like national and international politics best--I have a knack for deciphering it. Jim likes civic politics.
Jim ran for Coquitlam city council in November 2008. He spend a few thousand of his own money--but I'm guessing. I had already 'shrunk' the existing elected officials, but Jim doesn't scope things out that way--he focuses on issues. One that has become very important to him is that of private property.
As such, I invested myself into Jim's friendship with many hours looking and studying this Burke Mountain saga.
From the beginning it was easy to see that it was a David and Goliath story. Small group of property owners, many acres--long time family homes. Your affecting generations of good families here.
It was easy to see from the submission of the Burke Mountain land owners that city council was completely baffled. It was a full house that night. Three weeks later when the vote was taken, a smaller Burke Mountain contingent did not have the audience. Cat calls emerged from the landowners and others--"Liar" was levelled at mayor Richard Stewart--Like so many politicians I think poor Richard is used to that one. Mae Reid did some rendition of fuck off to the property owners. Three weeks earlier both she and Barry Lynch looked aghast at the contradictions exposed in city management. One, a "Niles" was alleged to have 'strung-along' the Burke Mountain homeowners by saying other options were being looked into. Mae Reid then asked "how many options did you say there were?" "Only one" answered the junior administer. Yet this was emphatically refuted when city manager Steblin discussed driving around to all parts of Burke Mountain and "deciding" only the present site was good enough. All contradictory, very dissatisfying. There are rumours that everyone from the mayor on aren't crazy about the site, or had no idea there were others options.
In the first meeting (where the Burke Mountain owners just kicked the shit out of council) the issue of how dangerous the proposed park area was--- considering bears, cougars etc. What struck me quick was the fact that I don't think many on the insider's side of the fence was aware of a bear study that had been conducted by the G.V.R.D., and the information therein that stated this Burke Mountain area was not right for a park.
When I first read Jim Van Rassel's accusation, I was not the least bit surprised. Affidavits and other document always 'sealed'. Can't court official and journalists come to some bargain about disclosure that properly satisfy's all the requirements, not the least of which is public disclosure and that missing chain in so many political and legal efforts--due (and fair) process, particular where innocent people get hurt or suffer loss.
It's one thing to contend that life isn't fair.
Anyone with their eyes open knows this to be true.
At the very least we need fairness in our politics--in legal decision-all of it.
As I said I followed this story. I am squarely with the Burke Mountain landowners arguments, though I have met a number but not all of the participants from that group, I did well observe and participate in the public hearing on the matter.
The city council at public hearing looked like lost little sheep. A packed audience, cheering for the Burke Mountain landowners--that carried on over the crowing of mayor Stewart's 'hey I said no applause or booing or you'll be kicked out'
Three weeks later the paper tiger council--Fin Donnelly may be leaving (nominated for NDP federal), Barry Lynch wanted to leave (lost to Fin), Mae Reid says 'if I was going to vote for ya, I wouldn't now' (the first thought that came to mind right then and there was 'flatulence-I just had my gall bladder taken out(-more then you want to know- OK) (One of the crowd beside the Burke Mountain landowners in attendance had heckled city council, a young Asian man had become part of the Burke Mountain landowner cheering section. Soon some of the children who had come with parents over other matters began to surround the desperate group of landowners who could only sit and watch city council lynch them--they may as well have taken the Burke Mountain landowners by horse back--hands tied tight behind them--off to an area--and strung up from a tree---maybe near their property-- which started a fight with city council about protocol and conduct, and then Jim Van Rassel called Richard Stewart " a liar" the whole place came to silence. It was quite surreal.
This episode involving the Burke Mountain landowners and Coquitlam city hall and elected officials, with it's 'in camera' discussions--what elected officials can 'know' about deals,and the public (taxpayer) cannot-- in order they say "to ensure a smooth transition of things like property". Affidavits sealed--we can't see anything--no-one is able to peak over another's shoulder. That's what happens when the news, advertisers and other cheerleading groups get 'captive' it becomes it's own troublesome ideological group,-- in a five year case where our place of democracy was raided and we haven't wrapped this up. That folks is a statement of we don't have are act our system or whatever it is together. You smart educated people must surely agree with this. I know those less educated do.
If there are side deals going on in this deal--particularly where the notion of non-disclosure of payment--a 'secret' deal, this is damning, like B.C. Rail, this Burke Mountain deal is our opportunity, if you can't or don't properly respond--for the INSIDERS everwhere are in trouble--the OUTSIDERS are on them and will eventually get them---and rinse through this suffocating culture that now exists. gpr
Thanks to Royal Columbian --and particularly my surgeon. Though it was a relatively common Laparoscopic procedure (Though I came close to needing a Cholecystectomy--which requires some cutting)--it's not fun being unwell. Your sure find out quickly that there are an awful lot of people in way more difficulty then you. This perspective always helps a little. The gall bladder when inflamed--goes bitch crazy and hurts like hell. For anyone out there who doesn't like me or my friends etc. you got all of your revenge and more.
My own bias opinion of B.C. health care system, is naturally 10/10 on the positive side.

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