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Is Public Safety being ignored under BC’s Liquor Control?
  Nov 21, 2008

Analysis of Robert Bruce McGregor, Point Pub and Best Western Poco Inn and Suites-Crossroads Lounge-liquor license applications.
In March 2008 I wrote a personal letter to elected officials in both Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam expressing some concerns about a third part application to Liquor Control involving the Crossroads Lounge which is part of the Poco Best Western facility (legal name Neilsen Development Co. Ltd.), by Robert Bruce McGregor who goes by the name ‘Bruce McGregor’. Mr. McGregor declares himself to be “the owner” of the Point Pub in Port Moody British Columbia which remains on his website. (We have not determined as yet if he is the only owner).
In my letter of early March 2008 I clearly cite difficulties with shootings of a firearm, underage drinking, and other disturbances within a short period at the Point Pub, references which have clearly been established for historical reference at
In documents filed with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and specifically the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch under the heading LIQUOR PRIMARY or FOOD PRIMARY INSPECTION INTERVIEW SHEET, Robert Bruce McGregor listed himself as the ‘owner’ of the Pointe Pub in Port Moody. This document is time stamped May 28, 2008.
On his Liquor Primary sheet page 2 Robert Bruce McGregor lists himself as owner of The Point Neighbourhood Pub-City Port Moody. The date of this complete application is November 10, 2003 with expiry date is May 31, 2009. The application fee paid is $1,100.00. The applicant indicates that the applicant has “no relationship with nor interest in ‘other’ establishments”. The applicant is described in documents as “suitable”.
We know that Bruce McGregor therefore is an ‘owner’ of a primary liquor license under the regulations.
Yet, on page 14 of this same document which lists what ‘other’ licensed facilities are in the same jurisdiction as the Point Pub, Mr. McGregor lists the St. James Well in Newport Village, Port Moody, but fails to make mention of the fact that he has had a relationship with this establishment for many years. This is the first indication we have of incomplete disclosure to Liquor Control and Licensing.
The B.C. Solicitor General inspector for the Point Pub is Tina Bains—carbons of the Primary liquor license (#301521) are provided June 20, 2005 by General Manager Mary Freeman. Copies are sent to both the Port Moody Police and the City of Port Moody.
Oddly, in the documents relating to the Point Pub police detachment is listed as “RCMP Port Moody #4”. Pt Moody has its own city police force chaired by the mayor (Joe Trasolini), while the remainder of the Tri-City region is policed by the R.C.M.P. In the government file there is a photostat page of a news article in the Tri-City News—dated June 2006 written by Janis Warren regarding the shooting of a Port Moody doorman at the Point Pub.
There is also an article about stolen liquor on the same photostat page with no mention of any parties involved.
On January 15, 2005 there is a Hand Delivered letter from Rising Tide Consultants Ltd. specifically Tarey Welles which states “Also enclosed is a copy of Bruce McGregor’s Serving it Right Certification at the licensee level.”
All correspondence under the file known as Job#2860102-001 from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General—Liquor Control and Licensing Branch to The Point Management Ltd. or Point Pub is address to the original applicant and owner Bruce Robert McGregor.
I note the final ‘approval’ is under the hand of Cheryl Caldwell Assistant Deputy General Manager Licensing and Local Government Liaison. I also note that on June 29, 2005 a letter is sent to Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini—City of Port Moody regarding consideration of the license at city level.
I note that the person responsible with Rising Tide Consultants Ltd. operating on behalf of the Point Neighbourhood Pub is Bert Hick who is writing the Solicitor Generals’ Office in Victoria and specifically a person named Barb Hicke. I am not certain if the similar last name is an unusual coincidence or not.
I note that on June 10, 2008 under Job No. 000703161-016 the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Liquor Control and Licensing Branch Case Manager Seana Whitman writes to Nielson Developments Co. Ltd. Best Western Poco Inn to the attention of Len Bergquist regarding its Liquor Primary License #185678 and “Step 5” Change Approval for a Third Party Operator. This letter is carboned to E. Nazareth Inspector, M. Clark Regional Manager, Coquitlam RCMP declaring that “Pursuant to your recent Third Party Operator Application, 0818585 BC Ltd., has been approved as a Third Party Operator for the above-noted establishment (Crossroads Lounge), nearly three months after my initial letter was provided to elected officials in the region, to the Solicitor General’s office, and declared to inspector Nazareth.
This is also confirmed by evidence of The LIQUOR PRIMARY or FOOD PRIMARY INSPECTION INTERVIEW SHEET—relating to the Third Party application of the Crossroad’s lounge-- inspector is one and the same-- Edwina Nazareth and the owner (beneficiary) is Robert Bruce McGregor. This is date stamped May 28, 2008 by Liquor Control and Licensing.
The THIRD PARTY OPERATOR APPLICATION is initially filed March 13, 2008-- reflects the licensee at Nielsen Development Co. Ltd. and is signed by Leonard Bergquist (General Manager) Best Western Inn and Suites Poco, and is also signed by owner Jason Lo. In section entitled Part 3 “Addition of Third Party Operator” is 0818585 BC Ltd. and specifically Robert Bruce McGregor. Mr. McGregor also signs his name to Part 5 “Declaration of Third Party Operator”. He does so on March 03, 2008. On March 05, 2008 0818585 BC Ltd. is a legal entity.
To simplify, the initial Third Party application is made in early March 2008 by Robert Bruce McGregor personally. The application is deemed incomplete and when completed, it is done so under the new legal entity 0818585 BC Ltd and its owners Roberts Bruce McGregor and Carmen Claire McGregor (his wife).
Did these events occur in response to my initial letter outlining the potential conflict under the regulations relating to Primary License and Third Party License holders? In the case of the Point Pub—it is its own legal entity (incorporation) and the owner of that legal entity is Robert Bruce McGregor who is deemed “suitable” as the Primary License Holder of the Point Pub back in 2003, prior to shooting(s) and other trouble, some of which is not reported in the local news, despite press releases provided by ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) “The most accurate public opinion pollster in the World”.
In the case of the Third Party application—it is made by Robert Bruce McGregor initially—a legal person---the application is held up and than affirmed under new legal entity 0818585. Given the nature of Robbins letter of early March 2008 one has to wonder if these events by the various applicants and parties were undertaken to circumvent potential pitfalls of greater scrutiny, most specifically the problems at the Point Pub under the ownership of Robert Bruce McGregor.
This theory is further supported by documentation provided by Len Bergquist of the Crossroads Lounge—Best Western Poco Inn and Suites who writes Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, Second Floor, 1019 Wharf Street, Victoria BC date March 11, 2008
“To whom it may concern”
“Re: Third Party Operator Application Bruce McGregor”
“Dear Sir or Madam”
“Please find enclosed an application for Bruce McGregor to lease our lounge operation”.
“Please note that Mr. McGregor is currently the General Manager for three pubs, Smiley’s, Jestors (sic) and the Point Pub.”
“We feel confident that Mr. McGregor has the abilities to operatoer (sic) our pub in a first class fashion.”
This letter from Leonard Bergquist is received March 12, 2008 by Liquor Control and Licensing.
On April 18, 2008 Len Bergquist writes:
Liquor Control and Licensing Branch
PO Box 9292 Stn Government
“Attention: Seana Whitman/Case Officer”
“Dear Ms. Whitman”
“Sorry for incomplete documentation, we believe all necessary forms are here”.
“We have forwarded the lease to the tax department for the PST number”.
“If you have any questions please call me at 604 941-6216 or on my cell”.
“I will follow up next week to assure you have received everything”.
It should also be noted that in correspondence from Seana Whitman of the Solicitor General’s office dated June 09, 2008 Ms. Whitman who characterized herself as Case Manager Liquor Control and Licensing Branch Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General remarks:
“Hello everyone (sic) The Branch has received a Third Party Operator application for Best Western Poco Inn, 1545 Lougheed Highway, Port Coquitlam BC. The applicant is a private corporation, 0818585 BC Ltd…
In fact as we now know this is not true. The Third Party applicant is Robert Bruce McGregor the Primary license holder of the Point Pub in Port Moody as private corporation 0818585. BC Ltd., did not legally exist at the time the Third Party Application was endorsed by the specific applicant Robert Bruce McGregor. We note that there is further correspondence indicating that the Third Party application is incomplete, and when it is completed-- it is completed under the private corporation 0818585 the new legal entity. A technical legal ploy?
I note that on May 16, 2008 Seana Whitman of the BCSG wrote to Leonard J. Bergquist Manager of the Best The Best Western Poco Inn with regards to Step 3-Inspectors Review of the application process. The deadline for completing Step 3 is indicated as June 16, 2008. The inspector is E. Nazareth.
It is important to note that prior to this letter being written Glen P. Robbins spoke with inspector Nazareth informing her that “Bruce McGregor was a Primary License Owner of the Point Pub”. At the time, I also informed Ms. Nazareth that Mr. McGregor was the Third Party Applicant involved with the Poco Best Western.
Ms. Nazareth informed me at the time she never inspected the Point Pub because “it wasn’t part of her jurisdiction.” It should also be noted that the R.C.M.P. officer responsible for liaison with liquor inspector Nazareth was also contacted by Robbins, and was informed that he “had a good working relationship with her (Nazareth)”. When this R.C.M.P. officer was informed that no vetting was done by Ms. Nazareth of Robert Bruce McGregor in his role as Primary License Holder of the Point Pub in his application for the cross town Third Party application at the Crossroad’s lounge in The Best Western Poco Inn and Suites, he indicated he “was unaware”.
Readers should bear in mind that the original Point Pub license application had the R.C.M.P label branded on the application. If the R.C.M.P the dominant police force in the province as this relates to the Solicitor General’s office-- had a role in the application of the Point Pub in Port Moody, than how was it that inspector Nazareth of the Solicitor General’s office when inspecting Robert Bruce McGregor’s Third Party application at the Crossroad’s Lounge cross-town in Port Coquitlam, conveniently claimed the Point Pub was outside her jurisdiction? Whose jurisdiction was the Point Pub?—considering the fact that inspector Nazareth had a working relationship with the R.C.M.P. was well known to the liaison officer with the R.C.M.P., and the fact that Robert Bruce McGregor’s initial Primary liquor license application with the Solicitor General’s office had the R.C.M.P.’s fingerprints all over it.
I note that on April 9, 2008 nearly one month after my initial letter to elected official in the region expressing my concerns over process, Seana Whitman Case Manager writes Leonard Bergquist of the Best Western Poco Inn and Suites noting specifically that “the (sic) application (third party) is incomplete.” The documentation required apparently is “Third Party Operator Application”.
To review, the initial Third Party Application is made by the owner of the Point Pub in Port Moody, one Robert Bruce McGregor in early March 2008—at the same time his lawyer Don Drysdale is creating a numbered company. The numbered company and legal incorporation of 0818585 B.C. Ltd. passed PURSUANT TO SECTION 140 (1)-(3) OF THE BRITISH COLUMBIA BUSINESS CORPORATIONS ACT S.B.C. 2002, C.57 AND AMENDMENTS THERETO is time stamped received by Liquor Control and Licensing April 21, 2008.
In early March 2008 I wrote to a specific group of individuals regarding my concerns as these related the to take-over of the Crossroads Lounge located at the Poco Best Western Inn and Suites by a Primary License holder Bruce McGregor. I indicated at that time that Bruce McGregor was the owner of the Point Pub. I also noted my concerns as these related to problems with the Pointe Pub including two acts of violence (shootings) within a short period of time.
These dates coincide with the aforementioned dates involving the Third Party Application from Robert Bruce McGregor.
It should be noted that at or about March 12, 2008 I telephoned Robert Bruce McGregor at a phone number listed on the Point Pub’s website which made representation that he, Bruce McGregor was the owner of the Primary license known as the Point Pub, Port Moody BC. I informed Mr. McGregor of my concerns relating to his Third Party application for the Crossroad’s lounge to which Mr. McGregor responded
“I don’t know anything about any Best Western Poco Inn and Suites”
Clearly, Mr. McGregor knew and ought to have known about the Best Western and Crossroads Lounge, as there is ample evidence to indicate that he was the Third Party Applicant prior to my telephone call and inquiry.
The information provided to me October 29, 2008 by the Ministry of Attorney General Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Privacy, Risk and Information Security Management regarding the “management, applications, licensing, or re-licensing of the Point Pub in Port Moody and the Crossroads Lounge in Port Coquitlam” clearly proves that concerns that I provided in my letter of early March 2008.
It should also be known that the manager of the Best Western Poco Inn and Suites Len Bergquist has close ties to individuals involved with BC’s hospitality industry and is a well known fixture at many Licensed establishments in the region including the Point Pub. Mr. Bergquist knew or ought to have known of the Point Pub’s history of difficulties, which would lead one to seriously question whether or not he, Mr. McGregor and others were attempting to avoid proper scrutiny or vetting of the license.
It is important to note that both the BC Attorney General and BC Solicitor General’s office, and underlying provincial regulations express clear concerns about the concentration of licenses in too few hands. The implications are obvious. Prices could be driven up with a view to the 2010 Olympic Games, and wages could be controlled in hotels with liquor licenses, more likely targets of union enrollment—by those parties who enter into agreements that pre-date elections, such as the pending general provincial election in May 2009.
It should also be known that the Foodservices Association, and the BC & Yukon Hotels' Association Neighbourhood Pub Owners' Association of BC are major contributors to the BC Liberal Party.
Glen P. Robbins

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