BC Liberals made secret deal to pay-off scandalized InSite managers

fry insite

There’s a massive scandal developing here in BC involving the non-profit Portland Hotel Society which uses taxdollars to run poverty programs with InSite being the most infamous:

The Portland Hotel Society scandal is one of the most obscene examples of waste and indulgence B.C. has seen.

The society, with a $28-million budget, was contracted by government to provide services in Canada’s poorest postal code: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. That included management of Insite, the country’s only supervised injection site for heroin addicts.

The devastating audits of the society’s finances — read them for yourself below — triggered the resignations of its senior staff and board of directors last week.

There was more, much more, the accountants discovered. Close to $1-million was put on the Visa Business Platinum Avion credit cards alone, for luxury travel, world famous hotels, fine dining, liquor, floral arrangements, hair salons, spas, limousines. (see here)

It has already ensnared one NDP MLA:


According to Ms. Kwan herself, the posh family holidays were apparently billed to the PHS, also known as the Portland Hotel Society. The registered charity has been in the news all month because of an obscene spending spree scandal.

Ms. Kwan held a press conference Friday morning at the B.C. NDP’s Vancouver offices, and said she’d been humiliated and duped by Mr. Small. Who, she added, is now her ex-husband. The pair is separated and going through divorce proceedings. (see here)

So why hasn’t the Liberals brought in the RCMP you ask? Well, maybe because they are in this waist deep as well:

lake robertson

But there’s one final indignity for taxpayers still to come: the executives who quit over the scandal are now set to bag severance packages!

How much money will outgoing PHS executives Mark Townsend, his wife Liz Evans, Kersten Stuerzbecher and Dan Small (the estranged husband of NDP MLA Jenny Kwan) receive?

The government won’t say.

”I’m not sure,” Health Minister Terry Lake told me, saying the severance payments are part of an agreement to get the executives to quit, avoid messy lawsuits and keep delivering services to the poor without interruption. (see here)

So, you’ll forgive the NDP and Liberals if they would rather have this all swept quietly under the carpet.

This is a perfect example of what can happen with a two-party system – it makes it much easier to cover up any scandals they are both involved in.


19 Responses to “BC Liberals made secret deal to pay-off scandalized InSite managers”

  1. Sean M Says:

    BC Liberals are as corrupt as they come, so I wouldn’t expect this latest corruption fiasco to be treated differently than any past corruption, BC Rail sale, smart meters etc etc… The media are complicit in this corruption. This will all blow over like it never happened, Government heroin dens will continue and the laundering of taxpayer dollars through them will also continue. Corruption and “progressivism” go hand in hand and no one will ever be held accountable, in fact they will be rewarded. The BC “media” will do whatever they can to change the subject, the story will evaporate into thin air and the corruption will continue… Sad but true. Western society and it’s morality has been lost.

  2. Liz J Says:

    Just another Socialist Cesspool. They should join up with California..Liberal/Left/Socialism/Corruption…

  3. Liz J Says:

    Why can’t people understand the anatomy of Socialism? It’s making people dependent on the state, putting people down and out. In Russia it was cheap vodka, here it’s things like places to shoot up illegal drugs, grow the network of social workers to work for the state, a state of dependency as long as they can pilfer working people’s tax money they keep going, enabled by stupid, uninformed voters.

  4. Mary Hines Says:

    No wonder the Liberals and NDP MPs were fighting so hard for their buddies in BC. I WONDER why now???? They were even blaming the Harper Government for not giving them more!!! Very little coverage on this….I am so glad we have “blogs” like you. We might not reach as many as the liberal CBC – but maybe we can get Ezra on this one!!

  5. Martin Says:

    I am a bit isolated from BC politics, but the details of this saga are unbelievable. Rather than severance packages these individuals should be contemplating serious prison time.
    As for Ms Kwan, blaming her husband just won’t cut it from someone smart enough to be elected to the BC legislature. I have never heard of an MLA taking a leave of absence, what the woman has to do is resign. This will come in due time, as I can’t see the story going away.
    She joins a long list of bureaucrats and politicians who when caught at the public till, make some absurdly small restitution, hoping it will all go away.
    This ploy is almost as bad as the original pilfering.

    • BC Blue Says:

      Even if we believe Kwan knew nothing about the money being re-paid, how could she possibly think it was ok for her husband to receive such luxurious perks from a non-profit poverty group?

  6. TrueNorthist Says:

    While it must be extremely distasteful for you to dig into such a steaming cess-pit of corruption, I sure hope you keep on this one Dean. Someone on another site suggested that the CPC get involved and open a federal investigation and I couldn’t agree more. Not only is it legally appropriate for Ottawa to get involved but it goes to the heart of Conservative policy.

  7. WTF Says:

    Kinda wondering how a career politician can repay $35,000 at the drop of a hat. Does she have a second job or is she really good at saving? Seems a lot of career politicians are really good at saving and become millionaires. Another question. Is taking ‘a voluntary unpaid leave of absence’ the new resigning?

    • BC Blue Says:

      To allow Kwan to pull this leave of absence crap shows the lack of ethics of Adrian Dix

      • Martin Says:

        Someone really has to look into this further. Who exactly arranges a stop in pay of a sitting MLA? The Speaker, the party leader?
        As you say it is crap and unprecedented in Canada. What is needed is her resignation, not a drawn out Redford-like affair where she hangs on hoping public interest will ebb.

        • BC Blue Says:

          The rules apparently allow Kwan to do this although obviously wasn’t designed to avoid a scandal – more for sickness, family emergencies etc.

  8. Janet in Nanaimo, BC Says:

    BC Blue: You wrote: “So, you’ll forgive the NDP and Liberals if they would rather have this all swept quietly under the carpet.” ….. and “This is a perfect example of what can happen with a two-party system – it makes it much easier to cover up any scandals they are both involved in.”

    I couldn’t agree more. This was one of the first thoughts that came to mind, when I learned about this scandal, which Michael Smyth has described as “one of the most obscene examples of waste and indulgence B.C. has seen.”

  9. Liz J Says:

    The lib/left media are a huge part of the problem across the board. When it’s a Conservative story, no matter how minute, the dig like crazy to get all the dirt and embellish it, for the lib/left they lose their digging shovels, ignore as much as possible and
    cover it all over as skillfully as any cat after potty.
    Ontario is another perfect example of media handy work. The former premier, McGuinty, left a scandal ridden mess which continues under his party appointed successor, still out spending/promising money she doesn’t have and they don’t bother to hound him like they would were he Conservative.

  10. bubbabrown Says:

    “Avoiding messy lawsuits” ??????????
    Actually the people that commit fraud should be prosecuted.
    That would avoid the “messy lawsuits.”
    Ms Kwans leave of absence should be a resignation.
    Her “I did not know where the money came from” does not pass the smell test IMO
    Then again Adrain Dix had no problem walking onto a skytrain without payng, when approached by security he lied, until the tape.
    Another great example of NDP-Q entitlement, Liberals in a hurry on steroids, Commodore Jack’s legacy.

  11. Janet in Nanaimo, BC Says:

    An excellent read by Gordon Clark of The Province:
    “Jenny Kwan can attest that the Happiest Place On Earth isn’t bringing too much joy now”, By Gordon Clark, The Province, March 24, 2014.


    Shouldn’t the BCNDP suspend Ms. Kwan from caucus? And doesn’t the Minister for BC Housing, Rich Coleman, have a duty to provide some answers to BC’s electorate?
    Also, BC Housing and Health Authorities in BC, would have many other such contractual agreements with “operators”, wherein govt. subsidizes “low-barrier” housing projects.

  12. Voter in BC Says:

    Hasn’t Deputy Premier Rich Coleman been responsible for the Housing portfolio for several years? He was re-elected for a fifth term as MLA for Fort Langley-Aldergrove in the 2013 general election.

    The following is from BC Housing website about “governance” –
    “BC Housing is responsible to the Minister Responsible for Housing through a Board of Commissioners. The government appoints the board to oversee policy implementation and direction and, in cooperation with senior management, to set strategic direction. The board also monitors BC Housing’s performance based on the province’s planning and reporting principles. The board delegates responsibility for the day-to-day leadership and management of BC Housing to the Chief Executive Officer. The board’s governance process and procedures are guided by the Best Practices Guidelines on Governance and Disclosure for Public Sector Organizations as well as other resources such as those published by the Office of the Auditor General.” – See more at: http://www.bchousing.org/aboutus/about/governance#sthash.oyw1ypQr.dpuf

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