What the receptionist knew and when she knew it

At this hour, CKNW is reporting "a veteran political organizer has decided not to take a new job in the office of Premier Gordon Campbell after admitting he used a fake name while placing a call to Campbell on a TV talk show." The station adds, Opposition leader Joy MacPhail "doesn't buy the government's claim that (Prem) Vinning wasn't officially on the job." Interesting Ms. MacPhail should mention that because, when Public Eye phoned the premier's office in Vancouver on Tuesday and asked to speak with Mr. Vinning, the very helpful receptionist there informed us, "I'm not sure where he is today. He was using an office here yesterday. I'm not sure where he is today...I don't know that he's going to have a permanent office out of here. I do not know what the situation is. I just know that he was here yesterday at the invitation of the premier."


CKNW website has story as you point out here,

from CKNW snip...

..."The Premier's Office says it was unaware the caller -- who called himself Peter -- was actually Vinning."...

... end of snip

This is like anyone one of us calling our boss and our boss doesn't know who it is.

Makes me wonder, I tell ya, slippery slope like this, makes me wonder if there are any - nudge, nudge, wink, wink - journalists - nudge, nudge, wink, wink - accepting benefits from the Liberals in exchange for positive stories. Like the Bushies have been caught at below the 49th. Makes me wonder!

It's not the first time, nor will it be the last time this happens. There's tons of BC Liberal plants calling in all the time to radio and tv shows.
These plants get on the air and make the Liberals
out to be "God" and "Saviors" It's really very sickening.

oh come on Chain Gang, do you really think the holier than thou, our stool doesn't stink NDP doesn't do it too?! Gimme a break.

what's sickening is the NDP and it's supporters trying to make the NDP out as Saviors when the reality is they were the devil incarnate during the 1990's and sent this province to hell in a handbasket.


Of course the NDP and the Liberals try to get their folks to call into phone shows. Happens at public meetings too. Still it is not the same as the Director of Asia-Pacific trade for the Premier calling in and pretending to be a trucker from the Cariboo is it.

As to the 90's, get ready to discuss the last four sorry years.


There are Liberal plants here too, making claims that 'both sides do it'. So far we have only seen evidence of one side, on more than one occasion too.

This diverts from the real problem. In this case the person might have been paid by the province of BC to do something else at the time. How many more BC Liberals are doing this at taxpayers expense?

Right now the NDP don't have any staff paid by the taxpayers (ok, maybe 3 compared to the thousands that the gov't has) so they could not do the illicit stuff even if they wanted to.

Also, why are the BC Liberals so stuck in the 90s?

I have been a staunch and solid supporter of the BC Liberals since 1991 and was extremely excited by the direction the Liberals said they would take the province.After this latest fiasco I must seriously question whether Gordon Campbell is fit to lead our party or our province?Starting with his drunk driving conviction,raids on the legislature,Doug Walls atrocities, this latest fumble and the steady fleeing of Cabinet Ministers
can only be seen as incompetence.It pains me to admit but I can no longer, in good conscience support a Gordon Campbell led government.I seriously urge all voters to look closely at our leaders compendium of embarrassments and come May 17th vote for the candidate who best represents the interests of BC.Three years ago I would have said that was Gordon Campbell, but today I would say anyone but.

When Campbell took office he expanded the staff of the Premiers's office from something like a few dozen to over 200, if I recall correctly.

With a staff that size you gotta find projects for them to do so you can micromanage them.

Writing out questions for them to call in to talk shows seems a good one. Plus there can be lengthy critique sessions for the staff afterward so they'll do it better next time.

What a joke!If Campbell raised his staff to 200 hundred from 20 after decimating the Environment,Women's and Children's Ministries then this is a bigger scandal than the one being reported.After reading the article in the Vancouver Sun it is obvious Campbell was anticipating the call,his response was planned and now he is lying about this too.If McPhail can recognize Vinning,s voice it is with certainty the Premier would have too.That is if he wasn't all ready anticipating the call,which he most certainly was.What is scandalous is that after he has been caught the weak and disigenuous attempt to feign ignorance.I have only one question?When are you stepping down Mr.Premier or are you prepared to drag your all ready haemorrhaging party to its death like Vanderzalm.See you in the welfare lines.

What I can't believe is that there are those on this site that are spinning this discussion to be about the NDP. What in the hell do the NDP have to do with this at all? Zero. If the NDP were the devil incarnate Pointdexter, then get ready for the smell of sulphur and brimstome l. You don't get to lie as long and as hard as Gordo (and his some of his fanatics) have done and have the people of BC not deliver you grief come election day. That is a truth that applys equally to all polictical regimes.

What I can't believe is that there are those on this site that are spinning this discussion to be about the NDP. What in the hell do the NDP have to do with this at all? Zero. If the NDP were the devil incarnate Pointdexter, then get ready for the smell of sulphur and brimstome l. You don't get to lie as long and as hard as Gordo (and his some of his fanatics) have done and have the people of BC not deliver you grief come election day. That is a truth that applys equally to all polictical regimes.

This story is all about the Lieberals, period.

With Gordon Campbell at the helm, who needs an opposition!I don't know a single person who has not been adversely affected by this ignominious bandits arrogance,greed and incompetance.Gordon Campbell continues to bring shame and derision upon our province,creating a divisive,unhealthy environment for all.From single mothers to buissnessmen Gordon Campbell will be held to account come May 17th.At the current rate who needs parallel campaigns,Campbell does more for the opposition than any single entity.Keep up the good work clown!

Poindexter is just using the same tactics the liberals will use this election. Anytime the Liberal record is questioned all theyl want to talk about is the NDP -- anything to avoid having to account for their own term in office. That's fine, it's to be expected, but I'm not sure it's gonna work as well this time around.

I will only say this. It is a well known tactic of both political parties to encourage supporters to phone into call-in shows when James or Campbell are appearing.

Some folk on this site may want to restrain their apparent outrage and indignation given this fact. I would imagine that from this point forward, when either James or Campbell appear on a radio call-in show, people will be listening very closely for voices they recognize.

Also, there are people in the province who do not share the same point of political view. Accusing people who are not supportive of the NDP and are supportive of the BC Liberals of being "plants" is insulting and may indicate you have been imbibing too much of your own bathwater.

The last time I looked the NDP and BC Liberals are essentially tied in the polls, which means just as many people support the BC Liberals as support the NDP.

The sheer ferocity of many of the comments on this site makes me very nervous. If it is indicative of the general attittudes of NDP insiders then I fear Carol James promises of a "balanced" government ring hollow. What I see on this site is a pack of very angry people looking for revenge. The question is, against whom?

Rick Barnes

Prem is involved with a trucking company in the Cariboo and I have heard him called Peter. Get your facts straight before you say he was pretending.

John English, there's never been any doubt about supporters of one party or other calling in.>p>But this isn't about supporters, it's about people on the payroll or about to be.

You understand the difference, right?

You are right Andy we have no right to question the ethics or honesty of our elected officials or the people they personally hire.Grow up!People like poindexter and jonn english just don't get it.No matter how much spin or sugar you pour on this situation it still stinks and it goes right to the top.Good luck in May John, you will be looking for another job.Perhaps Basi will offer you a job in one of his grow ops!

I cant believe the moral outrage of those people who are giving false names on this site, trying to suggest that what they are doing is anything different from what Prem Vinning did. Get off your high horses, everyone -- unless you are willing to give your real names!!!

Point well taken Peter Vinning!

Can Campbell do anything without looking like a puppet or a fool?

I can't believe how foolish he looks. The fact he denied knowing who it was (but somehow Joy knew) is another boldfaced LIE.

Peter -
I agree. I posted a comment last week about hiding behind "handles" and gave credit to those who use their real names.

I also agree with Stuart Constantine. I'm not a fan of the Liberals because of Gordo. I didn't like him when he was Mayor of Vancouver, he alway seemed slimy. I knew we were in trouble when he seeked leadership of the Liberals. His political record doesn't surprise me. That is not to say I'm voting NDP either. I have to admit, I don't know how to vote, but I will. I don't like any of the leaders. I could get behind the Liberals without Gordo and his handpicked bunch at the helm.

Yes John English I must say it is rather scary how nasty eveyone on this site is. Rather than defend the NDP, they turn to attacking anyone with a point of view that highlights the good points of the last 4 yrs. They are so busy hating Campbell they refuse to step back and try to see something positive in our province.

Rick Barnes I have no problem discussing the last four years, I think that overall they have taken this province in the right direction.

What I want to know is why NDP supporters are so reluctant to discuss their last 10 years?

With Mr Vinning out of the picture, there is a vacancy in The Office of The Premier for a handler/fixer/spinner/massager type that cries out for filling just four months before a general election. Now I know this suggestion will not be appreciated by some people, but wouldn't this be an excellent opportunity for BC's best known female export since Pamela Anderson to come home and make it big, I mean really big!?

I am refering of course to Rachel Marsden. Who better qualified to help mobilize the BC Liberals' right wing forces than her? Her connections to the American Republican party could be used to cement relations with US businesses and help to draw in some Republican consultant types, maybe even some of Rove's best trained operatives.


That is actually pretty goddamed funny!

I am sure that on a good day there are many things NDP 'ers and Liberals may agree on,such as safety for children, good paying jobs, good environmental practice. Unfortunately the politicians do not practice what they preach.We as well are dupes when we do not hold them accountable. This government has been particularly cynical.It is somewhat incomprehensible that John English and Pointdexter are worried about the hate and anger on this website when they go out of their way to be apologists for every single thing their beloveds practice and are experts at reductive logic to justify and support corrupt practices of the Liberal party. For example they probably believe that the contributor to the health crisis in Surrey is population growth instead of health care management.This twisted point about anger John based on his "perception" about NDP supporters has it's own agenda to further support divisiveness and is just a display of cynicism.
If we all practiced an informed debate here the politicians of every stripe may actually have to be more accountable.I suspect that is not a part of the liberal agenda as they are the party in control at the moment and have the responsibility to lead the way.Prem Vinning is an indication of the level of rot, and the excuse that all parties do this is just another example of two wrongs do not make a right and an indicator of arrogance.

I know nooooooothing.

Just a clarification to what banquos ghost said above re: increase in Premier's staff.

The Premier's Office staff technically increased from 20 to 200 (or whatever), but these weren't new hires. All the centralized government communications people that were part of "cupcakes" (CPCS, i think) during the NDP years became part of the Public Affairs Bureau, the budget of which was shifted to the Premier's Office. In fact, PAB, subsequently, ended up letting go about 1/3 of the communications staff in the first year of the mandate.

Wow! Nice reporting, Sean. You've really stirred things up again.

I've been part of several parent advocacy groups & we always try to get the word out when a topic of interest is slated for a call-in show so that ordinary parents can have their say. You can never get through on the phone lines, though, and I've always wondered whether some of the ones that do get through are professional plants. Now I know I wasn't just being paranoid!

I wonder the same thing about some of the posts on Blogs like this one. May that can be your next investigative target!

Posted by BTS Rules at January 27, 2005 01:37 PM

Yes they let 1/3 go. Now they have them in there as auxillary, contract or OIC.

The numbers with respect to communications will continue to show 1/3 less as a result. It is a shell game.


memo to dawn steele,,,,
the x files are over,,,you are paranoid,,,,
tell me how pta meetings clog phone lines?

My understanding is that the department referred to as "cupcakes" above was technically known as the "Government Policy and Communications Office", a.k.a. 'gypsy', under the NDP.

I tell you people we are going to have an increase in shelters for the homeless,so to justify that need the administration must create homeless persons to be good stewards of the taxpayers funds.Perhaps i just miss the days when all those who were hires before the previous admin enter power are sacked,oh those were the days ,heady righteous and free.
But another angle perhaps appears least we be regalted to the tapioca of life,the lawyers that could in a good wrongful dismissal suit that ensues boggles ones imagination,a years graduates perhaps defending peter's right to a substantial Golden Handshake just like in the states.!

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