Public Eye on hiatus till September

This summer, I added another hat to the many I'm already wearing - acting director of the University of Victoria writing department's professional writing program. That means Public Eye will be taking a break until September so I can catch up on work that needs doing before the school year begins. Public Eye Radio will continue uninterrupted. But the rest of our coverage won't resume until after Labour Day. In the meantime, I'd like to take this opportunity to mark a major Public Eye milestone. Since launching in May 2004, we've published more than 6,000 articles - almost all of which are based on original, enterprise reporting. This year alone, Public Eye has broken stories revealing:

* the government office running the province's pro-harmonized sales tax campaign secretly doled out contracts that have paid out almost $300,000 to Liberal-connected companies and individuals;

* the newly appointed, Liberal-connected chair of the province's taxi licenser is alleged by the Law Society of British Columbia to have falsified documents while attempting to obtain a mortgage for a property he was purchasing in Prince George. The chair, Nathan Bauder, declined to comment on those unproven allegations. But he has resigned that position;

* Jay Hill, one of the Premier Christy Clark's most vocal rightwing backers, has registered to lobby the government about its carbon capture and storage laws on behalf of the firm that produces the most amount of greenhouse gases in the province;

* Treasury Board President Stockwell Day's decision not to run for re-election and, instead, move into the government relations business;

* when Ms. Clark was running for the Liberal leadership, she did so using a chartered plane from one of businessman David McLean's companies;

* former CTV News Vancouver anchor Pamela Martin's appointment as the premier's new outreach director;

* the sudden resignation of Ms. Clark's Liberal leadership campaign manager Ken Boessenkool;

* an internal Liberal plan to put more boots on the ground during the next election, copying tactics that have been successfully used by the New Democrats;

* Joey Restaurants managers took part in a unique employee reward program - sell at least 25 Liberal memberships in support of Kevin Falcon's leadership bid and win an iPad;

* British Columbia's top mining bureaucrat has taken a job leading a mining lobby group after a provincial official waived a government guideline that would have required her to wait a year to make such a move;

* complaints about a last minute flood of money and membership forms during the New Democrat leadership race;

* the New Democrats have been dealing with a high-level call to discipline the 13 MLAs who forced Carole James's resignation as party leader;

* a lawyer who has given legal counsel to the New Democrat caucus, and whose firm has a relationship with the opposition, also lobbied the party's then health critic;

* New Democrat leadership candidate Nicholas Simons's reluctance to give the party executive the keys to his social media accounts;

* Brian Topp, a key player in the federal New Democratic Party's "Orange Crush" breakthrough on May 2, will run the BC NDP's attempt to replicate that political success provincially;

* over half of British Columbia's children in care applied for income assistance within six months of turning 19 and aging out of the government's protection;

* the province is looking into establishing foreign trade zones following a lobbying effort that involved the government's former top bureaucrat, Ken Dobell;

* an audit conducted by the British Columbia Securities Commission shows a decline in compliance with national standards meant to ensure the information mining companies are disclosing about mineral deposits is truthful and accurate;

* British Columbia's financial services regulator is launching a sweeping review that could result in major changes to the governance of the province's credit unions;

* a review of British Columbia's industrial property taxes has ground to a dispute with taxpayers and that the government has forgiven its unpaid rent; and

* the museum received a letter of support from cabinet minister Ida Chong as part of its bid to occupy a prime piece of government real estate.

It's why Canwest News Service referred to Public Eye as the "go-to source for B.C. scuttlebutt." But I hope this Website has been much more than just a source of scuttlebutt. I hope it's also helped hold both sides of the political aisle accountable on behalf of British Columbians. So please join me in celebrating Public Eye's six thousandth story.

5 Comments

Congrats in the over 6000 articles. Love to hear when people refer to you as that "thorn in the side" Sean Holman. It means you're doing all the right things. Congrats also on the new position at UVic, hope you get some down time in there too as the autumn could mean a change in the BC government.

Don't go too far away because the outcome of the HST vote will greatly influence when Crusty Christy decides to jump into an election

Avoter, it's Premier Christy Clark, MLA. Show the lady some respect.

Oh and congrats Sean! 6,000 sorties. WOW! 6,000 missions over the rockpile. WOW! 6,000 times you stepped up when so much of the media wanted to just collect a paycheque. WOW!

Congratulations Sean, on your 6000th story - amazing!

Take a well-deserved summer holiday - I'm sure I speak for many of your readers - most of whom can't crack Typepad, which I despise - in saying thank you for your contribution to political journalism in BC!

Agree or disagree on a story, everyone knows how hard you dig and how much you try to be fair to all sides when you report.

Lastly, I encourage every Public Eye reader to join me as a monthly contributor to ensure this important source of investigative reporting continues.

Best wishes - Bill Tieleman

http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/

I find it somewhat amusing that a fellow who , from what we hear, doesn't even live in the province try to lecture someone who does, and actually gets to vote here. Maybe JosefK could investigate Mz.Clarks connections to the BC Rail mess, the closed schools, breaking legal contracts and other little events that she was involved in, or close to as Gordon Campbells' Deputy Premier. Her repeated flip flops on policies such as the HST could keep him very busy. Families First is a great theory, but cutting off programs for disabled kids, closing group homes and such shows her true character. Her right wing connections don't help us, the average BC citizens much either.

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