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Brian Downie turns head sharply and pushes past to get away.
REPORTING · 13th May 2013
Merv Ritchie
Originally posted on October 11, 2008 - This historical story stands true today. It is why the citizens of Terrace remain so much in the dark, in fact it is why British Columbian newspapers and TV channels do not blaze headlines everyday about the horrendous corruption in every corner of the BC Liberal offices.

Remember Carol Leclerc was also part of Terrace City Council at this time and treated us always with the same disdain as Downie. She was also at the forefront of the Terrace Tourism Society fiasco, taking over the Council Liaison position from Lynn Christianson who had fostered good will. As soon as Carol took over the Liaison position the Society was suddenly dysfunctional. Her and Downie created the fiasco with Ron Poole. Read the details on this episode here.

After reading this, look at the way the media continues to promote the Liberal Liars with the short video in this report click here. It all backs up what we have claimed for over 5 years.


It was like playing the role of the paparazzi at City Hall Friday afternoon, October 10, 2008, after the nomination period ended for the municipal election. Other media were present, to record the final names submitted, chief electoral officer Cathy Jackson was there and some councillors and nominees were also present. I was just finishing up and heading out when nominee Bruce Martindale arrived with incumbent Councillor Brian Downie. It was a great opportunity for a picture; at the City Hall front counter, the election officer in the background with other media, I couldn’t pass it up and asked Downie and Martindale to pause for the moment.

Downie immediately turned his head and pushed forward refusing to hesitate even for a moment stating that he didn’t want his picture taken. After attempting to explain that he was a Councillor and this was a great shot he fired back in an angry and hostile manner that he didn’t want a picture on our disgusting site.

Like the big City media we couldn’t let that go. “What do you mean disgusting - what is it about our website that you find disgusting?” I enquired as Downie turned out through the office doors and started down the stairs. “Give me an example”, I kept on his heels as we got to the bottom of the stairs and headed out the main foyer to the outdoors with Martindale following close behind me.

“That picture of Sharon Smith”, finally revealing what had him so out of sorts. He expressed his disapproval of us posting the picture of Federal Conservative Candidate Sharon Smith posing in her Mayors chair buck naked except for the Mayors regalia around her neck.

I fired back, “What - about the picture of her posing with the rifle?”

“I didn’t like that either.” He replied suggesting that both pictures were inappropriate after I prodded him on the indiscretion Smith demonstrated. He went on to display his disgust with our using the picture as we rounded the corner to the parking area and approached his van.

I then explained where we got the picture we posted “You know where we got the picture don’t you, it was from CTV’s website. They posted it on September 21st of this year. It’s all right for them to post it but not us?” I questioned Downie.

“We can’t control them!” he stated bluntly as he opened his Van door and got in.

Martindale was still with us as he was accompanying Downie and seemed to be enjoying this humorous display of temper by Downie. I asked if he would at least allow a picture and he graciously allowed it though it was obviously a bit of an awkward situation for him.

We have encountered this same demeanour often with Downie and somewhat less frequently with other Councillors. We have had to state quite clearly at City Council Chambers that we are not here to be anyone’s bugle boy. Ms. Davies accepts our role and takes the critiquing with dignity and respect, as a political figure should. We are independent and will report as we see the news that requires reporting regardless of the impact, but from our interpretation of Councillor Downie’s final statement this may not be true for the other media. His final words were, “We cannot control them” referring to CTV. So the questions that arise from this are; who is the “We” and do the “We” control most of the other content this community receives from the other media outlets?

As a foot note:

The Terrace City Administration has never provided our media sources with any advertising revenue and we are frequently excluded from receiving notice of media type events. The Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce refuses to include our media in notices of their events, even in advising of the recent political forum. Their reason for this is that they only provide the event notices to Chamber members. We refuse to join any club, (except for the Royal Canadian Legion). Their actions are simply to make our task more difficult. We persevere.

The RDKS, the Kitimat Chamber and the District of Kitimat contact us on their own to discuss and purchase advertising and to inform us of upcoming events including the All Candidates Forum held in Kitimat. It is very obvious to a casual observer that Terrace has a problem, a control issue. Could this be at the root of why we cannot attract companies and investors of a high calibre? An independent investigation might discover some rot at the very core here. There is only one way to control our media sources. Buy them. We could leave you with the cess pool of wasted opportunities and abandoned industrial sites that this extreme right wing village government has provided for you, “In the communities best interest!”

Have no fear, we will remain to do our part to make this a better community by exposing the corruption lies and misdeeds of all those who require exposing including the drug dealers, administrators and politicians. This is not a popularity contest.

AND THEN 'THEY' STOLE MY GARBAGE Read about it here 1522
Cathy Jackson, the Chief electoral officer gathers the final nomination papers from City Hall after 4:00 on Friday afternoon
Cathy Jackson, the Chief electoral officer gathers the final nomination papers from City Hall after 4:00 on Friday afternoon
Bruce Martindale was kind enough to pause for a photo after the entertaining exchange with Brian Downie
Bruce Martindale was kind enough to pause for a photo after the entertaining exchange with Brian Downie
@ rich
Comment by Terry on 14th May 2013
Do you mean like David Black threatening the whole of bc from jasper to kitimat with endless trains of Alberta tar if he doesn't get his pipeline . The premise of this unbiased douchbag is that the pipeline is the lesser of his two evils . I don't know what turnip truck you fell off of but this maybe news for you . There has never been an unbiased news paper EVER . That's why criminals like Conrad black bought up as many newspapers only to shut them down and destroy their printing presses and forever silence the other veiws .
Small Town - Small Minds
Comment by Bobby on 14th May 2013
The city appears as a small town private enterprise. The corruption is kind of transparent to anyone looking. But, apparently the people who live around here, as well as law enforcement, see no reason to address local corruption. Further, the treatment of the only legitimate media with journalistic integrity is discriminated agasint for publishing truthful facts. This story plays out in small towns across the continent. You can be a successful white collar criminal in this country. Its not even hard. And as always, law abiding citizens stand around with cow like faces chewing their cud. There is an old expression, "people get the kind of governments they deserve." and Canadians are certainly getting what they deserve. Why do they deserve bad officials? Ignorance and Apathy. I hope Terrace Daily keeps pissing off all the right people!
Obligated? Maybe morally obliged?
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 13th May 2013
It was nice to see you quote the appropriate information from the previous comment. Now when you refer to 'name calling' are you referring to the comment to the report, the report or the introduction to the report?

Liar could be considered name calling but then so is calling someone a liberal, I'd be insulted if you called me a BC Liberal! But hacks? Is that the name calling which offends? When any media calls some other a 'spin doctor' is that name calling?

Or is name calling only offensive when it is applied against the Lieberals?

Maybe I am just too stupid to understand your argument.

Oh no, I just name called myself, Oh, I'm hurt, and ashamed, oh golly gee, maybe I just became a spineless person and will vote Lieberal so they can tell me how good my life is under their lying deceitful governance.

So just how silly does this sound?

How about attempting to provide a reasoned argument, addressing facts, not attacking the person?
Comment by Rich on 13th May 2013
"journalists, are obliged to provide current and contextual information to provide the general reading and viewing public with the appropriate information to make appropriate informed decisions."
"the topic is the media of Terrace being bought and paid for by Liberal Hacks who will stop at nothing to promote Liberals,"
Don't you think your bias is showing here just a bit. I'm not sure name calling is particularly appropriate information.
Providing context with a media medium
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 13th May 2013
Media, news, journalists, are obliged to provide current and contextual information to provide the general reading and viewing public with the appropriate information to make appropriate informed decisions.

That is precisely what this is. If we had to go back one hundred years to provide the proper context for any given subject we will.

To suggest that because these people, Carol and/or Clark, did these things a year or two or even ten years ago, that it should not be reference, is ludicrous.

And to refer to the pictures Downie spoke about, has nothing to do with the issue of incompetence and disruptive behaviour of Leclerc, that which is what the intent behind re-publishing this was to provide.

More importantly, the topic is the media of Terrace being bought and paid for by Liberal Hacks who will stop at nothing to promote Liberals, even misleading their audience, you!

One might not like the truth but there it is.
journalism or opinion
Comment by djb on 12th May 2013
If Merv is trying to provoke thought and reactions, then he is obviously very succesful. If he is trying to provide journalism in an unbiased fashion, then not so much.
Digging back 5 years for this item is a bit of a stretch .Could this be electioneering, from a journalist?
It is a wonder this outlet hasnt been sued for libel/slander . Not surpisingly many organizations do not want any association with it. ie RCMP, Terrace Standard, city council etc. If there is any possble way to put a negative ( or anti-establishment )slant on things, Merv will find a way.
As for posting of the pics, I believe that reposting something that was stolen in the first place is not exaclty ethical. I realize that individuals do it all the time, but organizations should be held to a higher standard.Is he implying that because she didnt have her files"secured" she deserved to have them posted? Thats like saying you deserve to have your car stolen because it wasnt locked.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 17th October 2008
If you look at the front page of the website you will find mostly articles which are news. There have even been News Releases or government bumpf printed word for word. Sometimes Merv also writes opinion pieces which are usually no-holds-bared and sometimes even on the edge. You certainly won't find "editorial" content on the local electronic media and some pretty soft, kid glove criticism of government in the other paper. Much of what we get is the opinions of two on the opposite sides of an issue. One person is quoted claiming something and the next person is claiming the opposite. Much of it is superficial and you are suppose to decide based on the two opinions. Maybe that is called journalism but it rarely provokes or educates or makes people think for themselves. All editorial preferences are subtle and applied by excluding stuff that the publisher or the advertisers might find objectionable.

So Merv writes an editorial with some passion. He doesn't have to worry about who owns the media outlet and what restraints they might impose. Once in a while even I get surprised but I would rather we had a place to get unsanitized political information. This and all the other sources form part of the information which is used to form an opinion. Just remember this all started by a councillor, from a Council that does not share municipal advertising dollars with the Daily, attacking Merv's work and inferring that they had a way of controlling him. Those are fighting words. Merv could have let it ride but we have a right to know and Merv fought back. The councillor has only himself to blame.

If it offends you then a simple click of the 'X' in the top right of your screen will solve you problem.
News or Opinions?
Comment by Kev on 14th October 2008
Maybe the real question is; Is this on-line news paper really news or one man's opinion? Judging from other articles it seems the latter. For example; in a previous article (Oct 8) Merv seemed to suggest that some how the Conservative party is the US Republican party and has, is going to or is in support of "Molesting young boys".

Then he says "Fear Not. Say No!" regarding voting for the Conservatives. It doesn't sounds like he is reporting, it is more like he is running a campaign. Same could be said about the local election. If he doesn't care for a candidate he will write and negative opinion about him or her and try to influence voters to his opinion.

In hind sight Mr. Downie maybe you should have just let him take the picture and be done with it.
Good grief
Comment by Karla W on 14th October 2008
The photo of Sharon Smith is now in the public domain called the internet. Google it and there it is. If she did not want the photo to be potentially used against her, then she should have taken steps to keep it secure. Never mind who put it out there, it is now there. All Merv did was refresh my memory of this event. She already did not have my vote.
As for Mr. Downie, he needs to remember who put him in the seat on council ( the people of Terrace) This is who he should represent but fails rather miserably. To me, he seems to be more interested in furthering the interests of the old boys network and I for one have had enough. It is well past the time for a change of council and mayor. I hope this time the voters will get off their collective butts and VOTE! You don't vote, you don't get to complain.
Good for you Merv, that you keep going out there and don't let yourself be controlled as that is exactly what I think Mr. Downie meant. Good work Merv!
isn't this cyberbullying?
Comment by billbraam on 14th October 2008
So, wouldn't printing /broadcasting a private pictue of somebody, possibly to affect their goals in life, be assumed to be a form of cyberbullying?
Slipped up! Opps
Comment by Steven Danroth on 14th October 2008
Brians comment about "not being able to control CTV" was a perfect example of our mayor and councils attitude towards everything they are involved in when it comes to our town. If they cannot control it, have final say in what happens, benifit or look good doing it, then they want nothing to do with at all. Your opinion does not matter to these people. AT ALL!!!
Speaking Out
Comment by Sylvia Stephens on 13th October 2008
Moira: I appreciate your feedback and comments and I will not take any blame or say that I am sorry for what I said. The past is the past, today is today. We now have the chance to speak out about what we think is wrong with our governments of the day. I don't think that I want to debate with you on this and like you, as First Nations people, we were forced to attend Indian Residential Schools and I don't intend to go into detail.

Your opening remark, I respect that "I take exception to your statement "Being silent......." We cannot undo the wrong that has happened in the past and today, we can speak for change and I will continue to voice my concerns and my concerns don't involve you whatsoever and in case you are interested, go to

This is the 21st century and we are still living amongst corrupt leaders and I will NEVER stay SILENT. This is coming from my own perspective and have being lobbying for change for the past 7.5 years. Happy Thanksgiving!
Missing the point Steve and completely.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 13th October 2008
If the issue is one of " We can't control them," implying that we can control "you" by not cooperating, and based on the past actions of the administration who are under Council's direction who do you suggest should set the record straight? The exclusion of the Terrace Daily in municipal advertising is not myth as you so blythly dismiss. Furthermore who said anything about Roswell, whatever that is.

Come on Steve. Surely you are not that blinded by political favouritism that you think courtesy is not necessary for anyone of a different opinion? Surely you don't condone excluding one news media because you don't like their message? In this case who acted rudely? As I said before, if the photo had been one of a member of the NDP, you and others would be chortling all the way to the ballot box. In this case the member of council and it is the actions of some politician who give the profession a bad name. This action reflects on all Council and anyone can make a statement declareing Merv's contention wrong ...that is if he really is wrong about how City Hall treats the Terrace daily.

Mr. Downie i only have 2 things to say!
Comment by JAMES FRASER on 13th October 2008
Once again after reading this story and the comments I am almost in disbelief that a politician in a democracy would make such a foolish comment.


With this kind of attitude from the people supposedly representing us i'd say it is really time to CLEAN HOUSE on election day! Keep on them Terrace Daily!!!

Being Silent NOT acquiescence!
Comment by Moira Goldman on 13th October 2008

I take great exception to your statement that "Being silent means you approve of what is going on."

My great grandmother grew up in Poland and survived Majdanek . She did not speak up because she was a subjugated member of society. Others did speak up and they did not survive. She would never speak of what happened in Majdanek even unto death. She did NOT support what happened there, and if you really believe silence is acquiescence, then HOW DARE YOU!

If someone does not vote or speak up, it does not preclude them from human rights! They are still forced to live in this system whether they want to or not. We must never, ever forget this! Jehovah's Witnesses cannot vote for religious reasons. Guess what? They don't lose their human rights because of it. Roma gypsies could not vote in Europe either, and this did not disavow their human rights! Think before you use such broad brush strokes, please! If people choose not to choose, it is their right, and must be respected.
The Mayor?
Comment by Steve on 13th October 2008
So let me see Helmut, you want the Mayor to have a press conference to discuss something that didnt happen? Not really standard protocol for Municipal politics is it? Maybe he should have one to deny the Roswell incident as well.
So one Counciller pisses off one reporter and its like media armageddon? Is it any wonder that people have such disregard for the practice of politics and some very qualified people couldn't be bothered to run for elected office?

ED NOTE: Just to be clear, the reporter was entertained, certainly not "pissed off"
Hard to believe Bill.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 13th October 2008
If the offending photo had been one of a NDP candidate doing something inappropriate, I wonder if Downie would have been so indignant? I rather doubt it. He did not say "I have no control over them" or " I have no influence over them" but he said, "We have no control over them". That makes the past conduct of Council in excluding the Terrace Daily suspect. So, sorry Bill but it does not wash. Perhaps the Mayor will make a public statement and deny that there was any attempt to get "more favourable" coverage from The Daily by excluding Merv from municipal advertising and notices of events.
Research helps to educate us more!
Comment by Sylvia Stephens on 13th October 2008
I find this site quite informative as it deals with local governments (municipalities/regional districts).
I came across this site in one of my Political Science courses with UNBC.

Good luck to Terrace residents, I hope the voter turnout is great and it is enlightening to read comments/feedback from everyone who care about their community. Being silent means you approve of what is going on. Take a stand and let your voices be heard.
Time for new mayor
Comment by steve hallett on 12th October 2008
I hope all of us can learn from this disgusting diplay and antics. If you are truly representing your community you should not have to hide behind the veil of city council.
As a concerned citizen I believe it is time for a serious change with the OLD BOYS CLUB in Terrace.
We need to move forward as a city with forward thinking and am glad to see the positive thinking by newly elected council members and fresh approach to positive thinking. Hopefully Our current mayor and old school council members move on to retirement and new members move our city forward in a positive direction. By the way thank you merv for reporting truth and reality in our city!

don't twist councillor Downie's comment
Comment by billbraam on 12th October 2008
He was not implying that he wants to 'control' the media. Why do things get twisted by the media?
What a jack
Comment by Danny Nunes on 12th October 2008
This whole victim mentality for Sharon Smith is pathetic. If this region elects her after she clearly displayed her lack of regard for the office of mayor in Houston then this region deserves what it will get from her...which is nothing.

I know all too well how people in this region want to limit and censor free speech and control things and its the main reason why things have gotten so bad.

Downie isnt upset over Merv posting the pic....a small censored one of Sharon I might add...Downie is just worried that the truth about her will affect her chances to get elected and it should have an affect but no....shes being made out as a victim & that will get her into office...pathetic.

Free Speech in the media is going extinct and the investigative journalist is dying...replaced by entertainment news that is full of fluff and no substance.

When there is no one there any longer to dig for the truth you will drown in all the lies and never know what to believe in again & those who you allowed to do this with your fear & will be there slaves for as long as you allow it.
This is not reallyabout the lady.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 12th October 2008
It is about a member of Council implying that they will attempt to "control" what goes into the media. Their past actions toward the Terrace Daily give that remark "legs" as they say in politics.
No apology necessary
Comment by Chris on 11th October 2008
Come on now, no one forced this lady at gun point to take her clothes off, put on the official mayoral symbol and smile for the camera! This was her choice, and a pretty bad one. Then to allow the photo to leave the privacy of her camera / computer, another sign of bad judgement.

If these are the types of decisions this woman makes and she is asking us to vote for her to represent us in Ottawa, I absolutely want to know about it. It makes my decision easy. I would hate to have voted for her then find out about this afterwards.

I appreciate different points of view and I'm smart enough to view all and still make my own decisions.

Keep up the commentaries Merv
you shouldn't have..
Comment by billbraam on 11th October 2008
It is my understanding that the photo of Ms Smith was put on the internet maliciously and by extension putting the photo or bringing attention to it you are participating in that malice. It was not right for that photo to appear on your terracedaily site. It is my opinion that you owe her a proper apology. Thank you in advance

ED NOTE: It is the responsibility of the media to bring attention to issues, regardless of how distasteful, that are of public interest and import. This issue demonstrates not only the indiscretion of the individual but the incompetence. One in such a position should be able to maintain and secure their private computor or any such secret or sensitive material. This individual has failed on these counts and it deserves no such apology.

Not so, ED, if something private is hacked or stolen from their computer the hacker has no right to make any of it public, no one else has the right to further the extent of the damage and certainly the original owner doesn't deserve the damage to be redone by anybody in the media. You owe her a retraction, thank you in advance again.

Please stop thanking for something never to be delivered. She is asking for our trust, respect and faith. If elected could we trust her to not leave sensitive documents behind at her girlfriends place? Her computer files were unsecured. Once again CTV used this pic as an example as well. Downie very much wishes to control the message. This is why he and his cohorts in the Tourism, Chamber and the City refuse to provide advertising support even against the advise of their former executive director. Your arguement has similarities to Bill Clinton attempting to suggest that he didn't have sex with Lewinsky. Of course Downie's words "We can't control them." didn't mean anything. I think the way we should interpret it is "We appreciate your website, insight and community contribution"
Hail Hitler
Comment by James Wold on 11th October 2008
Many Canadians fought and died in world war two for us to enjoy freedom. Now Les and Downie tell us they need to control us; from the water in the Kalum river or from the wicked media. A house cleaning is in order before we all end up in concentration camps. I will stand beside you Merv, keep up the good work.
just a thought
Comment by Steve on 11th October 2008
Perhaps Counciller Downie said or meant to say "we can't control what they (meaning CTV) print"? which would make perfect sense as a statement of fact in this case. Not in a sense of wanting to control what they print but not appreciating it.

Also, if you want to be more respected as a journalist, might I suggest reporting more facts and a lot less personal opinions and lay off the conspiracy theories. It just might go a long ways towards being more accepted by others.

Also, putting Bruce Martindale in that situation and then asking for a picture probably won't win you many friends either.

just trying to throw out some possibilities for the other side.

ED NOTE: These were the actual recorded words. Interpreting the meaning of them is up to every lawyer and his dog. Downie put Martindale in this position. Martindale displayed good character, and as stated, this is not a popularity contest. Yes, in the future we'll try to be like the more respected and mainstream media, like Fox News, that does not use bias and conspiratorial conjecture
This is unbelievable.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 11th October 2008
“We can’t control them”. Those words say more about the local Council than anything else. It is simply outrageous and every incumbent member ought to be made to explain this comment at an all candidates forum. How else do they “control” if it isn’t by excluding the daily from notice of meetings and Council events. Advertising is withheld because they can’t control The Terrace Daily? The Chamber excludes the Daily as well. I don’t buy this stuff about a newspaper having to take out a membership in order to hear about events within the Chamber that might be of public interest. Is that partisanship or is this secret cabal something we should all start worrying about.

The Terrace City Administration should know better and if they are excluding one media outlet, then they have been instructed to do just that. Who would have the power? Next time Merv, demand to see the Council Minutes where this was decided to be the policy. It might be interesting to see who voted for such an attempt to muzzle a media.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 11th October 2008
At least you didn't display the photo that is still on the internet.
You must be hitting a nerve, Merv.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 11th October 2008
What was it they said, "If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen." In getting my news from unvarnished and independent sources I am sometimes exposed to stuff that makes my eyebrows raise. There is a very easy solution to all this and that is just click the "back" button on you screen. We all have sensitivities in certain areas but if it is in the public domain then it is available for comment. Perhaps Downie has not learned that you "never criticise someone that buys their ink by the barrell"

Keep up the good work Merv. Somebody has to report the good the bad and the ugly. That's journalism.
Take the heat or get out of the fire!!
Comment by James Fraser on 11th October 2008
After reading your artical re; councillor Downie , i had to chuckle. When anyone gets into polotics you would have to be a fool to think you can contol the media!

If Mr Downie wants to be handled with kid glove's He is in the wrong buisiness...GOOD JOB TERRACE DAILY!!
Disgusting site? I think not...
Comment by Denise M. on 11th October 2008
In my opinion, it's people like Councilor Downie that make Terrace look bad for this very reason. Seriously. I've found there can be "cliques" in this town and if you aren't a "lifer", haven't lived here all of your life, then chances are you aren't going to be "allowed" to fit in. It's shameful really. Keep up the good work. I think lots of locals appreciate it.
What's disgusting is...
Comment by Voter on 11th October 2008
What's disgusting is his sense of entitlement and inability to deal with a news source that is completely unbiased. Way to waste a perfect photo op and turn it into bad publicity by showing your true colours. Thankfully he can't control you Merv, CTV, or us, the voters. Yay Canada!