Custom Search
Top Stories
Go to Site Index See "Top Stories" main page
REPORTING · 23rd September 2010
Merv Ritchie
On September 9, 2010 we received a call from the BC Ministry of Forests Communications Manager Vivian Thomas requesting we change our publication on CSIS’s Director Richard Fadden. Fadden had suggested the BC Government, Municipal Leaders and Public servants were compromised and had been infiltrated by international espionage. He went so far as to suggest public policy was being affected by the infiltration of Government Ministry’s.

Our article published July 10, 2010, and reproduced in part below, detailed the allegations and revealed, as an end note, how easy it was to discover individuals working within the BC Government that fit the requirements of Director Fadden’s allegations.

It was this revelation that had the Communications Manager call us. Thomas stated these two named individuals were concerned they were being called spies for China and this was not true.

After removing their names, (which we have done again for this publication) the Ministry was still not satisfied, they wanted almost every reference to Fadden’s allegation removed. No mention of Schooling, years attended not even which part of the Ministry they worked stating, “The Policy and Trade section is quite small.” We were then accused of spreading the allegation, which we denied by clarifying how our article demands Fadden come clean and clear the names of all those implicated. “They all deserve vindication,” we stated.

On Tuesday, September 14, 2010, we received a follow up email from Ms. Thomas requesting we make these changes and again today Thursday, September 23, 2010, the same request.

From: Thomas, Vivian P PAB:EX
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 10:52 AM
To: 'Merv Ritchie'
Subject: CSIS Article/MFR & EMPR Employees
Merv, as discussed, the two employees affected by your allegations do not feel the changes you made to the Terrace Daily online article go far enough. Additionally, I've since been reminded that Fadden's claims were about elected officials - municipal and provincial politicians - not government staff.

Accordingly, on their behalf, I again ask that you remove the entire paragraph that starts "As for Chinese insiders . . . " from the July 10th pages of ALL three websites: Terrace Daily Online, Kitimat Daily Online and Prince Rupert Daily Online. Here’s the links:
Both employees are expecting a formal apology and I've been advised that both employees are willing to take additional action, if necessary.
Vivian Thomas
Communications Manager
Ministry of Forests and Range and
Minister Responsible for the Integrated Land Management Bureau

We replied to Ms. Thomas;

Thank you for this email.

We feel we are completely within the accepted norms for bringing such a sensitive topic to the attention of the public.

In this region, where we publish our news services, the Ministry of Forests (Raw log exports to China) and the Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources (Enbridge Northern Gateway and Raw Bitumen to China) are both Ministry’s of significant association.

Richard Fadden, in his interview with both Peter Mansbridge and Brian Stewart and during his previous speech, spoke about: those with connections to the homeland (referencing China and India), long standing relationships, developing political prospects from University campuses and then shifting public policies towards that particular Country.

During the interview with Peter Mansbridge, Fadden stated in relationship to country ‘X’ having a person employed in a position of influence, “You call up and ask them to take a particular point of view.”

Peter Mansbridge correctly pointed out, “and now public servants”, and later Fadden also referred to ‘Public servants’ as being part of the espionage suspicion.

It was not a difficult task to search the two BC Government Ministry’s headed by Cabinet Minister Pat Bell and Cabinet Minister Bill Bennett. As we wrote we easily discovered senior policy analysts (public servants) having direct ties to China having attended Universities in BC just as Fadden described.

These are the target criteria set by the Head of Canada’s spy agency and these two Ministry’s are the very Ministries developing the highest levels of economic trade with China and have the most serious detrimental impacts on the Northwest BC’s economy and environment.

It is our specific role to bring these very issues to the attention of the public at large.

We do feel sympathy for the manner in which these two individuals might negatively feel after Fadden’s disclosures but this has nothing to do with the media bringing the same issues to the public’s attention.

As we stated previously, it is Fadden who needs to clear the names of those who are completely innocent of his allegations, not the media. As was stated by Mansbridge in his interview, “If I was a Provincial Cabinet Minister I’d say, ‘Hey, who are you talking about ‘cause you’re swiping us all with this’.”

Please direct your staff to direct their complaints against CSIS and not one of the smallest, most vulnerable publications in British Columbia. We may have written about this topic boldly and in a forthright manner, but this is the role of the media. And here in the Sacred Circle, the region most deleteriously affected by the changes in Government policies towards the use of the land and resources, it is our duty to engage the public in this debate. Your staff are most certainly subject to scrutiny. So are our local Municipal leaders who we have exposed for accepting money and engaging in activities some of the community, our polls suggest the majority of the community, feel are harmful to the best economic interests of the region.

In short we will not alter or change the articles posted. We will add to them and post new ones until this matter is clarified to the satisfaction of the Public interest.

We will of course include the comments from you on behalf of your staff in our publications to show how offended and hurt they are. Again it is Director Fadden they should be directing their angst towards.

Thank you
Merv Ritchie

Our original article with the names removed follows here;

Merv Ritchie
Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project is being proposed to carry raw crude bitumen (Oil) from the Tar Sands of Alberta to Asian destinations. It is not a secret that China is the major potential consumer of this tar sands product. It is also rumoured Chinese interests in this product have provided funds for Enbridge, in the tune of $300 million, to fund their public relations and regulatory approval program.

On June 22, 2010, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director, Richard Fadden, appeared on CBC TV. CSIS’s role is to catch spies and stop inappropriate foreign infiltration of Canadian interests. Fadden singled out China and revealed, during this appearance and in a previous speech, some very startling information that might be of interest to those concerned on the stance taken by the North West BC Municipal Councils regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal and other projects.

“There are several municipal politicians in British Columbia and in at least two Provinces there are ministers of the crown, we think are under at least the general influence of a foreign government. They have no idea. It’s just a long standing relationship; you develop friendships.” stated Fadden.

Several municipal politicians in British Columbia and at least one Cabinet Minister seem to be the direction Northwest British Columbians should be looking. In reference to the public and the citizenry Fadden spoke about local community awareness.

“I’m making this comment because I think it’s a real danger that people are totally oblivious to this kind of issue.”

This would be the second point to take into consideration. First there are several of our local municipal leaders who may have been compromised and second most of them, including the population of the region are completely ignorant of the potential of external/foreign infiltration of our free political process. Fadden described how insidious it is and how subtle this potential infiltration of political system happens.

“They haven’t hidden their associations but what’s surprised us is it’s been so extensive over the years and we’re now seeing, in a couple of cases, indication that they are in fact shifting their public policies as a reflection of that involvement in that Country.”

These are not small, insignificant allegations. They are important and extremely relevant to what has been happening regarding the promotion of all types of trade activity in the Northwest. Enbridge and the associated Alberta Tar Sands Oil is not the only export commodity to China. Raw logs are also one of the top items affecting this region.

It has been stated by various politicians, Premier Gordon Campbell being one of them, that these allegations are reckless and paint everyone with the same brush. He is right as, in the case of the Northwest, it is not difficult to narrow down a potential list of suspects.

Cabinet Minister Pat Bell is frequently speaking about his Chinese contacts having made various trade journeys to Asia encouraging raw log exports stating that at least the fallers and truckers have work. [. . .] everyone is now implicated. Minister Bill Bennett from the Kootenays has also spoken favourably about the Chinese markets. Is he also suspect?

As for our municipal leaders, Kitimat Mayor, Joanne Monaghan, has compromised her independence on the Northern Gateway Proposal by accepting to have her picture with her Mayoral regalia accompany a statement written by Enbridge purporting to support the project. On November 20, 2009 a Chinese delegation visited Kitimat after a provincial government promotional tour in China purporting to look at the Eurocan site. Monaghan has endured significant criticism from the community and her council yet she maintains her right to appear in Enbridge promotional material.

Terrace Mayor David Pernarowski along with Councillor Brian Downie have both accepted money from Enbridge to appear at their meetings. These two have been conspicuously absent from meetings by groups opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline even though many gatherings were in Terrace, travel not being an issue, however they accepted money to travel to pro Enbridge forums.

Colin Kinsley, the former Mayor of Prince George and now chairman of the pro Enbridge Northern Gateway Alliance expressed outrage in a news release after Liberal Party of Canada Leader Ignatieff stated oil tankers should be prohibited from BC coastal waters. Is Kinsley compromised?

The various refusals or obstacles put in front of invitations to attend gatherings by First Nations, Union and Environmental forums opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal by Enbridge, which is purported to feed the Chinese appetite, along with the blatant willingness to join and attend all the pro Enbridge political events demonstrates there is a serious problem and concern we should all be contemplating.

There has been no naming of those individuals CSIS director Fadden referred to when speaking about our local BC leaders however we need to be aware of the reality. CSIS director Fadden is speaking from a foundation of knowledge that, in his own words, we are generally oblivious to.

In the two councils we report on regularly, Terrace and the District of Kitimat, we find from Terrace; Mayor Pernarowski with Councillors Carol Leclerc and Brian Downie and from Kitimat; Mayor Joanne Monaghan with Councillors Richard McLaren and Mario Feldhoff, continually taking positions favouring Enbridge along with participation in pro Enbridge forums.

If we were to be concerned with, or suspect of, our municipal leaders, as has been suggested by the CSIS director, then it is these individuals along with their associates and administrative officials on whom we should we should focus our attention. If they are beyond reproach then we should demand Fadden come clean and tell us if our region, the Sacred Circle, is being compromised. We need to demand it and not be oblivious to a reality. All these formerly mentioned individuals deserve this vindication and name clearing. Without it there will always be suspicion.

Link to full CBC explanation along with story and videos can be found at

End Note: A conspiracy theorist might ponder about the recent resignations of the top Executive Directors of the Terrace Economic Development Organizations. Were they too uncomfortable with the knowledge of interference of the political leaders by outsiders? The range of possibilities is endless.

As for Chinese insiders, Pat Bell has a number of Chinese personnel within his ministry executive offices. [. . .] is in the International Policy and Trade Relations section as an economist. Born in Fujian, China, she achieved her Masters Degree in Economics in BC. Bill Bennetts Ministry; Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources employs [. . .] as a Senior Policy Analyst. [...] attended both UBC and UVic between 2002 and 2007 achieving a Masters Degree in Economics. This is discovered with very little investigative work. Attending BC Universities, working as a public servant for BC and being a Chinese national places one at the top of Faddens suspect list.

media freedom
Comment by e.a.f. on 9th December 2010
In my opinion the government and its officials have no business requesting/ordering a newspaper to alter their articles which are not illegal or untrue.
Your original article may have been "embarassing" for some but it is freedom of the press. This is Canada, not Russia, Venezula, China, etc. where you get calls from the government ordering you to not critize the government.
I consider it important that your paper continue to write its articles as it sees fit. I don't have to agree with you but you have the right to print them.
In the case of the "offending" article. I saw no reason for any change and agreed with it.
Canada should stop exporting its raw materials. One, we are exporting jobs which could be done in Canada. Canada once had a manufacturing sector which has now almost disappeared.
Two, when we export raw materials for manufacturing to other countries we are also exporting our pollution to countries which frequently have fewer enviornmental regulations.
Three, there is only so much raw material in the world. lets keep what we have to benefit Canada now and for 5, 10, 20 generations down the road.
Four, the exporting of our raw materials only benefits "big business".
Exporting gas and oil should be illegal. If we are going to have a shortage in the future, why are we exporting it now. Canada will need it in another 50 or 100 years. But, then if we looked after Canada first some of the politicians might not get those large donations and travel perks.
What happened to human rights?
Comment by Kim on 25th September 2010
Remember when Canada used to call out China for their abuses of human rights? Whatever happened to that? It seems for the last decade, our municipal governments have been travelling far and wide in their search for trade. They have also been busy becoming more and more partisan about provincial politics, coming out in support of the Liberals last election.

We need to find out why and how we have allowed ourselves to become a banana Petrostate. Why do we allow our government to get away with not taxing our resources, and why the hell are we not developing them into manufacturing jobs?

This is exactly how we get divided at the bottom of the foodchain, pitted against eachother like dogs for scraps. "If you are for jobs, then you are against the environment. We need to pay more taxes, so shareholders of multinational corporations will vote to lower your prices and invest money in your labour economy." We must recognise publicly that these attitudes are purely propaganda, that trickle-down economics is a fairy tale.

Thank you for your ethics here Merv and company. Your audience is getting wider as more people in BC discover the alternate media universe. Keep on shining that light of yours!
I concur..................
Comment by James Ippel on 25th September 2010
I fully agree that we should not export raw materials to other countries for processing, and then buy them back.
In order to process our wood resources here, we must again connect the forest licence to the local milling. This requires only the willingness of the governing body in Victoria to enact this legislation. We know that the Liberals will not take this step, will the NDP, should they be elected?
In my opinion the quickest way to sidetrack Enbridge is to fast track the establishment of a refinery, either at the source of the raw material, or very close to it. Lets not take 10 years of study, opposition, bullsh!t, Nimby, and the expenditure of millions upon millions of dollars by the Oil companies with no guarantee they will be allowed to build a refinery.
This will see the raw material being refined in
Canada, and the creation of a multitude of jobs.
Oops, my apologies, this seems like a common sense approach, and not acceptable to the nay sayers. Sorry.
Stick to your guns
Comment by Terry Gresl on 23rd September 2010
These are important issues and you have a lot of support. Please continue your assertive reporting and, as Helmut has said, it would seem you have hit a nerve !
Does he protest too much?
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 23rd September 2010
I have always wondered why BC, or Canada, for that matter so willingly exports its resources to jurisdiction with which we compete economically. We export raw resources sell off our hydro potential, gas, oil and jobs to countries and then buy back the finished products. This is a process that can't continue because resources are eventually depleted or there won't be any Canadian with enough income to buy the stuff we import.

Now maybe that is the objective because at some point we will be asked to give up our social programs like medicare or we will be asked to endure more HST because the government is short of cash. They never seem to want to tax the corporations that export our resources and our children's birthright gets bargained away to to the great god market capitalism.

If you wonder where all these influences come from and in which secret enclaves these decisions are made or what motivates reasonable intelligent adults to do this thinking it makes sense, then you are in danger of being threatened with "further action" from no other than the government ministers.

I don't know Merve but it sounds like you hit a nerve.