Use of uniform in campaign riles Gabriel Yiu

When photos of retired cop Kash Heed in police uniform turned up in materials supporting his campaign as B.C. Liberal candidate for Vancouver-Fraserview, it probably didn’t raise a lot of eyebrows. But it did catch the attention of Heed’s NDP opponent, Gabriel Yiu.

In a phone interview with the Straight, Yiu raised serious questions about Heed’s use of a uniform to promote himself in the May 12 provincial election. Yiu suggested that this goes against the Code of Professional Conduct Regulation for police officers. Section 9 of the regulation considers the use of any equipment or facilities of a police department for personal gain or purposes not related to police duty a “corrupt practice”.

That Heed is no longer with the police and isn’t covered by the regulation doesn’t wash with Yiu. “But the thing is, what kind of character is that?” Yiu asked. “He’s running for public office.”

Yiu said that the photos in Heed’s campaign materials are altered versions of an original photo of Heed in his capacity as chief of the West Vancouver police. In that photo, there are West Vancouver police department patches on the sleeves of Heed’s uniform. In the campaign photos, however, the West Vancouver police symbols have been airbrushed out, Yiu said.

“So that would mean that this is a deliberate act, not negligence,” Yiu asserted. “He knows this is wrong, but he deliberately [did] that.”

Yiu said that in a Chinese-radio debate on May 4, he raised the same issues with Heed, along with the question of whether or not Heed was authorized by the West Vancouver police to use the photo. “I asked him many, many times and he refused to answer,” Yiu said.

Heed wasn’t available for comment. His spokesperson Barinder Sall brushed off Yiu’s concerns.

“What’s on the uniform?” Sall asked the Straight, laughing, when questioned about the photo that was used in Heed’s campaign materials. “Where is the uniform from? I got something down on record, but where’s the uniform from? It’s a generic picture. There’s no markings on it that it’s West Vancouver.”

Asked if the patches were airbrushed, Sall said, “They were removed because they had to do with West Vancouver, all right?”

Sall also suggested that critics should look at the campaign photos of Mable Elmore, a bus driver who is running as the NDP’s candidate in the neighbouring Vancouver-Kensington constituency.

“She’s a bus driver,” Sall said. “Her picture shows her standing in front of buses. That’s the point. Her picture shows her standing in front of buses—two, three buses. So she’s a bus driver; she’s very proud of that. She should be. Kash is very proud that he was a police officer, and he should be.”




May 7, 2009 at 10:34am

Big deal. I don't see what the problem is. Gabrielle Yu should focus on matters of importance, not whether or not a former police chief can show pictures of himself as, gasp, a former police chief.


May 7, 2009 at 4:43pm

Since msm will not do their job informing the voting public about the suspiciously short term of Kash Heed as West Van Police police chief then Mr. Yu has every right to point to the absurdity of someone who was just starting their career at the most senior levels of their profession then quits under a dark cloud and then uses the uniform of their past life to score points.
How does that differ from a 50 year old juvenile still wearing their high school team jacket? Or a supposedly rehabilitated junky thief who runs for office and hands out publicity photos of himself breaking into a constituent's house or of the candidate nodding off with a bloody needle still stuck in a vein. I see no difference other than that the junky thief might appear more dignified.


May 7, 2009 at 10:48pm

The issue is integrity. Something sorely lacking with the Liberals. If a Liberal candidate doesn't understand what's wrong now then how can we trust them to be a MLA. That's not the only issue. He was under two investigations and then he suddenly quit to sidestep the two investigations. But then he is getting some sort of pay out so it all seems a bit sketchy to me. And on top of it all, there's a deal to parachute him into this area.

Police investigations, drunk driving, dangerous driving, false claims, homophobic comments. None of them step down. I don't trust them.

I am definitely supporting Gabriel Yiu.


May 8, 2009 at 5:28pm

Please do not compare police to bus drivers they are completely different positions with different regulations. enough with non sequiturs.


May 8, 2009 at 7:13pm

So what you guys are saying is that your previous employment, and pictures of you in that position, are totally out of bounds. I find that completely absurd. If you were previously a judge, or a cop, or a community organizer, or an environmentalist, a business executive, a bus driver, an actress, or whatever, you can't use any of that when marketing yourself?

If Gabrielle Yu has issues with Kash Heed's term as police chief, that's fair game. But for him to focus so much attention on the fact he used a photo in uniform is so trivial to me. I think a lot of people find this level of bickering a turn off.


May 9, 2009 at 12:42pm

I can't believe it but I agree with angels on this one.


May 9, 2009 at 12:48pm

Kash Heed is not endorsed by the entire South Asian community for exactly the the type of behviour he is engaged in now. Says one thing: "I'm to want eradicate gangs" "hit the drug dealers hard"; BUT, he does the opposite: has never visited our temple before unless it was for a political purpose or for media exposure; he talks about drugs, but you can see on the internet his statements about how he wants to legalize certain drugs, starting with marijuana. This guy should not be elected!


May 9, 2009 at 4:27pm

That is a typical NDP style. All they do is focus on things to attack their opponents. Come on! We still have a lot of problems to be solved in BC.


May 13, 2009 at 4:27pm

Gabriel knows he can't win by playing safe, he needed all the controversy he could dish out. 1) The drug issue 2) The uniform. Makes me laugh... Wut does Heed do? Send his team of lawyer after him.