B.C. Liberal MLA Kash Heed says he’ll refuse to vote

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      Outgoing B.C. Liberal MLA Kash Heed isn’t casting a ballot on May 14. “I’m parking my vote,” Heed told the Straight in a phone interview.

      It’s probably his parting shot at what he once described as “this bizarre world of politics”. It’s another tale in a controversial political career that saw him rise from star candidate in 2009 to solicitor general and fall to backbencher.

      A voter in Richmond Centre, Heed doesn’t see any of the seven candidates in the traditionally Liberal constituency to have taken any real position on anything.

      “They defaulted to what the [party] leaders are saying,” the one-term Vancouver-Fraserview representative said. “So I have no idea what they stand for. The propaganda that I’ve received in the mail is just rhetoric from the party.”

      The candidates in Richmond Centre are Teresa Wat of the B.C. Liberal Party; Frank Huang, B.C. NDP; Michael Wolfe, Green Party of B.C.; Lawrence Chen, B.C. Conservative Party; Chanel Donovan, Unparty: the Consensus-Building Party; and independents Gary Law and Richard Lee.

      A Vancouver police officer for many years before he became West Vancouver’s chief constable in 2007, Heed is also very disappointed that neither the B.C. Liberal party nor the B.C. NDP placed policing reforms on their agenda.

      “If the missing-women [inquiry] recommendations came out right now, they would be jumping on a bandwagon,” Heed said. He was referring to judge Wally Oppal’s proposal for a Metro Vancouver regional police service following a commission of inquiry into the police investigation of the missing and murdered women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

      Had he remained B.C. solicitor general, Heed would have pushed for the revival of a provincial police force to replace the RCMP. In 2012, the province renewed its contract with the Mounties for another 20 years. “There’s no way I would have signed that contract,” he said. “It does not deliver the most effective, efficient, and accountable police service for British Columbians. It does not do that. There’s a better way.”

      It was the RCMP that investigated allegations that Heed’s election camp committed irregularities during the 2009 campaign. He was eventually cleared of wrongdoing but was fined for having overspent.

      Heed doesn’t claim that he was targeted but he also noted that “there were certainly a lot of people within the RCMP that were not happy” because of his plans then to overhaul B.C.’s policing system. It’s often described as a patchwork of independent police departments and RCMP detachments, with Greater Vancouver as the only metropolitan area in the country without a single regional police force.

      Heed doesn’t see anything much changing under a B.C. Liberal or New Democrat government: “I have no confidence in either of them giving B.C. the police reforms that are needed.”




      May 9, 2013 at 7:18am

      Maybe its time to resign ,and take in your hard earned pension .


      May 9, 2013 at 9:14am

      Having this person out of the legislature cannot come soon enough. Condemning your party or withholding your vote from them is one thing. But to encourage people not to vote. What a joke! Never mind the fact he does not actually live or work in his current riding. Good riddance.

      James Blatchford

      May 9, 2013 at 10:00am

      Refusing to vote is fine, Mr. Heed.....but refusing to talk would be vastly more popular.

      Just sayin'.

      Rasndy Apps

      May 9, 2013 at 3:47pm

      Heed, no one cares, I hope that more liberals follow your example.

      Is this due to your 801 commitment?

      Cash Daddy Heed

      May 9, 2013 at 6:28pm

      Pretty ironic an ex cop would complain about harassment from the police. Welcome to our world Mr. Heed.

      Provincial police force that no doubt Heed would want to parachute himself into as chief and fill with his cronies would cost countless billions to set up. You can't just turn a key and make a new force. None of the municipalities want to dump their forces either.

      Just figure out how to work with each other. Why is this so difficult. I've never trusted these BC Lib technocrats or conservatives who push for a monopoly on police enforcement. Sounds like they want a personal protection unit that does their bidding who they can fill with crony positions.

      Michael Thomson

      May 10, 2013 at 3:08pm

      I agree with Kash Heed that the RCMP contract that Christie Clark's government signed in 2011 was not the best deal for this province. The RCMP have an unwieldy mandate and too few resources stretched across 10 provinces and 3 territories (in two of those provinces, Ontario & Quebec, they are just federal law enforcement) and the federal government is indifferent to really reforming the institution.
      I agree that police reform in this province has been ignored by both major parties (the Liberals and the NDP) and that even the minor parties (the Greens and the Conservatives) have hesitated to mention it. Its the elephant in the room, everyone is trying to ignore.
      But I have always questioned the motives of Mr. Heed on this issue. Yes, I truly believe that he believes (as I do) that BC needs to revise its old provincial police force and end the near monopoly of the RCMP in this province. But he entered politics knowing that Gordon Campbell was likely to step down between 2009 and 2013 (he did, but not in the manner expected) and Kash would have the creation of a revised BCPP on his resume would have sought to replace him as Grit leader and Premier. Falcon had his highway improvement project on his resume; Clark had her talk show on her resume.
      Even now, Kash makes pronouncements and bad-mouths his former party with an eye towards his future. Perhaps a run for Justin Trudeau federally?
      There are other, vitally important issues in this election. Encouraging people not to vote because your pet issue (and your career) went off the rails is irresponsible.

      Paul Nadeau

      May 15, 2013 at 5:06pm

      Kash Heed was a disgrace to policing. No better in the political arena.