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Park commissioner steps down from PNE board after incident at Fright Night

November 6th, 2009 · 44 Comments

Boy, I can’t believe what local politics are coming to. I hope that everyone out there has confessed to all childhood shoplifting incidents or the time they were overheard calling their office-cubicle neighbour “a dork.”

Anyway, here’s the latest from park board commissioner Raj Hundal, via the constantly employed Ian Baillie.

MEDIA RELEASE NOV. 6

On the evening of Sunday, October 25, I went to the PNE’s Fright Nights with four other members of my extended family.  At approximately 8:15, our group went through a haunted house. On exiting the attraction, a Fright Night actor dressed as a mental patient came close to a member of our group, as is expected at Fright Night. While I am unclear as to what startled him, I understand that my cousin pushed the actor away from him.  A complaint of assault was then logged by the actor with PNE security. My relative was asked to leave the premises as per the zero tolerance policy at the PNE and he did so. The rest of our group was allowed to remain in the theme park and we did so.

I sincerely regret the actions of my cousin. As a member of the board for the PNE I have a duty to set a high standard of conduct for the organization. I have an old fashion view of responsibility and while I had no role in the incident, I am concerned that my role on the board has been compromised. To protect the integrity of the PNE board and to eliminate any perceived conflict of interest due to this incident, I have stepped down from my position as a member of the board of directors for the PNE.

In closing, let me state that I have the highest personal regard for all PNE staff and I am still very upset that this incident occured. I want to thank PNE security for their professionalism and apologize for any confusion the disturbance caused. In addition I want to extend my apologies to the staff member. I hope this actor will continue to do excellent work at the PNE in the years to come.

Raj Hundal
Park Board Commissioner

Categories: Uncategorized

  • A sad reflection on the general standard expected of public officials, that you consider this a non-issue.

    Dig a little deeper. You’ll find interesting details…

    Besides, Frances, you didn’t find the manner with which the “mental patient” was referred to offensive?

    Don’t complain next time someone claims (correct or not) that you shill for Vision.

  • So Over Vision

    I’m with A. G. T., I think there’s more to this story.

    Maybe Kerry Jang could give him some social sensitivity lessons.

  • Colin

    That’s it? His cousin pushed an actor? That can’t be it…there’s something missing here. Either Raj has been looking for a “way-out”, or the incident was worse than the way he describes it.

  • “I heard that….”

    I just had a flashback to high school.

  • Not Running for Mayor

    I am not famaliar with the details of this story. One can only imagine that there is another side to it.
    Factors that are not mentioned play into the situation. If Raj was a paying member of the public and the cousin a regular citizen then there is no issue and no need for resignation. If on the other hand his guests was there on his behalf in the capacity of a commissionor then he does have a certain amount of responisblity for thier actions. If said cousin were to have a history of acting violent and Raj was aware of this that also comes into play.
    This is all heresay and I don’t know the situation, at this point there are more questions then answers, perhaps they could hold off on accepting the resignation until more light is shed.

  • IanS

    Based on the press release, there’s not much reason to resign. However, as suggested by others, I suspect there’s more to it.

    (Or, perhaps, he was just looking for an excuse to resign?)

  • jack the bear

    this reminds me of some of the silly brouhaha that occurred during the provincial election campaign where some ndp candidate had passed gas on a bus or something like that.

  • Crazy Time

    I guess it is now the time for all the crazy conspiracy theories— I also saw Elvis eating a bucket of chicken wings the other day—-I swear!!

  • Okay, here come all the Vision sycophants…thick and weepy with excuses…

    Not able to ask the fair questions, are you?

    Let Uncle Alex help.

    Firstly, is Hundal trying to tell us that his cousin hit the actor because that actor appeared mentally ill? What’s ole Raj trying to tell us in his extremely clumsy email about what he and his family members think you should do if confronted by someone who is or appears mentally ill? Secondly, why was Hundal allowed to stay? PNE policy is actually to eject “offending parties”. Was he thus provided any favoritism because he sat on the PNE Board? Finally, and most glaringly, if Hundal has “an old-fashioned view” of the standard that should be set by public figures, why did it take him two weeks to resign from the PNE Board? Why not resign immediately if he’s such an exemplar of virtue?

    No honest answers? Of course not.

  • I feel I have to agree with Frances that Mr. Hundal’s resignation seems extreme given the known circumstances. He didn’t personally do anything wrong. Prime Ministers aren’t held responsible for their misbehaved relatives, so it’s hard to understand why a Park Board Commissioner should be.

    Mr. Hundal’s proper course would have been to fully and publicly recuse himself from any matter having to do with that altercation and reconfirm his support for Park Board staff.

    The city needs a strong and well-supported Park Board now more than ever, and I’m truly sorry the Park Board has been further weakened at such a crucial time.

  • jack the bear

    take a rest alex

  • Jack:

    Go shave you tongue and stop worrying about how much rest I don’t get.

    And it’s nice to see the NPA further eroding by having “hopefuls” like Sean Bickerton and Michael Geller supporting Hundal’s ridiculous (and suspicious) position.

    Earth to Geller and Bickerton: The MSM are WRONG. Gregor is entirely beatable if the stars align correctly and these fools he is surrounded by continue to play their games.

    But you boys keep puckering…

    Pathetic.

    People don’t elect first timers with the spines of gastropods.

  • Crazy Time

    Why does Alex always have a melt down? And why personally dump on people all the time– I’m surprise he doesn’t get sued for some of the slander he spews.

  • Dan

    Alex lllooooves the attention. Doesn’t he already write for some paper?
    Hundal’s is not making any prescription as to what people should do when confronted by a mentally ill person? Alex, he was at FRIGHT night, it was a reaction by someone spooked, stop taking it out of context. There is nothing wrong with Hundal staying on 2 weeks after the incident, does it seem kinda weird and suspicious? Maybe, but not enough to assert it so aggressively and with such righteousness.
    I agree with Colin in his assertion that maybe Hundal was looking for a way-out, but other than that (and to use the sane part of your first post A.G) I see it as “a sad reflection of the general standard expected on public officials.” I understand the suspicion and do not necessarily reject it but feel this might just be an overreaction.

  • ” Doesn’t he already write for some paper?”

    I ‘hear’ he got the boot.

  • grounded

    Sorry Alex, many of us have friends or relatives who are hot heads. I have many a time found myself negotiating on the behalf of one of my personally kind but quick to temper friends who has landed us in hot water with ill chosen words or actions. It is an unfortunately common and annoying situation.
    Trying to insinuate that Raj Hundal’s cousin is anti-mentally ill is nothing but pure speculation at this point. Trying to insinuate that Raj is by association not a friend of mentally ill people is nothing but a dirty smear. How about waiting for more information such as a security report before blasting off on all cylinders?
    As for why wasn’t Hundal ejected? Well, he wasn’t the offending party so why would he be ejected? Again, a security report should clear all this up but until said report is released perhaps you should just chill on the smear and guilt by association attempts. It isn’t becoming of you.

  • spartikus

    Prime Ministers aren’t held responsible for their misbehaved relatives

    Or even their misbehaved Ministers, if Stephen Harper is our guide. 🙂

  • Glissando Remmy

    Hola Frances, compañeros y compañeres!
    Fright Nights in Vancouver? Wow!
    Ay Dios mio! Sera la bocca, por favor!
    Fright nights? Try the night I was supposed to cross into Bolivia, with an expired visa. And if that was not enough the Peruan customs agent in Desaguadero asked me what the hell “BC the best place on Earth” means, after checking my Driving Licence. Damn you Gordon Scampbell and your ICBC friends!
    “How should I call my pueblo Signor, ‘The Best shit hole on Earth then?” after hearing me making an asinine comment about their washrooms (more like “stepinshitrooms”).
    He casually whacked me with a Nuevo Sols 300 donation/ bribe (approx. US$ 100) after playing the game of chicken with me for an hour or so suggesting a thorough cavity check to look after my hidden British Columbian Arrogance, don’t ask, and yes he could and he did.
    No, he didn’t.
    Or, take Nov 15, 2008 and May 12th, 2009 after the ballots were in, for a change! These, are nightmares that will keep everyone up at night for another 2 to 3 years…and that, speaks volumes of the types and quality of people of this city/ province.
    Try also, February – March of $$ Twenty-Ten, living in Vancouver under the “for your protection only” Orwellian Eagle Eyes (so I’ve heard) of the thousands of “rented for a limited time, ha, ha” CCTV cameras or with the RoboCops showing off their buffed up, ready for action Outer Limits attire at every corner of the HO HO HOlympic city.
    These are the Fright Nights to look forward to, people! If South America taught me anything during my months of travelling throughout their own desperate, isolated and impoverished worlds, are humility and remorse at the realisation of how full of BS and out of touch with reality and pampered and lied to our faces and spineless we Canadians are, or have become. I’m sure, some of you are going to roll your eyes saying “He is not talking about us” No pal, I’m talking about you!
    So then, what’s the beef here with Raj? Really! What is this brave self-denouncing soul guilty of? Who cut the cheese?
    What bothers me more is that no one caught on the fact that some public official is so juvenile as to attend that kitschy show PNE puts on display every October with their “Hollow Inn” Motel. That’s embarrassing man; we are talking someone in charge of deciding the Hollow Tree’s future here! I just had to make a Hollow Tree joke,sorry!
    Last week was Reimer The Brain who “tweetbarrased” herself out of her best Cheshire cat impersonation, Meow, now it appears that Hundal is the flavour of the week in the “Do It Yourself” section, apologizing to Master Bates, the Hollow Inn keeper, for the mishap.
    I think these two press releases should be filed under the same category with last week’s picture of the almost lifelike Mayors of Vancouver and London passing the joint from one another. I did not know that Madame Tussaud’s is capable of such craftsmanship. An outdoor show in London, c’mon, I’m impressed!
    One more thing, to ALL those Visionistas enthusiasts in attendance (it seems to me that Frances blog has become a VV mother ship incubator where everything goes smoothly…but critical discourse against the Party lines) easy on AGT!
    Many months ago when commenting on this blog I did not quite see eye to eye with Alex’s views and I told him so. He came a long way since and from looking over this plethora of comments since my return he and Urbanismo appear to be the only ones with a real stance on the real things and with something to say, OK maybe too much passion on Alex’s part, I’ll give you that, but guys you may need to consider growing some … Cohones!
    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy!

  • Otis Krayola

    So, Gliss, you’re feeling better after your run-in with Hundal’s cousin?

  • Frances Bula

    We must never forget that anyone who does not immediately dump on any member of VV on every and all occasions is a VV sycophant.

    Good line coming from the “all war all the time” partisans.

  • Dan

    Great line

  • Glissando Remmy

    OK, you could not have been more helpful with your little comment. Thanks for making my allegations stick! That was golden on your part. You want to know what else is golden Otty?
    This: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP3YCZvuB6A&feature=fvw
    Are we having fun or what? Let’s do it again sometimes.

  • Gliss . . . ¡El receptor de papel dijo al amigo!

  • Ummmm, Glissando Remmy, I dunno about blind group allegiance . . .

    Dr. Benjamin Spock and Edward Bernays may be responsible for much contemporary pusillanimous organisms . . .

    We hear talk of failed states! How about failed human beings?

  • Sure, great lines from ALL the defenders of the faith…

    What a load of horse manure. What meltdown, ladies? Because no one wants to cover how embarrassingly clumsy this Vision crew is?? How they have consistently failed the city, almost on par with Sam?

    Most of you are happy because the vast majority of people who post on this blog are lefties. Big shocker.

    Sorry, doesn’t wash in the real world. It was Hundal’s email that has left so many questions open for interpretation. What is actionable about suggesting that the PNE didn’t follow the policy of other similar or identical situations? I have it in writing.

    What is wrong with suggesting that Raj only resigned (which was the right thing to do) now, because the public were about to find out? Shades of ‘The Connie Barnes Affair’? Of course.

    All it would have taken was a LITTLE bit of research…too much to ask from this lot of peaceniks, drummers densification fantasists.

    And Chris, what you might have heard is wrong: I resigned from 24 Hrs., and three days later they accepted my resignation “with regret”. Would you like a copy? They’re a great little paper and have lots of potential. They were just going in a different direction; a direction I felt I couldn’t contribute to after three years of producing their most popular column.

  • “And Chris, what you might have heard is wrong:”

    Apparently I was too subtle. Baseless rumours or ‘suggestions’ are the problem when it comes to journalism and politics, not the solution.

  • TW

    Am I missing something from the verbal fire storm.

    If Hundal had stepped down from the Parks Board, I m ight have been impressed. He did not and only stepped down from the PNE so the impression of a political move masquerading as an ethical action remains.

    Bad optics.

  • Otis Krayola

    Or relying on imaginary friends as ‘unnamed sources’.

  • Rick

    I know Alex thinks of himself as some west coast Conrad Black and that he’s only biding his time at “little” papers until he buys himself something substantial but couldn’t he do all this from some other west coast perch…Nanaimo? Rupert? Hey how about Anchorage…he might be a hit up there!

  • Why go to Anchorage, Dick, and be a hit up there, when I’m already a hit down here?

    It’s all very simple to lob little bomblets from out behind pseudonyms.

    If I’d wanted to buy a community paper, I could have done that long ago. No interest. Not enough of a margin.

    Connie Black? I don’t know anyone in this country, except for Rex Murphy, who even comes close to writing as beautifully. I should be so lucky. Thanks.

  • “And it’s nice to see the NPA further eroding by having “hopefuls” like Sean Bickerton and Michael Geller supporting Hundal’s ridiculous (and suspicious) position.”

    I won’t speak for Sean, (he has already spoken) but in case it isn’t clear from the above comments, I have not previously made any comment on this matter.

    As it happens, I too am confused and suspect there is something more to the story.

  • amazed

    …and vancouver maintains it’s rep for the most loons per square inch – regardless of the side.

    AG the Holy Warrior takes the title today’s action.

    Next week who knows, you too could win Loon Idol – VV NPA NSFW whatevah.

  • Does anyone else remember when there was actual debate on the comment sections here? Can we drop the name-calling and debate the issue?

    Can someone present a viable alternative to Mr. Hundal’s description of events without going batsh@t crazy? Maybe the police got involved and it was going to be made public, so he wanted to get out in front on this? Maybe he was involved in the fracas?

  • Otis Krayola

    @Brenton,

    What’s to debate? All we have is Hundal’s account. Alternatives (believable or otherwise) are simply innuendo or suspicion without the benefit of supporting evidence.

    Some here – without any clear justification – either ‘think’ or ‘suspect’ that there’s more to the story. Alex tantalizes us with ‘interesting details’ if only we ‘dig a little deeper’. But, even on his own website, where he needn’t feel constrained, there are no other details forthcoming. Only invective.

    Let me be clear. The day when it was acceptable to stigmatize the mentally ill is long past and those who hold these views must be confronted for the bigots (or the paranoids) that they are. But if my wife (let alone my cousin) had such regrettable thoughts, I wouldn’t share her guilt simply by association. Who here asserts that Hundal denigrates the mentally ill?

    As for the suggestion that Hundal should have been ejected because he was with the offending party, it is to laugh. Again, there’s nothing saying that Hundal was anywhere near the altercation, let alone intervened. So, why should he (and, it is implied, the entire group) be forced to leave?

    Subsequent to the incident, did Hundal use his name as a Park Commissioner or as a Director of the PNE board to influence the outcome? That would be an ‘interesting detail’, but again we are left with nothing more than innuendo. Maybe libel or slander laws prevent anyone making the assertion.

    Finally, there is the objection to how long it took Hundal to step down from his new posting on the PNE board. Some take it as self-evident that he should have left immediately. Others, like myself, can’t see what the fuss is. Without any assertion/evidence that he used his questionable influence to affect what happened to his cousin, I see no wrongdoing on his part. I remain to be convinced otherwise.

    I am already on record as not being Raj Hundal’s biggest supporter – and this from a person who has daily dealings with things Park Board. I don’t think he’s particularly inspired or talented. I think that championing his candidacy by Vision was a cynical ploy to garner bloc voting in the Indo-Canadian community.

    But I fail to see what he’s done wrong.

    Yet.

  • Otis Krayola

    Oops!

    About.

    I can’t see what the fuss is about.

  • Otis/Brenton:

    It’s very simple:

    The dearth of details from Raj is the problem here. If all is as innocent as you proclaim, then why the resignation?

    Of course he was right there when his cousin engaged the “mental patient”. He half suggests that. And it is PNE policy to eject the offending party. I have documented four separate incidents from this year alone, where a “party” was ejected. Exactly the same scenario too, so this begs the question, did Raj get away with anything due to his then seat on the PNE Board.

    Assault is a very serious charge, and not something to be sloughed off.

    It is entirely Raj and Vision’s fault for not coming up with all the details. Has his cousin been charged? Is that why Raj went the extra step? And if he felt such a high standard for public officials this last week, why didn’t he believe in that standard the day after the incident occurred, on the 26th. of October? If, as you suggest, that he is NOT involved, then why the vitriol about standards for public officials line and accompanying resignation.

    The deductions are simply enough to make based on the evidence. If there is something else that we are missing and you find my piecing together the story based on what evidence is before us, then here’s the simplest question of all:

    Knowing as we do that the Bula site is heavily populated with Vision hierarchs and fartcatchers, and assuming, with strong evidence, that Raj has read this thread, why hasn’t he come forward to refute the logical a reasonable suppositions many are making–not just me. He has an obligation to do this.

    But, as with most stories like these, the lazy mainstream media are more content to have their own political brethren running the city into the ground than doing their homework and asking the tough questions.

    It took me minutes to scratch below the surface after Raj sent his email only to his list of Visionistas and select media.

    Why to some and not to others?

    What Raj has done wrong is not provide all the details. Other than that, his resignation in such an incident is not only appropriate but commendable.

  • “The dearth of details from Raj is the problem here. If all is as innocent as you proclaim, then why the resignation?”

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I haven’t proclaimed anything. How on earth do you reach that from what I wrote?

  • “Knowing as we do that the Bula site is heavily populated with Vision hierarchs and fartcatchers, and assuming, with strong evidence, that Raj has read this thread, why hasn’t he come forward to refute the logical a reasonable suppositions many are making–not just me. He has an obligation to do this.”

    Given the vicious smears and unsubtantiated allegations that is stock in trade for some, why would Hundal want to get into a pissing match with people who apparently have magical bladders that never run dry? The Tatooine cantina is a girl guide camp comparatively.

  • rf

    “if something does not makes sense, it’s because it is probably not true”
    -Judge Judy

  • Otis Krayola

    Alex,

    Well, we agree on one thing at least – a dearth of detail.

    First, the only thing I’ve ‘proclaimed’ about Raj Hundal is that he appears to be the poster boy for the Peter Principle. But apparent incompetence doesn’t, to me, imply guilt.

    You, on the other hand, are willing to put him ‘right there’ (and pillory him) because, you tell us, he ‘half suggests’ it. Pretty flimsy, even if it were true. I went back and re-read with an eye to finding the half suggestion – without luck. By stating ‘I understand that my cousin pushed…’, one might actually infer that Hundal didn’t even see what was transpiring.

    You use the terms ‘deductions’, ‘evidence’, and ‘logical and reasonable suppositions’ and then give us opinion. No matter how many times you repeat it, wild surmise based on bubkes remains just that – goat droppings.

  • sv

    “magical bladders” just made my day.

  • My questions stand Otis. It is YOUR opinion that my reasonable deductions are merde.

    As for Keam’s embarrassing offering that Raj might not want to enter a pissing contest…if there is one Vision sycophant and apologist (who me thinks doth protest too much), it is Chrissy.

    So, the Visionistas think there is nothing to this.

    Let’s see about that.

    More to come.

  • Jeezus. I take it back. High school hallway character assassinations were positively the height of maturity compared to this nonsense.

  • Frances Bula

    OK, all, I think I am going to call a halt to this now, as all the points have been made and insults delivered.

    I know some people love this kind of mud-wrestling and others don’t. So I’ve let the mud wrestlers have their fun and now we’ll give the more peaceable types a break. All further comments on this string will be disallowed.