This guy is the Vancouver Sun’s
legislative columnist?

Vaughn Palmer can’t support his claim that
Stan Lowe “has done a good job.” But no amount
of contrary evidence will change his mind


Vaughn Palmer can’t support his claim that Stan Lowe has done a good job

On Shaw TV as well as the Vancouver Sun, Vaughn Palmer’s
the voice of B.C.’s establishment—no matter how corrupt.


For those who haven’t already been driven to despair by B.C. public discourse, here’s an invitation to read and weep. The unshakeable conclusion of one of the province’s supposedly top journalists insists that B.C. police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe “has done a good job.” Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer says so and, as the following correspondence shows, no evidence of ethical corruption will change his mind in the slightest.

Why? Maybe it’s because Lowe’s an establishment suit who enjoys the support of the B.C. legislature’s establishment suits and suitettes. As an establishment suit himself (who might be flattered by the description), that might be all Palmer needs.

Maybe that’s it, or maybe not. But as shown by our e-mail exchange, Palmer can’t for the life of him substantiate his praise of Lowe, except to say that a legislative committee wouldn’t have re-appointed him if he hadn’t been doing a good job. It takes an almost unbelievable level of naivete for a legislative gallery veteran to think that MLAs go into those committees with open minds and knowledge of the issues while remaining free of pressure from party enforcers.

Add to that staggering level of naivete a complete lack of interest in evidence of Lowe’s ethical corruption. What kind of journalist brushes aside verifiable details substantiating three cover-ups?

Here’s a copy of e-mail correspondence between me and Palmer. Note that I repeatedly emphasized my willingness to provide additional details.


From: Greg Klein
Date: Monday, May 28, 2018 at 9:58 AM
To: "Vaughn (Vancouver Sun) Palmer"
Cc: "" , "" , "" , Tom Fletcher , "Smyth, Mike" , "Fumano, Dan" , Ian Mulgrew

Subject: Police complaint commissioner “has done a good job”?

Hi Vaughn,

Can you substantiate your statement that B.C. police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe “has done a good job”? (

I know of absolutely no credible evidence to support that. Glaring evidence to the contrary, meanwhile, comes from at least three cases—that of Vancouver police constable Taylor Robinson, former Victoria police chief Frank Elsner and New Westminster officer Sukhwinder “Vinnie” Singh Dosanjh. I can back this up with lots of easily verifiable info. But here are the three cases in a nutshell.

Evidence very strongly suggests that Lowe’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner colluded with VPD Professional Standards to cover up the Robinson case, in which the cop shoved a disabled woman to the sidewalk for no reason. No Police Act investigation took place until after the media found out about the incident, which was known to VPD Professional Standards nearly six weeks before the publicity and to the OPCC nearly four weeks before the publicity.

The OPCC’s credibility hasn’t been helped by deputy police complaint commissioner Rollie Woods, who has lied to the media about the case at least twice. In a letter to the Georgia Straight ( Woods falsely claimed that Lowe had “ordered a public hearing into the matter, in particular to look into why the police did not notify this office of the pushing incident and instead undertook some type of informal resolution process that is outside of the Police Act.” Actually Lowe (belatedly) ordered an inquiry into Robinson’s actions and Robinson’s actions only.

In a letter to the Times Colonist ( Woods claimed my concerns about the Robinson case were “debunked at the public hearing into the matter.” Those concerns didn’t even come up at the hearing.

Not only do those statements make Woods a liar but the former head of VPD Professional Standards speaks on behalf of Lowe, thereby making Lowe a liar too.

As in the Robinson case, Lowe refused to call a Police Act investigation into allegations of Elsner’s sexual impropriety until after the media found out, in this case about three months after Lowe found out. Lowe’s tortured rationale for the delay was rejected by Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson.

Duty required Lowe to order a Public Hearing into Dosanjh. He faced very disturbing charges, including illegally entering a woman’s house while off duty and assaulting her, but he received extraordinary leniency in the form of a temporary demotion and a suspension that amounted to a three-year, seven-month paid vacation. Lowe refused to call a Public Hearing and instead rubber-stamped the police decision.

Now Dosanjh faces another Police Act investigation under Lowe’s oversight, after being criminally charged with sexual assault.

Again, those are just summaries. I can provide lots more info. And it should be noted that Lowe’s predecessors, Don Morrison and Dirk Ryneveld, showed similar slimeball ethics. Only Morrison ever faced criticism, but most of it focused on his bullying behaviour towards underlings. Morrison was allowed to resign with a nearly $100,000 payout.

So where’s the evidence that Lowe does a good job? He and his agency act in near-secrecy with no accountability. B.C.’s two main political parties consistently support him, but over the years they’ve shown signs of acting at the behest of a powerful cop lobby, partly because the otherwise warring rivals always agree on police issues. In one case a legislative committee on the OPCC issued a public call for submissions only to reject any submissions that didn’t come from cop interests. The MLAs’ excuse was that the other submissions weren’t “random.” The complacency behind that absurd excuse speaks volumes about B.C.’s political culture.

B.C.’s auditor general once did a study of the OPCC, but kept the methodology and conclusions secret, releasing only a brief, vague summary of the report. One sentence buried in the AG’s news release did state: “Excluded from the scope of the audit was providing an opinion about the validity of investigation decisions.” Media missed that key point entirely and reported widely that the AG had praised the OPCC.

One other example that’s considered beneficial to Lowe is the praise of Pivot Legal Society lawyer Doug King, who represented Robinson’s victim. King’s machinations in that case and the VPD shooting death of Michael Vann Hubbard suggest poverty pimp opportunism.

Of course any discussion of Lowe’s work also raises the question of why anyone, let alone a character like Lowe, can hold such a position without transparency or accountability.

Again, I can supply plenty of easily verifiable info to support my statements that Lowe and his agency are manifestly corrupt. What do you have to back up your statement that Lowe “has done a good job”?

Please let me know.

Greg Klein
[phone number provided in e-mail]


Palmer, Vaughn
Mon 5/28, 1:03 PM

He was reappointed on the unanimous recommendation of a committee of MLAs from both sides of the house.

Vaughn Palmer
The Vancouver Sun
[phone numbers provided in e-mail]


Greg Klein
Mon 5/28, 1:28 PM
Palmer, Vaughn (;
+7 more

Hi Vaughn,

Is that the best you can do?

Greg Klein


Palmer, Vaughn
Mon 5/28, 2:58 PM

The column was about how legislature watchdogs get appointed and reappointed.

As noted, it happens when the parties in the legislature (which disagree on many things) conclude that the watchdog has done a good enough job to warrant reappointment.

But feel free to disagree with their judgment call.

Vaughn Palmer
The Vancouver Sun
[phone numbers provided in e-mail]


[end of e-mail exchange]


So there it is: Police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe has done a good job because B.C. MLAs say so. They make their decisions knowledgeably and free of outside pressure. That’s the verdict of Vancouver Sun legislative columnist Vaughn Palmer.

Oh, and by the way: The fact that Lowe and his crew work in near-secrecy and with zero accountability? All that evidence of Lowe’s ethical corruption? My offers to provide additional details? Palmer doesn’t show the slightest bit of journalistic curiosity, let alone concern. What kind of journalist is Palmer?

He’s the Vancouver Sun’s legislative columnist.

Read more about B.C. media coverage on police accountability
Go to News and Comment page