Such is B.C. journalism

The Victoria Times Colonist celebrates Stan Lowe’s
disgraceful decade as police complaint commissioner

February 26, 2019


Victoria Times Colonist sucks up to corrupt police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe

Despite Stan Lowe’s Frank Elsner cover-up and following closely on
news of his Brent Wray cover-up, the Victoria Times Colonist published
a phantasmagorical portrayal of this guy’s manifestly corrupt career.


When media sycophancy reaches this extreme, one can only despair for public discourse on any topic. We’re supposed to rely on journalists like this?

As if lacking all critical faculties, succumbing to orders from above, or both, Times Colonist reporter Louise Dickson wrote a fawning tribute to Stan Lowe as he retired from 10 disgraceful years as police complaint commissioner.

At the very least Dickson must have known about strong evidence pointing to a Lowe cover-up of Vancouver police officer Taylor Robinson’s assault on a disabled woman. I made her and others at the Times Colonist well aware of that. At the very least Dickson should have questioned Lowe’s tortured rationale for not ordering an investigation into now-disgraced Victoria police chief Frank Elsner. She covered the story in several previous articles.

Instead, Dickson boosted the barf bag industry with commentary—and these are her own comments, not those of others—like this:

“Stan Lowe believes in police—and believes they should meet a high standard.”

Those are Dickson’s own words. She continues:

“That’s why, when the former major-crimes prosecutor and criminal-justice spokesman became B.C.’s police complaint commissioner 10 years ago, he raised the bar.”

That for someone as low as Lowe.

Additional cringeworthy crap follows with Lowe’s self-congratulations, dutifully transcribed by Dickson. Then she adds this in her own voice:

“The OPCC has continuously improved its level of transparency and reporting with statistics, annual reports with detailed case files, reports of interest, media releases, notices of public hearings and decisions from judicial reviews, reviews on the record and public hearings.”

Complete and utter rubbish. Apart from the fact that the OPCC takes advantage of its lack of transparency to conduct cover-ups, the agency’s public disclosures say very little. They don’t by any means include “detailed case files” except in occasional cases that received prior publicity. And then the details are selective.

Dickson ends her paean of praise by portraying Lowe’s handling of the Elsner case as another of Lowe’s supposed victories for justice. Even if unfamiliar with the circumstances, anyone with a three-digit IQ who actually read Lowe’s tax-funded, pre-retirement legacy-seeking and probably ghost-written spin-and-smear job would recognize a suspiciously manipulative and obfuscatory strategy. Dickson has no excuse for not being familiar with the case, especially since it was her blue-moon reporting that revealed Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson’s statement that Lowe should have ordered an investigation much, much earlier.

Maybe all this fulsome flattery constitutes Dickson’s penitence for on one occasion having dared to write critically of anyone at the OPCC.

Of course Dickson makes no mention of news that transpired just three weeks before her craven tribute, when Black Press reported Lowe’s cover-up of Saanich cop Brent Wray’s vicious assault on Don Lapshinoff. Saanich is a Victoria suburb, which makes this a Times Colonist concern. Or would do so, if the paper weren’t so deferential to Lowe and his crew.

The Times Colonist, maybe more than most media outlets, calls into question journalistic IQ. Dickson’s sucking up dashes any hope that her paper had finally found a reporter less stupid than the unfortunate Katie DeRosa, an ongoing source of especially credulous pro-cop coverage.

But while Dickson helps a thoroughly corrupt character grease his legacy, this sorrowfully sycophantic article might indicate hers too. And that of the Times suck-up-to-corrupt-bigshots Colonist.

Meanwhile her subservience reinforces the confidence held by the corrupt characters at B.C.’s most obviously corrupt public agency, who know they can continue their corrupt work unimpeded by B.C.’s fourth estate.


Rollie Woods lies to the Victoria Times Colonist

On behalf of his boss, deputy police complaint commissioner Rollie Woods lied to the Times Colonist.
Woods speaks for Lowe, so Lowe took part in the lie. The first highlighted paragraph in Woods’ letter
to the paper is highly misleading. Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson rejected Lowe’s excuses for his
lengthy delay in ordering an investigation into Elsner. The second is an outright lie. The public hearing
into VPD constable Taylor Robinson’s assault on Sandy Davidsen didn’t even address how Vancouver police
handled the matter. Being insulted with misleading info and an outright lie didn’t stop
the Times Colonist from responding with fulsome praise.


Read more about B.C. media coverage on police accountability
Read more about B.C.’s corrupt Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
Go to News and Comment page