Jojo Quimpo is being accused of supporting cyberbullying by MetroVan Inpependent News publisher Steve Marshall. (Facebook)
On the hot seat
By Ted Alcuitas
On the eve of the Vancouver vote this Saturday, October 20, two candidates with links to the Filipino community are in the news that questions their integrity.
Council candidate Jojo Quimpo of the NPA is the subject of an opinion piece by the publisher of MetroVan Independent News regarding the issue of cyberbullying.
Steve Marshall accuses Quimpo of allowing cyberbullying and questions why the NPA had him in their team.
For the past election years, I have voted NPA. I believed in the NPA platform and agenda. But now, I have lost all respect for the NPA and question their agenda after I found out that they are allowing self-professed community leader Jojo Quimpo to run for Vancouver Councillor despite warnings about Quimpo’s issues within the community.
Previously, Jojo Quimpo ran as a Conservative Member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway but lost to Don Davies. During his run as a Conservative candidate, he failed to attend multiple debates which prompted Don Davies to say, “It is a shame that the Conservative candidate failed to appear AGAIN (hence the empty chair) – so far, he has failed to appear at any of the 3 debates he was invited to.” Davies adds, “In my view, any candidate who refuses to present himself or herself to the voters to answer their questions is unworthy of their support.”
During that time I asked him on his public Conservative Facebook wall what his stance was on Cyber-Bullying. Jojo Quimpo’s response was deleting my questions from his Facebook page and then blocking me from asking any further questions.
Why would Jojo Quimpo go into politics if he will not answer questions? I’ve noticed that Jojo Quimpo and his followers have a habit of simply dismissing people that ask hard questions. They then refer to them as “neggas”, haters, ignorant, negative detractors or being jealous or having crab mentality.
It was also around that time that Jojo Quimpo was accused of padding his credentials. He even changed the title of an award he received from the generic “Most Beautiful Filipinos in Canada 2011” (which is given to a group of different people) to the individualized and more impressive sounding “Most Outstanding Filipino in Canada (2011)”.
Prior to running as a MP candidate, Jojo Quimpo started a Facebook post titled “Hypocrisy annoys me, people need to look into mirrors” which garnered over 115 comments. Members from Jojo Quimpo’s Hirit Team, friends and associates started a cyberbullying thread that eventually named my wife. They laughed at her line of work and means to make a living, calling her a loser, and made homophobic slurs against an individual who was already depressed from attacks and bankruptcy allegedly caused by one of Jojo Quimpo’s closest friends, Janice Lozano and Rocque Juatco Jr.
I expected Jojo Quimpo to stand against Cyber Bullying and immediately take down this facebook page and tell his friends and associates to not involve him in posts like this. But he didn’t. Instead he left it there for 19 or so days before taking it down just in time for Anti-Bullying day. I wonder why it took so long for Jojo Quimpo to finally realize that maybe his own post in itself was Cyber Bullying.
I’ve heard many people ask “what good has Jojo Quimpo actually done for the community?” My answer: I have no idea! And I’ve known him for over 8 years. He likes to boast that he organizes an event called Pinoy Fiesta once a year. However, during the 2011 Pinoy Fiesta, Smile Travel received a bounced check for approximately $12,000 for airline tickets for that year’s entertainment Derek Ramsey. Jojo Quimpo says that Pinoy Buzz was the one that sponsored Derek Ramsey therefore the one who should be responsible for the bounced check. Interestingly enough, Jojo Quimpo was the Executive Producer for the defunct TV show Pinoy Buzz.
The NPA knows all about these issues about Jojo Quimpo. I told them about it. My question is: why would the NPA allow someone like Jojo Quimpo to run for Vancouver Council? Are they so desperately using the Filipino community for membership that they would risk putting someone like Jojo Quimpo on their ballot?
The NPA’s website slogan is “The change Vancouver needs.” Well, based on their vetting and judgement of Jojo Quimpo, I have serious doubts about ALL their city candidates. I agree that Vancouver may need a change, but the current NPA team is not a change that I would ever vote for.
Mayoralty candidate of Yes Vancouver Hector Bremmer, whose wife is Filipina, is alleged to have been involved in questionable election practices during former B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s leadership run.
According to thebreaker.news, Bremmer was appointed to government positions by Clark including his wife Virginia, who became receptionist at Clark’s Vancouver office when Clark became premier.
Bremmer was the former NPA councillor but was voted out of the party and formed his own Yes Vancouver.
Exclusive: Vancouver mayoral hopeful Bremner helped Clark’s rise to power
Hector Bremner, the Yes Vancouver party’s candidate for mayor on Oct. 20, is well-known for once being an aide to former Deputy Premier Rich Coleman. Background interviews with current and former BC Liberal insiders, and documents obtained by theBreaker, show that Bremner was a member of Christy Clark’s leadership campaign team in 2011.
Bremner, who ran the Touch Marketing consultancy at the time, was an organizer for Clark in Burnaby and New Westminster ridings. On the eve of the Feb. 26, 2011 party election to replace Premier Gordon Campbell, Bremner was one of three recipients of two email messages from Harry Bloy, the Burnaby-Lougheed MLA and Clark’s only supporter inside the BC Liberal caucus.
At 11:55 a.m. on Feb. 25, 2011, Bloy emailed Bremner at his Touch address, BC Liberal director of field operations Mark Robertson on his BC Liberal address and ex-Vancouver-Burrard MLA Lorne Mayencourt.
Bloy forwarded to Bremner, Mayencourt and Robertson what he had received 10 minutes earlier from one of his connections: a list of 77 personal identification numbers, with assurance that more were on the way.
Bloy’s email also included this short message: “Use different lines. Virginia, Filipino Community? Thanks, harry”.
Virginia was a reference to Bremner’s wife. As for the PIN numbers, the party sent the unique codes to every party member, so that they could cast a vote for a new party leader by phone or Internet.
At 5:50 p.m. on the same day, Bloy received a second batch of 22 PIN numbers, and forwarded them seven minutes later to Bremner, Mayencourt and Robertson. The subject line read “Fwd: pin # for CC E-Day.”
The two emails contained a total of 99 PIN numbers.
The messages do not indicate what Bremner, Mayencourt and Robertson did next.
The handling of PIN numbers for the 2011 leadership election was a surprise element of the investigation by Special Prosecutor David Butcher and the RCMP. Butcher was appointed in September 2013 after then-NDP leader Adrian Dix complained to authorities about possible violations of the Election Act.
During a hearing at Vancouver Provincial Court before Judge David St. Pierre in January of this year, Butcher confirmed that he found evidence of voting irregularities in the leadership contest that resulted in Clark’s victory over Kevin Falcon by a 340-point margin.
Clark’s third-ballot win was by a score of 4,420 to 4,080 points under the regionally-weighted, preferential ballot system.
Butcher told the court that the BC Liberal leadership election rules in 2011 did not prohibit proxy voting, so Bloy used his connections “and his connections’ connections,” Butcher said, to amass PIN numbers.
“Those connections gathered blocks of PINs which were supplied to Mr. Bloy, who provided them to other Clark supporters, who entered them online — block voting in a proxy process,” Butcher explained. “The Liberal Party has acknowledged difficulties with this process and it has adopted a different system [for the 2018 leadership election]… and, prudently, they sought advice from the RCMP about how to improve the integrity of the process.”
After becoming premier, Clark appointed Bloy as the Minister of Social Development in her first cabinet. Later in 2011, she transferred Bloy to Minister of State for Multiculturalism. Clark also named runner-up Falcon as deputy premier and finance minister. He eventually quit in summer 2012 to join Anthem Properties as a vice-president.
Falcon broke his silence after Butcher’s court revelation when he admitted to StarMetro reporter David Ball that he was not surprised.
“What you see here really speaks to a lack of transparency and integrity in the process that is highly problematic. The stakes were so high, and the premiership was in play,” Falcon said. “My team felt very upset as they were seeing irregularities, but there was no way I was going to make allegations to anyone without hard evidence. I’m not going to be a poor loser.”
The reason for Butcher’s appearance in court was the sentencing hearing for BC Liberal operative and ex-government communications director Brian Bonney. Bonney had pleaded guilty to breach of trust on Oct. 12, 2017, for his role in the ethnic vote-pandering scandal, also known as “Quick Wins.” St. Pierre sentenced Bonney to a nine-month conditional sentence, to be served at his home in Burnaby. A trial had been scheduled to run from Oct. 16, 2017 to Feb. 22, 2018. Butcher was planning to call dozens of witnesses from inside the BC Liberals.
In court, Butcher said that “the RCMP conducted a lengthy and challenging investigation into the case,” but most of the significant evidence came from email.
“Most of the key witnesses from the Liberal party caucus and ministerial staff lawyered-up,” he said. “Two former cabinet ministers, Harry Bloy and John Yap, did not, under the advice of counsel, ever provide statements to the RCMP.”
A person familiar with the case told theBreaker that Bremner did not consent to an interview. Butcher did not return a phone call.
Bremner did not respond to multiple interview requests for this story. An email request to Bremner was also copied to Bremner’s lawyer, James Hatton, and campaign manager, Mark Marissen. Hatton was appointed in early 2013 to BC Hydro’s board by Clark, who is Marissen’s ex-wife.
theBreaker wanted to ask Bremner about his involvement with Clark’s campaign, whether he had any contact with Butcher or RCMP detectives, and whether he offered any assistance to their investigation.
Comment was also sought from Clark, Bloy, Mayencourt and Robertson. None responded.
After the leadership campaign, Bremner worked as a poll captain during Clark’s May 2011 Vancouver-Point Grey by-election win over the NDP’s David Eby.
Virginia Bremner became the receptionist at the Premier’s Vancouver Office in June 2011 and worked for Clark until July 2017, when the NDP formed government under Premier John Horgan.
Hector Bremner unsuccessfully ran for the BC Liberals in the New Westminster riding in 2013. He placed a distant second to Judy Darcy of the NDP. He was elected to Vancouver city council for the NPA in October 2017’s by-election, but the party board rejected his bid to become the mayoral nominee earlier this year. He started his own party, Yes Vancouver, for the Oct. 20 civic election. Bremner is awaiting the result of a conflict of interest investigation under city hall’s code of conduct.
His bio, on both the Yes Vancouver party website and the city council website, makes no mention of working on Clark’s political campaigns. It does say Bremner was appointed in 2013 to work in the international trade ministry (under Minister Teresa Wat) and that he later worked for the ministers of tourism and small business (Naomi Yamamoto) and natural gas development and housing (Coleman).
Bremner left the BC Liberal government at the end of January 2015 to join the Pace Group, the Vancouver public relations and government relations firm that, coincidentally, worked on Falcon’s 2011 leadership campaign.
When he joined Pace, Bremner registered to lobby the BC Liberal government for Steelhead LNG. His rival for the 2017 NPA by-election nomination, Coalition Vancouver city council candidate Glen Chernen, complained to the registrar of lobbyists. The $2,000 fine assessed to Bremner in February for not disclosing his former employment under Coleman was overturned on a technicality in August.
“As a father and a husband, Hector Bremner strives to lead by example and never shy away from doing what is right,” his bio states.