Mike de Jong

Former finance minister Mike de Jong is in hot water this week. 

The latest in what’s happening in the B.C. business community and beyond

Each week, BCBusiness gives you an update on some of the stories turning heads across the province.

With the subtlety of a B.C. money laundering scandal, here’s what came to light this week.

Dirty laundering

While most of the recent political mudslinging in B.C. has been directed toward the NDP-Green coalition that currently governs the province, their predecessors in the B.C. Liberal Party were absolutely covered it in this week.

The Dirty Money report by former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German revealed that more than $100 million of dirty money has been cleaned in B.C. German said that Lower Mainland casinos have long served as “laundromats” for organized crime.

German put forward 48 recommendations to potentially rectify the problem, which he noted was apparent to officials since 2011.

Attorney General David Eby said the report confirmed that previous officials (aka the Liberal Party) had “turned a blind eye” to the corruption.

Below is a less than comprehensive ranking of people or things that were adversely affected by German’s findings.

1. Rich Coleman
The CBC found that, in 2011, senior RCMP investigators warned then-solicitor general Rich Coleman about money laundering in B.C. casinos. 

Yikes. 

Coleman was nowhere to be found as of Friday. Instead, they trotted out rookie MLA Jas Johal to answer to reporters’ queries.

2. Mike de Jong
The former finance minister has also been playing hide-and-seek with reporters. Apparently, all the major players are at an offsite caucus meeting today. That’s most likely political speak for “we’re kinda hoping we can just duck this thing until the long weekend is over.”

3. Laundromats
Will they ever recover from being associated with this scandal? The blowback from this could really hamper the prominence of many such businesses in the province.

Ice move

BCBusiness 30 Under 30 winner Foster Coulson and Coulson Ice Blast continue to revolutionize the industrial cleaning industry. 

This week, the company made news with the launch of the next generation of its IceStorm technology, which will allow users to switch back and forth between using regular ice or dry ice.

Coulson Ice Blast is the only manufacturer of industrial cleaning equipment to produce machines that blast with real ice, but it acknowledges that dry ice blasting still has its uses, hence the add-on.

Cool stuff.

Tractor
Credit: Tractor Foods

Taking off to Toronto

Vancouver-based Tractor Foods is expanding once again. This time though, the health-conscious eatery is moving past its Vancouver roots, opening its sixth store in downtown Toronto. 

It’s the first Tractor location outside of Vancouver, as the restaurant currently has spots in Kitsilano, Olympic Village and along West Broadway, as well as two in downtown Vancouver.

The Toronto location will retain Tractor’s menu style and modern design aesthetic.

Siddall
Credit: Emily Carr University

Dr. Gillian Siddall is the new president and vice chancellor of Emily Carr University.

The search is over

And it’s been awhile for Emily Carr University (ECU), as the institution waited over a year to appoint a new president and vice-chancellor.

They found their woman in Gillian Siddall.

Siddall holds an honours BA and MA in English from the University of Guleph and a PhD in the subject from the University of Western Ontario. 

She most recently served as vice-president academic and provost at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, where she led the academic planning process.

"I welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with the people of ECU to help advance the priorities that they’ve already identified around decolonization; trans-disciplinary learning, research, and creative practice; social justice; and innovation,” said Siddall in a release.

“There are a lot of exciting things happening at Emily Carr, and it will be wonderful to be part of that."