KSA sues former student leaders

Lawsuit alleges former executives defrauded students for $140,000


 

If you asked ousted Kwantlen student leader Aaron Takhar, he’d probably accuse the current Kwantlen crew of throwing away student money with frivolous lawsuits. At least that’s what he suggested in an interview with Maclean’s last year when he was threatened with a lawsuit for allegedly making “generous” payments to himself and his friends courtesy of the students of Kwantlen College. “They have threatened to sue us a number of times and nothing has happened,” he said in an August 2007 interview. “If they try to take it to court, they will just be wasting more student money.”

Well, that day has come. The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) commenced a lawsuit Monday against Takhar and three of his former cronies. The Writ of Summons filed with the B.C. Supreme Court alleges that Aaron Singh Takhar, three other former student politicians, and AST Ventures (notice a pattern?) made $140,000 in unsupported payments and entered into $820,000 of unapproved, high risk loans between May 2005 and October 2006.

KSA general manager Desmond Rodenbour is optimistic that the KSA will recover the missing funds. He estimates that the KSA’s damages have been in the $500,000 range, including costs for the investigation, which included a PricewaterhouseCoopers forensic audit. The suit will also seek punitive damages.

This is just the latest of Takhar’s legal troubles. In May 2007, he was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking after he and two friends traveling near Vanderhoof, B.C. in two vehicles were pulled over for a routine check. Although Takhar stopped his car, his friends’ SUV — rented in Takhar’s name, according to police, and containing 170 pot plants — fled police and plunged into the Nechako River, killing Daljit Sandhu. According to a forensic audit, Sandhu had received $8,000 in undocumented payments from the KSA. Then in February, Pritpal Singh Virk — who was the second person in the doomed SUV — died in hospital after being shot on a Vancouver street.

Read Maclean’s coverage of Takhar’s alleged improprieties at Kwantlen College below.

The ugly side of student politics
How one university’s council collapsed into chaos, corruption and threatened lawsuits
Erin Millar, August 30, 2007

Aaron Takhar was not your standard student politician. While most focus on organizing marches for lower tuition or representing students in academic disputes, Takhar saw financial opportunity in student politics. And when he came to power as president and executive adviser of the Kwantlen University College Student Association(KSA)in Surrey, B.C., in May 2005, he was determined to “focus on the money-makers,” as he wrote in an email to his fellow KSA employees in March 2006.

Now, with a new student council in place, allegations of financial impropriety and malfeasance are swirling around Takhar’s ousted administration, and his critics are vowing legal action. According to an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Takhar dispensed almost $150,000 in unsupported payments in just the 10-month period audited. The forensic investigators hired by the new student government say that hundreds of thousands in “high risk” loans were handed out in violation of the union’s policies. As part of its investigation, PricewaterhouseCoopers recovered thousands of deleted emails detailing Takhar’s tenure — emails that critics say point to widespread corruption and improper spending.

Takhar, who studied political science at Kwantlen for two years before transferring to Simon Fraser University in 2006, says he decided to run for office because he felt that the previous student council wasn’t doing its job. The sleepy university-college campus struggled with low student participation, and a sometimes strained relationship between the KSA and the school’s administration. Thanks to his efforts, “people actually noticed the student association for once,” he says.

Laura Anderson, however, tells a very different story. She says Takhar’s brief time atop the KSA was characterized by political manipulation and rampant overspending. “It made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t stand it,” the criminology major says of Takhar’s council. “They were basically gambling with thousands of students’ money.” And that is why she fought in court for two years to get her job on student council reinstated and is now planning to sue over the forensic audit she and her fellow council members ordered when finally back in office.

According to Takhar’s critics, he was willing to do whatever was necessary to get hold of the KSA and its $1.6 million in revenues. Anderson alleges that he hired a private investigator to spy on rivals, and meddled with ballot boxes during elections. According to auditor Mary Ann Hamilton, after asserting his control, Takhar allegedly paid KSA execs and staff to do little verifiable work, made payments to a company she believed he had an interest in or controlled, and collected more than $100,000 in salary and various payments from the KSA. Takhar claims that the audit is full of inaccuracies and is biased in favour of the current council members who commissioned it.

There is no question, however, that soon after Takhar got involved in KSA politics, the student government devolved into acrimony. One of the first things Takhar did upon taking office was to call a special annual meeting to make significant changes to the society’s bylaws. Anderson says that Takhar and his supporters on council lured students to the meeting with $13,000 in prizes, including MP3 players, TVs, DVD players, and an $8,000 tropical vacation. Not only were the prizes not approved, but the draw was also rigged, “with the grand prize not being drawn randomly but rather drawn in a manner designed to ensure that a friend of the chair, Aaron Takhar, won,” according to court documents filed by Anderson.

Among the changes voted in at the meeting: reducing the number of elected students from 20 to nine; doubling their terms to two years; and expelling four rival student politicians who had also been elected to council, including Anderson. Takhar’s opponents insist the vote was not properly run, but the KSA stopped recognizing the four elected students opposed to the new regime.

In the beginning of 2006, the KSA council hired Takhar to take on the additional role of executive adviser. His employment contract shows his annual salary as $58,200, but Anderson’s court documents claim that he was actually being awarded over $115,000 per year. The PricewaterhouseCoopers audit found that in addition to his regular paycheques, the KSA was also making significant payments to a consulting company called AST Ventures. AST are Aaron Takhar’s initials, and auditor Mary Ann Hamilton wrote that she believed that Takhar had an interest in or controlled AST. He confirmed to Maclean’s that he was listed as the sole director when the company was incorporated in February 2006, and the current director of AST, Jaideep Pannu, told Hamilton that the company’s business with the KSA involved Takhar. In an interview with Maclean’s, Takhar said he is no longer involved with AST.

Generous payments were also made to several of Takhar’s associates, with little or no documentation. The audit estimates that five employees were each paid as much as $20,000 more than their salaries. Takhar says that because the KSA does not have a company credit card, they paid suppliers out of their pockets and were reimbursed. But auditors were able to find little documentation to back that up. Takhar has repeatedly accused the current KSA council of deliberately destroying those records.

In addition to these payments, auditors also found that the KSA under Takhar doled out $800,000 in “high risk” loans to various companies and individuals, many of which are unsecured. One loan was issued from protected funds to be used only for Kwantlen students’ health and dental expenses. Another went to a company that appeared to have a prior business relationship with Takhar’s family, according to the audit.

Eventually Takhar’s empire started to fall apart. His emails paint a picture of an organization in disarray. He warns one of his executives to “stay off the phone(you know what I mean). Calls to the Middle East are too expensive for us,” and he scolds the staff for “secretly ‘borrowing’ money.” Auditors found that the association racked up over $11,000 in cellphone bills during the 10-month period. Even Takhar’s own staff were raising red flags toward the end.

The audit discovered several emails among KSA officials, warning about uncontrolled spending. “I matched up the 2006 source documents with the vendors sheet. Things arent [sic] looking good,” says one email addressed to Takhar. “From AST ventures alone, we have approximately $32,000 unaccounted for … u dumb bastard [sic].”

Unfortunately, Hamilton never got to view the day-to-day accounting records in question. The laptop that apparently contained the KSA’s bookkeeping files mysteriously went missing from its offices. “It appears that the prior council was either not keeping proper records or deliberately removed these documents from the KSA main office,” Hamilton wrote. Takhar blames the missing records on Anderson’s clan.

In the summer of 2006, Anderson pursued a court order to reinstate her to council and force another election. Rather than argue the case in court, Takhar’s group agreed to another election last October. Takhar says that he agreed to the election because further litigation was just a waste of students’ money.

Evidence in the audit suggests that Takhar tried to manipulate the October election. One questionable payment was to Bilal Cheema, who is unknown to the current KSA, for $5,000. In an interview with Hamilton, Cheema said that the payment was for image-consulting work not connected to the election, but he could produce no specific evidence of his work. Emails recovered by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggest that Cheema was actually brought on board to secure a chief returning officer who would be friendly to Takhar’s team, and people to pose as campaigning students during the election.

The KSA also paid Dolo Investigations $1,776 for surveillance work conducted on the last day of the October 2006 election. When a current staff member asked Dolo for a copy of their report, they refused. The invoice was addressed to Takhar directly but he denies responsibility for the expenditure.

Despite these efforts, Takhar’s colleagues lost the election. Takhar says the vote was marred by irregularities on the other side, but he and his colleagues didn’t have the energy to continue the fight and decided it was time to move on. He was put on paid leave and fired with cause two months later after failing to attend meetings discussing his employment status.

These days, Takhar has more pressing legal problems to deal with. Last May, he and two friends were driving two vehicles near Vanderhoof, B.C., when police pulled them over for a routine traffic check. Takhar stopped, but the other SUV(which, according to police, was rented in Takhar’s name)turned down a side road and plunged into the Nechako River. One passenger was pulled from the water, but Daljit Sandhu — who received $8,000 in undocumented payments from the KSA and was one of Takhar’s party who had lost the October election — drowned. When the SUV was pulled from the river the next day, the RCMP discovered 170 marijuana plants. Takhar is now facing charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

The current council of the KSA is planning to launch a lawsuit against Takhar and other former KSA executives. They have also asked the RCMP to investigate. “These people came into the KSA and treated it like their own candy jar without any consideration for who they are supposed to be serving,” says Anderson.

But Takhar is not worried. “They have threatened to sue us a number of times and nothing has happened,” he says. “If they try to take it to court, they will just be wasting more student money.”


 
Filed under:

KSA sues former student leaders

  1. Aaron Takhar and the accusations against him and his fellow employees are not only a complete waste of time but also inaccurate of explaining the other side of the story.

    As a previous Kwantlen Student, who attended Kwantlen during Aaron Takhar’s term as well as the current party’s term, it will be of interest to know that the current group of people in term have been there for ten years or so? I mean who attends college for ten years and still doesn’t manage to get a degree. I thought it was fair and a change of atmosphere to let a new group of young energetic people in. Society requires change but the current party in power is interested in making some quick easy cash, why would they leave?

    Sure Aaron Takhar and his people may have made a few innocent mistakes but the millions that have been claimed to go missing are seem to be completely over-exaggerated. The current group of people never wanted Aaron Takhar and his RAF party to win the election, now they are simply tarnishing his image and fuming their anger for no apparent reason.

    In addition to the above mentioned, I will also state that the current party in power is not as great as they seem. Desmond Rodenbour, the current General Manager, was in an intimate relationship with Laura Anderson who was a director and now a staff member at the student association. Is that not a conflict of interest? Further, Laura Anderson each conducts student orientations each semester, which are not orientations but rather hate speeches against Aaron Takhar. Laura goes as far as posting a dartboard with Aaron’s face on it, encouraging students to shoot at it. This type of behavior is not only ridiculous but also violating human rights.

    I’d also like to mention that maybe Price Waterhouse Coopers should conduct a forensic audit for the 10 years Laura Anderson, Steve Lee, or Desmond were in power. Such an audit has not and will not take place because no one is questioning the current party’s intentions or motives instead they are hung up on Aaron Takhar and tarnishing his image. Maybe the current party should retire, and stop wasting students money on unnecessary lawsuits.

    Sincerely, Concerned student

  2. I have only read about the Kwantlen situation on this website. However, I think everyone should keep in mind that there is always the possibility that both the Thakar group and the current ones have a lot of problems and that neither of the two can really be trusted. Sounds like a common theme in bipartisan politics…

  3. Kwantlen no longer has slates or parties. In the KSA regulations at http://kusa.ca/files/File/Regulations-2008-04-24.pdf, you will see at section XI, Article 4, paragraph 2.v., “candidates shall not run in slates, real or apparent”.

    Also, Anderson is not an employee of the society. Of the twenty persons now holding elected positions, I believe only three (one executive and two non-voting constituency liaisons) held positions prior to 2006. Of all of the KSA’s staff, only four were with the society prior to 2005.

  4. There are slates and there are slates John, just as there are parties and there are parties. Writing a rule doesn’t automatically make it so. It depends entirely on whether the rule has teeth, and a Chief Returning Officer empowered to really enforce it. When was the last time someone was disqualified on that basis, for example, or came close?

    I don’t know nearly enough about this story to take a real position on the facts, but assertions like yours really need to be questioned, and I’d jump down the throats of any union staffer or executive who dared to offer such an argument. “Of course everything is okay now – look at this rule we wrote.” The entire point of the lawsuit in progress is the claim that previous office holders broke the rules. It’s insulting to anyone who had to live with that to suggest the mere existence of a rule, now, should be enough to prove all is well.

  5. A quick comment about slates: from my experience as a member of a undegraduate students’ union with a strong no slate rule (i.e. nobody could share resources, volunteers or give the impression of running together), there was still the impression that a certain “clique” was running the students’ union for a couple years until it was replaced by another group of people. It doesn’t matter if people help each other during the campaign or not. During the year, it is inevitable that people who share more the views of the current executive will be more likely to volunteer and work for the students’ union, and these people will form a large portion of the candidates in the next election, with the insider’s experience.

    This process is something that could happen without any bad intentions or plotting, and thus I would not necessarily say it’s something bad (outsiders still get in once in a while, just as independents get in when there is a slate system).

  6. I am a concerned student at KWantlen that has been there for 5 years. There is no need for a forensic audit for when Laura Anderson, Steve Lee or Desmond Rodenbour were in office because they had the annual audit completely. They didn’t double their salaries and they require at least 2 signatures for every check spent. On another note, Danish Butt, the president, was dating Meenu, can’t remember her last name, who was a staff member of the KSA. How is that not a conflict of interest? Especially if they leave a book documenting their love affair, including pictures, in the office for all to see. I remember walking in to ask about transit stickers and there they were making out. How professional is that?
    Price Waterhouse Coopers is a well known and recognized firm. Why would they tarnish their image by faking the results of the audit? Aaron Takar’s image is already ruined anyway from his charges with drug possession, drug trafficking, and selling after he was caught with about 170 pot plants in a car he rented driven by his friends. All of whom were members of the RAF party. What happened to honour and honesty? THe new council in place is open with their meetings and post all the agendas and minutes online. How much more clear cut could that forensic audit be? I feel that my money was stolen during those years because I didn’t get any services from the KSA. I hope the defendants rot in jail for misappropriating all that money and betraying the trust of all those thousands of students.

  7. After reading the last comment, the only emotion I feel is pure disgust. Concerned Student, you are clearly naive and misinformed. I also was a student at Kwantlen during the Takhar government, and I can honestly tell you, along with thousands of other students, employees, as well as staff members, that Aaron Takhar is a complete and utter disgrace to the KSA name.

    Where to start with my rebuttal…

    Steve, Laura, and Desmond were in power, and still are in power, because they know what they are doing. They go by the books. They don’t stretch the truth, or embezzle money. They are honest human beings, with natural and genuine talent at what they do. I know with all the goodness in my heart that no one could possibly do what they do, as good as they do it. They are outstanding. Those three are almost single-handedly the reason why Kwantlen had such an exhuberant reputation before this destruction took place. I believe in a democratic process that is lawful and follows the rules. They were not authoritarian; they always let the people vote to see who the students wanted to put in power, and for ten years, it just so happened to be them. It was not biased, nor was it rigged. Therefore that really has nothing to do with it.

    Secondly, for you to step out and say that Aaron made an “honest mistake” with those hundreds of thousands of dollars is outrageous.

    When I was five years old, I knew the difference between right and wrong. My parents taught me that whether it was five cents, or five dollars, stealing is wrong.

    Thirdly, I really don’t see how the current KSA government is earning “quick cash” in this situation. That’s absurd. Tell me in what respect are they earning quick cash? Perhaps by continuing to work for the KSA and earning a pay check to survive just like we all must do, while trying to salvage what remains of a tarnished Kwantlen reputation? I do not call that quick cash. I call it damage control. And we’re going to need a lot of it from what I know and hear.

    Also, you say that the current party never wanted Aaron and his RAF team to win the election. All I have to say to that is, well now we know why. Actions speak louder than words, don‘t they.

    Lastly, PriceWaterhouseCoopers never HAD to conduct an audit on the previous party in power. You know why? Because money never went missing. EVER. You know how we know that? Because that party kept financial records of everything. Aaron couldn’t find a god damn financial record from the last three years to save his life. They don’t exist. And that is why audit’s occur. It’s simple really.

    It’s sad for me to know that my student fee, two terms in a row, went to Aaron’s personal bank account. All I have to say is, Aaron, I hope you plan on going on holidays soon because let me tell you, you won’t be having one after all the dust settles for a long, long, long time, my friend.

  8. Hello “Concerned Student.” I see you have been busy, having posted similar comments to the article appearing online at the Vancouver Province. You should probably check your facts before making broad sweeping comments.

    1. The accusations are not “…a complete waste of time” and they are definitely not “inaccurate.” If they were inaccurate then why did Takhar and his friends – every time they were challenged in the past few years in the Supreme Court – simply decide to fold and run? They never made any attempts to defend themselves and provide “the other side of the story.” If someone is making false accusation against you then you stand up and you prove it wrong. Certainly, if the truth was so clear for Takhar this would be an easy thing to do. When you tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said. But no, they have not defended themselves at anytime and I think the answer to that is very simple… it is because there is no other side. The “side” that has been presented is completely accurate, true and verifiable.

    ——

    2. The next point about the “…current group of people in term have been there for ten years or so…” is also very inaccurate. Other than myself, no one else in the KSA was elected or ran in the 2004 or 2005 general elections that RAF ran in. All the rest of the current KSA Board members are new students who got involved in 2007 and 2008, with the exception of Nathan Griffiths, our Director of Operations who first ran for office in the RAF run January 2006 election. Laura Anderson is no longer an elected official. Desmond, who is a staff person and has worked tirelessly for the students of Kwantlen, was first involved as a consultant from 1999 – 2002. In 2003 he was hired on as the Comercial Services Manager and under his steward the cafe was brought into good shape and was set to make a profit in 2005 before RAF came to power.

    I first got involved in the Student Union as a volunteer in 2001, and later that year I was hired to assist with the organization of events. I quit that position in October 2003, only to run for Richmond Campus Council in 2004. I was re-elected in 2005 – as part of a Richmond focussed group of students that were doing some very good things for Richmond students.

    The 2005-06 year would have been my last and if RAF had not kicked me out for speaking out against the things they did (not being open and honest about the finances, repeatedly refusing to report on the finances of the Society to the board of directors, centralizing and dismantling the power and oversight of the board of directors, firing competent full time staff who had run the Association, not releasing minutes of meetings, not reporting to the board in the board agenda, not allowing others to give input into changes that were purportedly being made and firing those who spoke out against them – all of this was undemocratic and appalling) then I would have ended out my term and just done what I could for the students of Richmond – and we had a lot planned including bigger events, a Halloween event with Wild Coyote, and we were in talks to have Russell Peters do an afternoon show in Richmond before one of his sold out night shows in Vancouver.

    But I was removed because I demanded of Takhar a little bit of accountability and openness. By doing that, he gave me a lot of time to write up complaints against him and all of my complaints that were resolved by the Society’s Ombudsperson upheld my grievances and recommended that the board change their ways. But each time the board simply voted to reject the findings of the Ombudsperson.

    And after the Takhar run January 2006 election in which they seemed to have cemented their hold on the KSA I did try to move on. I wrote more complaints to the ombudsperson and did have people who talked to me about what was happening from time to time but I went and got a full time job with a company called BackCheck. It wasn’t until the KSA under Takhar tried suing me, Laura and other students that I was able to get Desmond to assist us in finding legal counsel and he worked tirelessly to liaise with them while I and Anderson were working.

    So please don’t trot out the argument that the current group has been in power too long and are simply power hungry selfish individuals – as it too does not hold weight.

    ——

    3. Your comment that the “…current part in power is interested in making some quick easy cash…” is actually offensive.

    Because of the lack of openness and accountability of Takhar’s group, since November 2006 our budget process has been completely open. One can visit our website and see exactly where our money is spent – even how much each staff person and elected official is paid. And although HR is a large portion of our budget, the individual salaries are modest and fair.

    Want proof? Last year, for the first time ever, in the spirit of openness and accountability, all of our audited financial statements have been posted going back to 1981 when the Society was first formed. All of the budgets that were approved each year are also available where we had them and more is being posted each week. You say that “…maybe PWC should conduct a forensic audit for the 10 years that Laura Anderson, Steve Lee, or Desmond were in power.” Well, whatever happened during any time is posted and accessible here:

    http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=72&comid=33

    And I think we are the only student union in the world to have done this. So if you want to know about the time before RAF – it is there for all to see. Independently audited and verified.

    And I know I’m not selfish. I made good money at BackCheck and if I did not care about the students I could have gone a lot farther there. But I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I had done that. To be honest, no one in there right mind would ask to do what we have done in fighting RAF. I had a relationship end because of the time I put into fighting RAF. I put off finishing my bachelors to fight RAF. I went through a severe battle with depression because of the fight against RAF. So I’ve sacrificed a lot – but I don’t regret it for a moment.

    What has Takhar sacrificed? The only thing I ever hear about him is more negativity – being arrested in a situation involving more than 170 pot plants where one of his former Kwantlen associates goes missing and is later found dead. Where another associate later gets gunned down. I’ve never heard of anything like that of any other elected official at the KSA. Most students go on to find success and make positive impacts on the communities they are involved in after leaving the KSA. But it seems Takhar has not done this at all. Of course, if I am wrong, I invite Takhar to stop avoiding service and to stand up for himself – to stop the “tarnishing of his image” and to provide the proof that “explains the other side of the story.” But he’s not doing that. Instead, he keeps on running.

    This is not an “unnecessary lawsuit” – it’s a clear statement that anyone who so vagrantly and purposefully breaches their fiduciary duty should be held accountable.

  9. Hi Jeff,

    A quick note about your comment — “It’s insulting to anyone who had to live with that to suggest the mere existence of a rule, now, should be enough to prove all is well.”

    We have and still are reviewing our rules and structure in light of what happened. The rules are in place to ensure the society is run in the best interest of students. But rules alone are not enough. You have to walk your talk – and the KSA is doing that. As Director of Finance, I am striving everyday to ensure our Society is open and accountable. I’ve put in a lot of overtime on my own at home at night and on weekends scanning and archiving all of the documentation that we have on hand going back to 1981 regarding our Society meeting agendas, minutes, financial statements, press releases, news articles, campaigns, events and more. All of this is online at our website. I can honestly say that I truly do think that by the end of this year we will be the most open and transparent student society in BC, if not Canada or even the world. I’m not getting paid to do this nor did I feel we should spend student’s money on hiring someone to do it at this time.

    Once scanned, we are looking at having old minutes and agendas, etc. become a part of the University’s archive which is open to the public – so that the originals of these documents can be examined and kept safe in the years to come. I’m also going to look at arranging to have a mirror of the KSA site created, that is not under direct control of the KSA – so that the information will always be there, even if someone in the future comes to power and decides to shut it all down in order to control their own message or to support their own ends.

    Furthermore, one of the first things we did in November 2006 was to get our online forums running again – within hours of taking power in early 2005 the RAF party was already facing the heat on the KSA forums / bulletin boards and they swiftly removed the forums. They suppressed debate and forums for people to voice their opinions on the direction of their society. On these same forums I personally maintain a work blog so that students know what I’m doing. I get teased sometimes for writing reports that are too long but I do it because during Takhar’s time there were no reports. There was no information. Information was being tightly controlled and eliminated so that Takhar could do what he wanted to do – line his pockets with student money.

    And the KSA has been encouraging other student unions and even the CFS to do the same… but the CFS constantly votes down and rejects our calls for more openness through simple things like posting AGM minutes online. Heck, even some CFS members have been active on our own online forums criticizing us – and it’s good. We encourage debate. We don’t delete comments posted by the CFS on our boards because we happen to disagree with them. We engage in the debate and let people see both sides of the story. If you go to a CFS Facebook group and post something that criticizes the CFS it will probably be deleted very quickly. How is that productive in a democratic organization? How is stifling debate ever productive?

    So you have to ask yourself, in the end – what does that cost you? What is the true cost of being more open?

    I really encourage everyone to read a great book on the topic of openness and accountability – it’s called “The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency Will Revolutionize Business” by Dan Tapscott and David Ticoll. What happened at Kwantlen under Takhar and his close associates is in my mind no different than what happened at Enron or Worldcom. What happened at the KSA highlights the worse that can happen when members of a board of directors decide to stop caring for the interests of an organization.

    I try to live by action and by what I do – I try to lead by example. Things are not always perfect – and nothing ever will be perfect. But if I can ensure that the information on how the KSA operates is there for any student or other interested party to see – then that is something I want to do. If I can ensure our history is preserved and accessible – then that is something I want to do. If I can do more so that you know what I’m doing – then that is something I want to do. Then I don’t ever have to remember what I said, because I know I’m telling the truth and it’s something that can be verified as well.

    – Steve

  10. Sorry, I should have clarified a little more. There has only been one election since the election regulations were banned. The rewrite was heavily inspired by the CRO we have used for every election since and including the court-ordered one in 2006, Fred Schiffner. I know you guys were watching this same space a few months ago and should recognize his name from a certain referendum, and know how dedicated we are to this guy. He came to us as an officer of the court and part of the new election rules require every election to be run by a non-affiliated expert. (I’m sorry the link I provided above doesn’t seem to work, but it is there on the website)

    Obviously this is just another rules that could be broken, but the idealist in me rejects devaluing good rules because of political reality. I feel the ultimate goal of every rule is to guide the honest and to reveal the wicked. Every rule can be broken, but if you have a plainly honest and good one, then it’s that much harder to pull the wool over the eyes of members and other directors.

    The Takhar line was that each individual rule wasn’t that important. He would say that in order to do business we need to suspend a regulation or ignore a bylaw, because it was preventing some important work. If we’d had regulations worded like the ones we have now, the will-less lackeys who enabled him to do these things in the early days might have skulked away sooner.

    But there I go, being the optimist again. Sometimes I feel we’re the only ones left, Steve.

  11. Credit where credit is due – it sounds like the KSA is taking reasonable steps to secure their elections process, and everything flows down from there. I believe very strongly in the no-slates rule, btw. My previous union disallowed joint campaigning (and by extension, slates) and I always felt it was one of the best aspects of our rules.

    As for the rest, I agree with Philippe’s comment entirely, that it doesn’t take anything, really, to create the perception of a clique and in fact it’s almost inevitable there will be that perception. Actually, it’s kind of a problem, because in an environment where most students believe there’s some corruption anyway (even when there’s not) it’s a perfect opportunity for genuinely corrupt people to flourish. After all, when students are perpetually crying “wolf” anyway, isn’t that the best place for a real wolf to hide?

    Fighting that perception is a perpetual uphill battle. I applaud every effort aimed towards transparency and openness, and I warn in advance that for many it will never be enough. But it is, at least, something. I’m especially pleased to learn the KSA has kept on their court-ordered CRO, and I think that bolsters their claims regarding impartiality immensely.

    Anyway, best of luck to all concerned. I’m going to bow out of this one now.

  12. Hello again Concerned Student,

    You gave me so much to write about that I forgot to post something on this comment: “Sure Aaron Takhar and his people may have made a few innocent mistakes…”

    I wanted to note that it is curious that a number of elected officials and staff at Kwantlen who worked closely with Takhar ran in the Douglas Student Union elections in 2006. References to that election were made in the “love binder” that Lorelai Adams mentioned. In fact, when they registered as Douglas students, they even used the KSA address as their mailing address as the KSA still gets newsletters from Douglas addressed to the former RAF executives.

    Also, in e-mails recovered by PWC it is clear that other KSA elected officials and staff close to Takhar were registering at Langara College with the intent of trying to take over that student union as well.

    Finally, in either 2006 or 2007, Takhar and others took out nomination papers to run for the SFU student union – but they did not file the papers when the SFSS changed their election rules and banned slates. Titus Gregory famously “agreed with Aaron Takhar” on the banning of slates but for different reasons – as posted on his blog (which references a letter Takhar wrote to the SFU student newspaper complaining about slates being banned):

    http://www.studentunion.ca/2007/04/i-agree-with-aaron-takhar.html

    Granted, running at these other student unions probably does not directly tie into your statement about “innocent mistakes” but it does beg the question as to why they would run at these other institutions?

    Usually, a student goes to a school with the idea that they are going to pursue an educational interest. After attending that school they may develop a liking for it and decide they want to get involved more than just attending classes. So they volunteer or run for a position in the Student Union, on the University’s Board or Senate, etc. They do that for a year or more, and then move on.

    Seldom do you see students taking courses at multiple schools and running as slates in each of those schools student elections… unless the mistakes being made are not so innocent. To me, running for office at multiple schools just shows that they were not there to help students. They were there to help themselves. To me the above situation simply shows that it was Takhar’s group that was “…power hungry…” and “…interested in making some quick easy cash.” And they almost got away with it.

    – Steve

  13. To the above mentioned individuals who have responded to my comment. Firstly, the drug charges that keep getting mentioned have been dropped so since the legal system found Aaron Takhar not guilty of anything. That is enough to answer my questions as to whether he did anything wrong.

    Secondly, the apparent proof provided by Pricewaterhouse that keeps getting mentioned all I have to say is, what proof?? There are simply allegations and accusations. Sure, Pricewaterhouse Cooper conducted an audit but they fail to mention how those loans that were given out were also all paid back WITH interest?? In that case did Aaron Takhar not do the KSA a favor? In addition, the KSA officials are completely able to make decisions regarding funds so as long as they believe the KSA will benefit, and they did.

    Thirdly, as far as I am aware the current party has already been in court against the RAF party and guess what they LOST. What a surprise?? People are not only mistaken by the fact that money has apparently gone missing, but also by the fact that there is no documentation. All I have to say is the paper work is available and money has not gone “missing” it just depends on how much your willing to tell the public and the media. The truth will come out and these false accusations created my Laura, Desmond, and Steve Lee will only portray them as the victims for so long.

    Sincerely, Concerned Student

  14. I was about to post something regarding slates, but I just read Titus’ blog and I totally agree with his three reasons (especially #1: freedom of speech and association). If “fairness” was the motivation for banning slates, a better route would be to allow people to endorse other candidates without restriction, but make sure there are rules about sharing of resources, etc.

  15. I cannot wait till Aaron’s judgement day! Who’s with me! lol

  16. Hello again “Concerned student!”

    A few more points in response to your latest post…

    1. As per the drug charges – my understanding is that the charges were simply stayed or not pursued. There was no trial so there was no final guilt or not guilty. Takhar was involved in what went down – Takhar rented the vehicles. If he is so innocent? Why did he rent the vehicles? Why did he not know that there were 170 clone plants in the vehicle that ended up in the river? His friend who died tried to run away from the police. And why was his other friend later gunned down? Again, I’ve never known anyone else from the KSA to have been involved in anything like that – where friends die and things look very shady.

    ———-

    2. On your point about the loans. Takhar did not do the KSA a favour with the loans. “…those loans that were given out were also all paid back WITH interest?” Yes the money luckily did come back to the KSA – but the audit clearly demonstrated that these were high risk loans. The approval for the loans within the KSA was also not done properly – no one knew about the APEX loan until it appeared in the audited financial statements for that year – which were also four months late. The post audit memorandum that came out with those statements stated in paragraph 47:

    “The Association restructured their investments during the year choosing to invest in a second mortgage and promissory note. As these financial instruments do not become due until early January 2008, the Association’s flexibility and access to ready cash has been eroded. We recommend that the Association proceed cautiously when investing the remainder of the funds in order to maintain control over working capital.”

    CIBC’s financial advisers wanted to meet with Takhar to review the APEX loan before it occurred but Takhar and his associates refused to do so. Also, Takhar refused to release the post audit memorandum after repeated requests for him to do so as made by numerous students including myself and Board Student Rep Lisa Coan. We did not find the memorandum until after the November 2006 and it is now online: http://kusa.ca/files/pdf/761.pdf

    In 2006, I documented Lisa Coan’s attempts to get financial information from RAF online here:

    http://www.steveleenow.net/kwantlen/ops/finances/lisasletter/lisasletter.htm

    Page 22 – 27 of the Forensic audit discuss the APEX situation. They state:

    “For the following reasons I consider these loans to be high risk investments:

    a. The promissory note from Apex and Mr. Westlund is unsecure; and
    b. The KSA second mortgage securing the $580,000 loan may not be fully secured because the property located at 13734 104th Avenue in Surrey (the “Surrey property”) has an assessed value of $1.277 million (according to the 2006 City of Surrey tax assessment) and was assessed at $1.142 million in 2005; however there is a Roynat Inc. first mortgage with a principal value of $1.1 million registered against it. The term of the Roynat Inc. mortgage is April 15, 2004 to March 15, 2009. We do not know the amount owing on the first mortgage.

    The KSA Regulations prohibit high risk investments.”

    Finally, the APEX loan may have brought in interest, but we have proof that shows that the funds the money had previously been invested in before being moved to APEX actually yielded a higher interest rate over the time period it was tied up in APEX.

    Furthermore, page 21 and 22 (among other pages) of the Forensic investigation show how Takhar and his associates repeatedly refused to meet with the forensic auditors to discuss what was going on. Just like they folded and ran in August 2006 and again in spring 2007 – if they are so innocent, why have they never seriously defended themselves?

    Copy of the forensic report can be found online here: http://kusa.ca/files/pdf/796.pdf

    ———-

    3. Finally, “People are not only mistaken by the fact that money has apparently gone missing, but also by the fact that there is no documentation.” If this is the case then why were there repeated losses in 2005 and 2006? Were these simply because of “innocent mistakes”? Takhar and associates repeatedly claimed that there were no losses in 2005 but then paragraph 23 of the same post audit memorandum that they refused to release in 2005 stated this:

    “For the year ending December 31, 2005, the Association incurred a loss of approximately $352,000 after recognizing a gain of $49,000 on the sale of long term investments which had previously been written down. In addition, the Association’s overall equity has been reduced by that amount to approximately $326,000 (down from $677,000). This trend cannot continue as the financial viability of the Association will be impaired.”

    The 2006 financial statements show a loss of approximately $364,000 (page 4 of the statements which are here: http://kusa.ca/files/pdf/853.pdf ).

    Also, what little books and records left behind by RAF were in such a mess that the auditors had to give a denial of opinion in regards to the 2006 statements. So where did this money go?

    I don’t know how you can make Takhar and his friends appear to be victims. Everything is open to the public and the media. All the documentation is on hand for anyone to see and a lot of it is online.

    – Steve

  17. Oh, I did not comment on this comment: “Thirdly, as far as I am aware the current party has already been in court against the RAF party and guess what they LOST. What a surprise??”

    When was this? The first court action that RAF brought against students of Kwantlen including myself resulted in our counter suit to which RAF quickly settled after their lawyer viewed video of the September 29, 2005 Special General Meeting:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dq3LsyVBLw

    It resulted in the settlement order which was signed off in front of a judge in the Supereme Court of BC and it resulted in the court called election of fall 2006. So if Takhar and associates are so innocent – why did they settle? Why not fight the allegations then and there, when they were still in power at the KSA? The petitions to the court and the affidavits and the August 2006 court order are all online here:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/elections/fall2006general/index.htm#court

    In September 2006 after Takhar and his associates repeatedly refused to release financial documents and information to the board of directors, we did go to court to try and get PWC to have control over the finances until the court ordered election was completed. The petition and affidavits related to that are online, however the resulting judgment is not up as I never actually got a copy of it. In this case however, the judge agreed that things were not being done right but did not grant the request to have PWC take over as the election was about to happen and would be over with by end of October. If the election had occurred in say February, when KSA elections normally take place with the new officials starting on April 1, 2007 then I have a strong feeling our request to have PWC take control of things until then would have been granted. I will work to try and have the judgment from that case posted online as soon as possible.

    There was another case after this where the judge ruled that the interim council ceased to exist on November 1, 2006.

    Finally, the RAF tried to have the election thrown out but again folded – petitions, affidavits and other documents related to that can be found here:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/elections/fall2006general/index.htm#supreme

    The order is here:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/elections/fall2006general/COURTORDER/FEBRUARY2007/Feb2Judgement.pdf

    Takhar and his friends again folded. And this was the last time we were all in court. So I don’t see how they ever won. Each time they were ruled against in some manner or they choose to run instead of fight the allegations.

    So I again ask >>> why have they never fought the allegations if they are so innocent? When Takhar and associates tried to sue myself and other students – we did not fold. We fought. Why haven’t they done the same?

    – Steve

  18. Read this because I guarantee I’m going to ruffle some feathers with a little thing called TRUTH!

    Philippe Marchand says:
    “the Thakar group and the current ones have a lot of problems and that neither of the two can really be trusted. Sounds like a common theme in bipartisan politics…”

    I couldn’t agree more, but I still think it’s a little lop sided against Takhar, atwal, khatri and butt… so here are some clarifications:

    KAYCE HOPWOOD:
    Why is Kayce talking out of her ass? In addition to being a ‘general’ student at Kwantlen, Kayce was also OUTSTED (removed from the student council) by takhar, atwal and khatri for being incompetent! So there is an obvious bias here whenever Kayce makes these outrageous statements.

    According to Kayce, desmond and others are ‘honest’ and they didn’t rig elections. Are you out of your mind?!?! They prevented RAF from taking power in 2004 when RAF clearly won the election, and then RAF had to take desmond and co. to BC supreme court to prove that they won the election! (Look up the records of that court case Kayce)

    That’s where this whole thing started from, so please don’t talk out of your ass when you don’t know what you’re talking about — as steve lee suggests the ‘concerned student’ should not either.

    And people talking about ‘rotting in jail’?? Does anyone not realize that this is a civil case between two private parties, and not a criminal case??? Please know some basic facts here… I realize your comments sound dramatic but at least state the facts. One side will eventually pay some financial compensation to the other, case closed!

    STEVE LEE:
    And for Steve Lee, Mr. 11th year Kwantlen extra-transparent student himself, you’re saying there is only ONE side to a story when the other side is yet to file a statement of defense or counterclaim?? Don’t talk so soon Mr. transparency, democracy and justice.

    For example Mr transparency and accountability, where are your minutes for the last few months for the KSA now?? Looks as if you are behind on the stuff that you accuse Takhar et al of doing, huh?

    And how did you get desmond to ‘assist’ you to fight the Takhar-led KSA in 2006? It must have cost you guys a ton of money to fight the KSA (lets say around $50K). Its amazing you lot were able to put that money together on your own with no help from a third party— especially seeing as you couldn’t manage it for the previous 2 years?? (This story will come out later, and trust me it’s worth the wait!) lol

    And you say now that “individual salaries are modest and fair”. Does desmond making almost $80K a year sound “modest and fair”?? I’ll let readers think about that one…

    And Steve says:
    “Seldom do you see students taking courses at multiple schools and running as slates in each of those schools student elections… unless the mistakes being made are not so innocent.”

    Are your 10+ years at a community college ‘innocent’? Well, according to you they are because you managed to justify them with everything from depression to dedication… So everyone has their reasons… your reasons don’t have to be the only correct ones….

    CONCLUSION:
    SIMPLY put… there are better ways at making yourselves look good and tarnishing others… why don’t you actually WIN and court case (just like RAF beat you guys in 2004) and then we’ll talk. How long can desmond hold on to power?? Time will tell, he shouldn’t make the same mistake as his predecessors… In the meantime lets see if the LAW is on your side Lee and hopwood… so far you’ve accomplished nothing but useless chatter that has amounted to nothing!

    And I would respond to your other points, but as you’ve stated, you put your life on hold for this stuff, which is pretty stupid… and I can’t afford THAT much time…

  19. and its soooo obvious how bias erin millar’s reporting is… does she not have anything else better to do??? Why doesn’t she travel to darfur or somewhere where they need brazen people like her. Why does she continue to write bias ‘celebrity national inquirer’ articles about a bunch of people nobody cares about? What happened to investigative journalism??

    I met associates of takhar, atwal, khatri and butt and they tell me that millar failed to include about 90% of what they told her… Instead she produced this article, which may later get her into some trouble….

  20. Hi Dave,

    1. KAYCE HOPWOOD: Kayce was far from incompetent. She was a hard working, dedicated member of the Richmond Campus Council who was removed so that Takhar could gather a 2/3rds majority on the KSA Council. They tried removing her twice actually – the first time failed and they had to do it at an emergency meeting that was called without notice. And when she was removed Richmond Campus Council voted unanimously in favour of the following motion:

    June 17 MOTION: RCC-2005-037
    Moved by Rumin Mann, seconded by Samantha Bliek,
    Whereas Kayce Hopwood could not attend past Council meetings due to work, being misinformed of the meeting times and having to write an exam during the emergency meeting of Council; and Whereas Kayce Hopwood has worked above and beyond he regular office hours, working on numerous projects including: inviting organizations to the Canada Day and other Richmond events; organizing a spring Valentine’s Day dating contest event; and helping students as they come into the office; and Whereas Kayce Hopwood had no intention of resigning by abandoning office and stated so at the June 10 Meeting of Council and in her proxies to the speaker of Council. BIRT RCC oppose the treatment by KSA Council of Kayce Hopwood and support any action she takes to get her vote, hours and standing within the KSA back.
    (MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY)

    (June 17 RCC Minutes here: http://kusa.ca/files/pdf/2276.pdf )

    Rumin Mann, who was a member of RAF was very upset that Kayce had been removed.

    And in regards to the elections – you are mistaken. The 2004 election never went to court. It was the 2005 election that went to court. All the documents that I have related to that election are here:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/elections/spring2005general/index.htm

    I have all of the documents related to the 2004 election and have been meaning to post them but have not had a chance.

    Ultimately, the judge wanted to rule the 2005 election as a nullity. He wanted a new election. I was a student who was a part of a small slate that ran against both RAF and the ruling party of the KSA at the time – the Progressive Party (I think they were called – a shell of the 2004 Lower Tuition Party). I never had a chance to put an affidavit before the judge in that election – although if I could have, I would have offered two solutions:

    1. Call a new election; or

    2. Let the independents and anyone who did not break any rules during that election take office. The independent candidates and the small party I was a part of were the only individuals not found by the CRO to have broken any rules during that election. The most stunning violation was that both the Progressive and RAF slates lied about their election expenses and were caught doing so by the CRO!

    But I had no clue at the time about how one does things in the Supreme Court. The ruling from that 2005 case is here:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/elections/spring2005general/judgesruling.pdf

    And Dave, you are right about the fact that this is only a civil case. But rest assured the KSA is in talks with the RCMP, encouraging them to investigate the situation that is going on.

    And if these guys are so wonderful when it comes to elections, why did they ignore 20+ page reports written by their Ombudsperson which found that the September 29 Special General Meeting and the January 2006 General Elections as being out of order? The report from that election is here:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/elections/spring2006general/index.htm#finalreport

    And the reports regarding the 2005 SGM are here:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/meetings/generalmeetings/2005/index.htm

    And I know what you will try and throw in my face – that we failed to follow the ombudsperson’s findings during the Fall 2006 court ordered elections. We did not follow the findings because he went beyond the jurisdiction of his role during that election – which he himself had defined in a previous report during the same election.

    2. STEVE LEE: I welcome and challenge Takhar and his associates to stop running and present their side of the story. They have had how many chances to do so? They could have easily defended themselves when they were still in power during the summer of 2006 when they sued me and other students. In response to that suit we filed a counter suit and they immediately settled. Why did they not use that opportunity to fight then? Answer that Dave – I am curious to know why they ran.

    And they ran again – when they tried to challenge the legality of the court called election (which PriceWaterHouse Coopers (PWC) found they had actually tried to rig!). So two times they had a chance to defend themselves in the Supreme Court – but they did not. Why did they do this Dave?

    And why did they not cooperate with PWC? Repeatedly PWC tried contacting them and they ignored them.

    Finally – why have they been running from the process server? The company hired by the KSA’s legal firm has been able to talk to them and they have lied to him saying they would meet him at various times and locations only never to show. Only Danish & Jaivin have been served. Why won’t they accept service? Why are they dragging things on again? Why do they keep running?

    The Council meeting agendas and minutes of the last few months are here:

    http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=72&comid=1

    And of the executive board:

    http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=72&comid=27

    Not all of the executive board minutes are up – I know. A lot went to the KSA Council last week and Council did not raise any issues with them so they are all now approved and I trust that Titus will have them up very shortly.

    Unfortunately, not all of our committees, liaisons or campus councils have put up their minutes. I’ve put up my meeting minutes and agendas for Finance Committee:

    http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=72&comid=26

    And Richmond Campus has as well:

    http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=72&comid=9

    And more should be up within the next week or so. Although we have been late in getting some documents up at no point have we ever hid anything from anyone.

    Student Rob Mumford during the January 2006 RAF election filed a number of complaints against the KSA in regards to the KSA’s failure to release information:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/elections/spring2006general/index.htm#ombudsperson

    And I have referenced many other attempts to get information which went ignored during Takhar’s time in the KSA:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/ops/finances/lisasletter/lisasletter.htm

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/ops/finances/theycallthisdisclosure.htm

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/ops/finances/refusal.htm

    And what little information they did put forward they always tried to do in-camera. Why?

    In regards to this quote Dave – “And how did you get desmond to ‘assist’ you to fight the Takhar-led KSA in 2006? It must have cost you guys a ton of money to fight the KSA (lets say around $50K). Its amazing you lot were able to put that money together on your own with no help from a third party— especially seeing as you couldn’t manage it for the previous 2 years?? (This story will come out later, and trust me it’s worth the wait!) lol”

    Well we had given up on trying to fight Takhar. It was not until Takhar sued us that we worked to get our act together. But I had fought previously – look at all the complaints filed with the ombudsperson. I kept a close eye on their operations – I documented things in preparation for the chance that we may one day go to court. I complained to the Kwantlen Board of Governors:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/advocacy/bog/march152006packageforbog.htm

    I went to as many council meetings as I could in 2005 until the RAF election in January 2006. I was very vocal at the council meetings as I had been in the past. In regards to how we paid for defending ourselves in 2006 – Desmond had received severance from the KSA and that was part of the money that was used to launch our counter suit. I also put time and money towards the case, as did Laura and others. There was nothing dirty about it. The lawyers we hired at the time also worked to keep the costs as low as they could. Much of the work done on the case was done by Marika Giles who cost a lot less than the senior lawyer who litigated and argued the case in court. And we never had the KSA cover any of those costs. I don’t know what you are hinting at when you say “(This story will come out later, and trust me it’s worth the wait!) lol” If you have an accusation – why not put it forward now?

    In regards to my time at Kwantlen – I responded to this in a previous post but you guys keep getting it wrong. I guess it sounds dramatic and horrible to label me as someone who has been here for awhile. Being involved in the KSA on and off since 2001 is awhile, and I would have been done now if it was not for Takhar and crew. In 2003 and 2004 I was somewhat on the outside looking in – as I was opposed to some of the stuff the board was doing at that time. I was a vocal member of the Board of Directors in 2004 and I didn’t make friends among some of the people at that time including Duncan McDonald and Rigel Vincent among others. But I always did my work. I made sure Richmond students were represented and that their voice was heard.

    One thing I haven’t done is taken courses at Douglas, Langara or SFU while at Kwantlen in an effort to run in student society elections at those schools. Like you say Dave, who “afford THAT much time…”?

    CONCLUSION: In response to your conclusion – see my comments about Takhar and his friends running away from the counter suit we filed in 2006, and running away from the court called election they tried to have thrown out.

    And ultimately, Macleans and other papers have nothing to worry about. Everything they have reported on is the truth and it is verifiable truth – you can trace it back to numerous source documents left behind by Takhar and his friends.

  21. “And I would respond to your other points, but as you’ve stated, you put your life on hold for this stuff, which is pretty stupid… and I can’t afford THAT much time…”

    I don’t think putting things on hold was pretty stupid. Imagine where the KSA would be today had students like myself not intervened? It would ultimately have gone bankrupt. Students would not have access to a well run cafe (that will be finally serving light liquor this fall), comfortable student lounge space on all campuses, well run events, an ever expanding member services department, a Student Health Improvement Plan, an Expanded Health & Dental plan, strong advocates like Betty Lough and so much more.

    Furthermore, e-mails recovered by PWC show that Takhar had plans to try and take over the Health & Dental plan again as they tried to do in Summer 2006:

    http://steveleenow.net/kwantlen/ops/operations/healthplan/index.htm

    And other e-mails show that they were trying to take over other student unions… Why Dave, did they run or try to run for office at other student unions? What were they hoping to accomplish by doing that? Like you say who can “afford THAT much time…”?

  22. Hi Dave,

    KAYCE HOPWOOD: Kayce was never removed for being incompetent. The story here is a longer one which I won’t get into right now but we purport that Takhar and associates needed Kayce and others removed in order to obtain a 2/3rds majority on the KSA Board of Directors.

    Richmond Campus Council was very upset with her removal, and passed this motion as a result (moved by Rumin Mann who was a member of the RAF party):

    June 17 MOTION: RCC-2005-037
    Moved by Rumin Mann, seconded by Samantha Bliek,
    Whereas Kayce Hopwood could not attend past Council meetings due to work, being misinformed of the meeting times and having to write an exam during the emergency meeting of Council; and Whereas Kayce Hopwood has worked above and beyond he regular office hours, working on numerous projects including: inviting organizations to the Canada Day and other Richmond events; organizing a spring Valentine’s Day dating contest event; and helping students as they come into the office; and Whereas Kayce Hopwood had no intention of resigning by abandoning office and stated so at the June 10 Meeting of Council and in her proxies to the speaker of Council. BIRT RCC oppose the treatment by KSA Council of Kayce Hopwood and support any action she takes to get her vote, hours and standing within the KSA back.
    (MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY)

    And Takhar did agree to hire her on as a “Staff representative,” a position she held until she was purportedly defeated in the RAF January 2006 election. So if he was willing to re-hire her, she cannot have been “incompetent!”

    Also, Desmond does not make close to 80k a year. The figure you are quoting includes all of the mandatory legal payments that the KSA has to pay on that employees behalf (CPP, taxes, etc.) and it also includes benefits. So he doesn’t take home the whole cake of the final amount listed on those pages. You are no doubt reading the information from our budget statements that are online, and I think when we present amendments to it – I will amend the layout of the wages so that you can see what they make before statutory deductions and what they make after, as well as what they make with the benefits (and that can get complex because there are also statutory deductions on benefits – which RAF never did properly… in fact thanks to Takhar & his crew Revenue Canada performed an audit on our HR last year as Takhar and his crew had made huge over payments). Anyway, our budget statements are here for all to see:

    http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=72&comid=33

    But in defense of what Desmond makes, Desmond is also actually qualified to hold his position. He brings more than 20 years of experience in student politics and non-profit governance to the table. From being elected to Langara as a member of the Board of Directors in the early 1990s, to holding a staff position as the executive adviser at the UBC AMS in the late 1990s, to doing independent consultation work for non-profit organizations in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He’s also served as a member of many non-profit boards of directors from community centers to other organizations. And that is how Desmond came to the KSA – he was hired as a consultant and helped a committee of the KSA in 1999 and 2000 to re-write the KSA bylaws. It was not until either December 2002 or January 2003 that he was hired by the KSA to fill the vacant position of Commercial Services Manager. He was not some 2nd year political science student with no formal experience.

    Ultimately, I have nothing to hide and I am proud of the work the KSA has accomplished over the past few years.

  23. steve lee: “hiding”? Why do you keep referring to this word whenever a contentious issue arises? The 2006 court settlement (not judgment in your favor, as you like to call it) was made by the takhar-led KSA, that is a fact. But why you refer to is as “hiding” or “running” is beyond me?

    If fighting the allegations in court, as you say would have been taking the moral high ground, the takhar group would have been ‘standing up’ to these accusations. Well, you should be EXTREMELY thankful that the takhar group is not as vindictive as you lot because if they took your advice in 2006 the KSA would still be in the midst of a useless court battle costing students thousands of dollars!! Why do you propose this??

    It was sensible for takhar et al to say “lets put the decision of who should govern the KSA in the hands of students”, not the courts! Facing the wrath of the voters is more than hiding behind the KSA treasury like you guys are doing now!

    and didn’t RAF’s 2006 decision ultimately turn out favorable for you guys??? Definitely YES! If takhar,butt, atwal and khatri had taken your ‘honest’ approach and didn’t ‘hide’ from the ‘truth’ they would be no different that you guys! And trust me many people in the KSA told takhar to “stick it” to you guys in the courts, but he didn’t agree with that because hes not a student “lifer” like you are!

    Isn’t it obvious that they accepted the will of the students and moved on with their lives? Unlike your current group! And the PWC audit was the most biased piece of ‘evidence’ I’ve ever seen. If PWC conducted an audit when you guys were in power (pre-2005) and it was politically motivated, don’t you think there would be damning evidence against you?!?!

    Maybe the takhar group should have conducted a useless audit when they took power in 2005 and tarnished your names beyond recognition (because you know they could have easily done so) but, again, they are not vindictive and spiteful like you sore losers are after you lost to RAF in the elections.

    And trust me, when the time is right- not on YOUR time- RAF people will clear the air of this garbage you are spreading…

    Remember Steve there is ALWAYS two-sides to a story. Your group’s “dedication” can be turned into “milking” a student union, just like you’ve twisted the story about RAF. And trust me there is plenty of ‘evidence’ on you guys as well… don’t think yourselves too morally high because it can come crashing down….

  24. finally, thank you dave! some common sense is emerging from the onslaught of BS!

    Also, I agree that erin millar should stop using these guys in order to build superficial credibility of herself as a journalist. Not a good way to start of your career! We need more objective reporting in the media. Overall, Macleans is good but I think this story is too one sided.

    Daniel

  25. “Remember Steve there is ALWAYS two-sides to a story. Your group’s “dedication” can be turned into “milking” a student union, just like you’ve twisted the story about RAF. And trust me there is plenty of ‘evidence’ on you guys as well… don’t think yourselves too morally high because it can come crashing down….”

    Then bring on the evidence. So far you have said nothing.

  26. “If fighting the allegations in court, as you say would have been taking the moral high ground, the takhar group would have been ’standing up’ to these accusations. Well, you should be EXTREMELY thankful that the takhar group is not as vindictive as you lot because if they took your advice in 2006 the KSA would still be in the midst of a useless court battle costing students thousands of dollars!! Why do you propose this??”

    How is fighting against allegations being vindictive? Takhar and others have said we have done nothing but slander them and create lies. If someone is lying about you then you mount a defense and you sue for slander. If the court finds in your favour, then it costs the students nothing as usually the person accused of the slander has to pay the costs. But Takhar never did this. And again I ask, why?

  27. Thanks Dave finally some explantion to the other side of the story. It seems Steve Lee, Laura, and Desmond will get what they deserve.And Steve you stated, “How is fighting allegations being vindictive?” It is if you are the one created those allegations and wasting thousands of dollars to interpret those lies to the public as truth. All I have to say is I can’t wait for the actual truth to come out about the current party in office.

    Sincerely, Concerned Student

  28. Hello again Concerned Student,

    Let me simply say that I can sleep at night because I have created nothing. I have never lied. I have never wasted any money promoting any lies.

    And if there is some actual truth out there about me – something nasty that you keep inferring – that you and Dave truly believe to be true about myself then please stop speaking double speak and just get out there and say it. Stop making inferences and innuendo about me. I’ve never said I was perfect but I’ve never done anything to rip off Kwantlen students.

  29. Previously a commenter had noted our minutes were not up to date on the KSA website. I noted that some were and some were not. Since then all of our executive committee minutes are now online:

    http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=72&comid=27

    As are our council meeting minutes:

    http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=72&comid=1

    Other areas of the KSA such as committees, campus councils and commissions have all been reminded to post outstanding agendas and minutes. Being the summer, some of these bodies have not met as often as they do in the Spring and Fall semesters but nevertheless, anything outstanding will soon be posted and our archive of older documents is on track for completion within the next month or so.

    – Steve

  30. A previous commenter on this topic had noted that there were many outstanding minutes not yet posted to our KSA website. In one of my previous posts, I noted that some were up and some were not. Since that post however, all of our executive board minutes are now online:

    http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=72&comid=27

    As are all of our outstanding Council (Board of Directors) meeting minutes:

    http://kusa.ca/index.php?pid=72&comid=1

    Also, all of our standing committee chairs, commission chairs and campus directors have been reminded to ensure that all outstanding agendas and minutes from their respective bodies be uploaded as soon as possible.

    And our online archive of documents from the past is on track for completion within the next one to two months.

    Again, it has never been the current board’s intention to delay posting things – it is summer and we are busy planning for fall but ultimately there is no excuse for not getting stuff online quicker and I apologize to anyone who was looking for information earlier but could not get to it.

    – Steve

  31. Concerned Student wrote: “Firstly, the drug charges that keep getting mentioned have been dropped so since the legal system found Aaron Takhar not guilty of anything. That is enough to answer my questions as to whether he did anything wrong. ”

    Dude, (or Aaron, is that you?!? sounds like you!) – not founding someone guilty does not always mean that the person is innocent (some just will actually point that out) – it just means there was insufficient evidence to find the accused guilty.

    But close to the point, the charges were dropped (or rather, suspended) for a number of reason, but it doesn’t mean that the party is innocent. In any case, those invoved are now in the police radar (if they weren’t I’m pretty sure they are now part of some police intel dossier).

  32. Wow…

    Well I know how I’ll be voting on the referendum this fall.

  33. The last post by “comment by former kwantlen council rep” makes no sense. Your grammar is so off that I think you should rephrase what you are actually trying to say: is the guy guilty or not guilty?? Maybe you should have spoken up more in council (but after learning how to articulate yourself)

    You wrote:
    “not founding someone guilty does not always mean that the person is innocent (some just will actually point that out) – it just means there was insufficient evidence to find the accused guilty.”

    Other than the fact that it’s written so poorly and the meaning gets lost, the legal establishment (court system, judges etc) would NOT agree with you. Either you are guilty or not guilty. Of course, there is always room for speculation, which is all you are doing right now, speculating (with few facts other than some media reports).

    Just thought I’d clarify some of these erroneous points. And please if you are going to post again, read and edit beforehand. At least Steve Lee spends all his time editing his posts to make sure his butt is covered! But he goes on a little too much…

  34. I apologize if I repeated myself in some of my responses.

    I had submitted a couple of comments and they did not appear on the site for a few days. So in thinking something was wrong – I wrote new responses and then eventually they all were posted!

  35. Pingback: Kwantlen student union staffer gets death threat : Macleans OnCampus

  36. Now one of Takhar’s cronies Ajay Cheema (who is being sued in this case as well) is an Rcmp member. What a load of b.s., when rcmp is hiring arent there supposed to be background checks???

  37. I just saw this, kinda interesting.

    Yes, you are correct about Ajay Cheema. Apparently Joey Atwal got him hired with the RCMP due to Atwal’s connections. All of these guys – Aaron, Danish Butt and Jaivin Khatri and others that are less known have connections. Ajay is also a shady guy no doubt.

    I know most of them personally and I sometimes laugh when the Student Union people try to get these guys. It’s not gonna happen. They know influential people in the police, in politics, and in the business community. They find the whole thing funny.

    I’ll just give you ONE example: whenever you or your lawyer talk to the police about these guys (and you’ve done it a lot over the past few years) Atwal gets the reports from his guys and they all read them and laugh!

    The Kwantlen people are making a big mistake giving these guys so much attention in the media. Its gonna backfire on you. I won’t say how or when, but it’s gonna happen.

    As an observer of the situation I personally find this kinda stuff funny as shit but we’ll see what happens I think this thing is gonna get really interesting later this year.

    btw I like Steve Lee this guy is the funniest in the whole saga.

  38. Alberto,

    Is that a thinly veiled threat towards the KSA exec?