Rich Coleman on election night in 2017. (Langley Advance files)

Unknown group targets Langley MLA Rich Coleman for recall

Coleman has drawn criticism in the wake of a report on casino money laundering.

An apparent effort to recall Langley East MLA Rich Coleman is asking for volunteers through a website.

The site, recallrichcoleman.com, is critical of Coleman with regards to the B.C. casinos money laundering scandal.

Coleman was the minister responsible for gaming, among other duties, during much of a decade during which up to $100 million in illicit money flowed through B.C. casinos.

“Rich Coleman was the minister in charge of overseeing the regulation of casinos in B.C. at the same time the largest money laundering scandal in B.C. history was unfolding,” says the recall website.

Coleman has fired back against criticism of his record on casinos.

“As a minister, you don’t direct police investigations,” Coleman said.

“They’re pointing the finger in the wrong direction,” he added.

While the site is attempting to sign up volunteers for a recall campaign, it contains no information about who is organizing the effort. There is no direct way to contact the organizers, aside from signing up as a volunteer.

A Twitter account linked to the site has just three followers and has only tweeted four times, all on Oct. 4.

The Langley Advance attempted to contact the organizers, but did not receive a response.

Coleman noted that it’s uncertain if the recall effort has actually been approved by Elections BC yet.

“We’ll deal with it, if it comes,” he said.

Unseating an MLA through a recall is extremely difficult, and only one campaign has ever gathered enough signatures – the MLA resigned before a recall vote could be held.

According to Elections BC guidelines for a recall petition, once the petition period begins, volunteers have 60 days to canvas and collect the signatures of at least 40 per cent of voters who were registered to vote in the riding during the previous election.

All the canvassers must also be registered voters in B.C., and can’t be paid. All of them have to be registered with elections B.C.

The last attempt to recall Rich Coleman took place when the NDP was last in power in the late 1990s. Elected in 1996, Coleman was targeted for recall in 1998, but the petition process failed to gather enough signatures.

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