Thursday, December 29, 2011

City hall's first family rocked

Eight years ago, on Dec. 28, 2003, police raided the B.C. Legislature. They didn't tell us at the time it was about the corrupt sale of B.C. Rail, but indicated it was connected to an organized crime investigation. Premier Gordon Campbell was away in Hawaii.

On Dec. 29, 2011, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson was away in Hawaii when the Richmond Review reported that his foster son Jinagh Farrouch Navas-Rivas is wanted for serious guns and drugs charges by the Richmond RCMP. An arrest warrant was issued Dec. 23.

Robertson's prepared statement issued to the media at 4:54 p.m. Dec. 29 aims to distance Navas-Rivas from the family, claiming:

"My wife and I foster parented Jinagh for two years until 2009. We have always believed that providing support to youth in need is of great importance and that fostering is an important contribution our family can make."

“It was in this spirit that we took in Jinagh to live with us. He has been on his own now since June 2009."

The Mayor's Dec. 14-updated bio on the city hall website says: "Gregor and his wife Amy have four children: Terra, Satchel, Jinagh and Johanna." (The same bio also claims Robertson's organic juice company Happy Planet is "Vancouver-based," but my Vancouver Courier story in October revealed it is actually now based in Burnaby.)

The 21-year-old Jinagh was onstage at the Wall Centre for Robertson's re-election victory party on Nov. 19 and introduced by Robertson as the "birthday boy."

Jinagh also had exclusive access to the Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean-hosted Hotel Vancouver party with foreign dignitaries before the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony and he also sat in the dignitaries box at B.C. Place Stadium for the closing ceremony. On the official guest list for the Feb. 12, 2010 event and on the name card attached to his chair for the Feb. 28, 2010 ceremony, he was identified only as Jinagh Robertson.

According to Court Services Online, Navas-Rivas is charged with alleged trafficking in a controlled substance on Nov. 4 in Vancouver and Dec. 9 in Richmond. He is also accused of manufacturing or transferring a firearm on Nov. 18 in New Westminster -- the eve of the election! See the charge sheet below.

This puts the Mayor, who is also chairman of the Vancouver Police Board, in a very uncomfortable position.

Court Services Online charge sheet

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