(This column was published in the North Shore News on May 9, 2001)

 

Past injustice provides candidate's focus

By Leo Knight

NEVER having been one to kick someone when they're down, I should avoid much in the way of discussion about Ujjal Dosanjh and the incredibly incompetent bunch he calls caucus colleagues.  

 

Albeit, to be fair, most of his caucus colleagues have deserted the sinking ship in the hope of fleeing unscathed from the damage they have done to this once vibrant and beautiful province.  

 

Nor will I give advice to Gordon Campbell, who certainly seems headed for a landslide victory. About five years too late by my reckoning, but, all things come to he who waits, or at least so I have been told.  

 

No, at this point in the provincial election campaign, I would like to have a word with you about a principled man, a rare bird indeed in this day and age.  

 

On the weekend, I received a press release announcing the candidacy of a man who did not want to win the election. The release said at the outset, "As far as I know, I am the only candidate, who neither wants your vote nor wishes to be elected."  

 

Did you get that? He's running, but he doesn't want your vote. He doesn't want to get elected. Got it?  

 

In fact, perish the thought Doug Stead should actually get elected in the riding of Coquitlam/Maillardville where he is running as an independent. You see, Stead is an entrepreneur, a successful businessman in the high-tech sector. Amazingly, his business has survived the 10 years of blatant stupidity, corruption and incompetence marking the NDP years.  

 

Readers of this space were first introduced to Doug Stead two years ago when he formed a group called Entrepreneurs Against Pedophiles and, putting his money where his mouth is, offered up a $10,000 reward to anyone who could provide evidence against a person in a position of trust abusing children.  

 

Stead's group has since blossomed and aligned itself with several other entities with similar interests. He also runs a successful business in Coquitlam called Tri-M Systems Ltd.  

 

So, this man is running as an independent and is actually saying, "Don't vote for me."  

 

You see, Stead's niece, a vibrant, ebullient six-year-old, was victimized by her own doctor, the since deceased Dr. John Gossage.  

 

I have written of the sins (and they are many) of John Gossage in these pages in years past.  

 

Suffice to say, he was a man who preyed on the most vulnerable, using his position as a pediatrician/therapist to stimulate his own perverse sexual gratification. He left dozens of victims in his wake. Not the least of whom was a part of Stead's family.  

 

Gossage was protected by the system. The same system which spawned his own hideous self. The police in Coquitlam wanted desperately to charge Gossage with a criminal offence. But the matter was usurped by someone in the Attorney General's ministry, the same AG who was intricately involved in the sweetheart deal given to former Burnaby school principal, William Bennest.  

 

Gossage had also been protected by the Ontario College of Physicians after he had been stripped of his privileges at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. He was able to come to B.C., reputation intact, and get into a position to abuse Stead's niece, among many others. While here, he had his privileges revoked at Royal Columbian Hospital. I'll leave it to you to guess why.  

 

The AG hired Peter Leaske, QC, to review the matter and determine whether charges should be laid. The investigation went on forever and the delay interminable, especially with Coquitlam RCMP demanding charges be laid against Gossage for an incident relating to Stead's sister, the mother of the little girl Gossage abused.  

 

Leaske ultimately determined no charges should be laid against Gossage. An opinion, I might add, I wholly, totally and wholeheartedly disagree with. And trust me, I am not alone in that. I suspect anyone reading the file will arrive at the same conclusion as I have.  

 

Gossage was ultimately convicted by the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons. They sentenced him to a suspension and a fine amounting to, as I recall, about $30,000. The suspension was for six months.  

 

But none of this was for what Gossage did to the little girl. It was for what he did to Mum. Frankly, the whole case still stuns me.  

 

It also explains why Stead is running in this election. He wants the Crown Counsel Review Act repealed.  

 

The act takes away from police the power to physically lay charges requiring someone to appear before a court of law. This is the only province in this country to have such a law, such a restriction on the powers of police and a door opener to political interference.  

 

Stead would like to see this changed. And so should we all.  

 

He is only running to try and get some attention on this situation. I hope he succeeds.  

 

In fact, if I lived in Coquitlam/Maillardville, I would vote for Doug Stead.  

 

He may not want to be elected, but I could think of a whole lot of people who have far fewer principles and have actually been running things -- well, what passes for running things in this land of mediocrity.  

 

Speaking of mediocrity, I have to vote for Dan Jarvis next week. I'm pretty sure he is actually alive. He was an accidental MLA in 1991 and he has done little to enthrall the electorate since.  

 

I'm sure he's done something in 10 years, but no one outside his immediate family and staff and constituency executive knows what that is.  

 

Evidently, that's the best we can do. Be still, my beating heart.

 

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