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Burnaby council discloses income, assets

If there's any lesson to be learned from the financial disclosures of Burnaby council members, it might be not to base investment decisions on family connections.

Each year, council members in the province are required to file statements outlining their assets, liabilities and real property (not including the homes where they live or the mortgages on them), income sources and corporate assets.

Mayor Derek Corrigan's income is listed as coming from his jobs as mayor, a director of Metro Vancouver, a director of the Municipal Finance Authority and as a member of TransLink's mayor's council.

He lists his assets as his law practice, and shares in Vancity, the Working Opportunity Fund and Delta-based ATI Airtest Technologies Inc.

The latter, Corrigan said, was through his brother-in-law in Australia who works in the field of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC). "This was a new testing device that would assist in locating any problems with carbon monoxide etcetera. He advocated that we buy into it."

He added with a laugh, "A terrible investment, one that I will hold against him for the rest of his known life."

Corrigan advised, "Never invest in things that your family tells you to invest in."

Coun. Richard Chang may have wish he'd heard that advice. While he lists his councillor's salary as his only source of income and no assets, his 2009 disclosures included investments in three companies.

In an interview, Chang said he was under the impression he only had to state assets he owned in Burnaby, which is incorrect. He still owns shares in U.S.-based Internet TV company Jump TV. As for his shares in Internet telecommunications provider Nicer Canada Corp. and Chinese dumpling maker King's Taste Foods Inc., which both had listed their addresses as being in the same complex on Byrne Road in Burnaby, they are out of business.

"They are not public yet but the company is going down, it's no more," he said of the two businesses.

Chang said in a previous interview that King's Taste Foods was owned by a relative.

Coun. Pietro Calendino, whose income is stated as coming from his salary as councillor and as a Metro Vancouver alternate director, lists a numbered company as one of his assets.

He said it's a family company, which used to own a rental apartment building in North Burnaby, but the property was sold over a year ago.

His other assets include mutual fund RRSPs, and shares in Bank of America, CitiGroup and Fannie Mae.

Coun. Sav Dhaliwal, a retired information technology manager at Telus, lists his income sources as his Telus pension, and salaries from being a councillor and a board and committee member at Metro Vancouver.

Dhaliwal has part-ownership in three rental properties located in Port Moody, Port Coquitlam and Maple Ridge, and lists assets as mutual funds, and shares in Vancity, Nortel Networks, Telus and IBM.

Coun. Dan Johnston's sources of income are from his job as a senior accountant with the B.C. Teachers' Federation, and his salaries as city councillor, alternate director and committee member with Metro Vancouver, and as an alternate representative on TransLink's mayor's council. He is also co-owner of Canada Flag Mart, an online flag company owned by his wife.

Coun. Colleen Jordan lists no assets and states her income is from her roles as city councillor and as a director of Metro Vancouver, Pacific Blue Cross and Community Savings Credit Union.

Coun. Anne Kang lists only her salary as a teacher for Burnaby school district, apparently forgetting to mention her councillor's salary. Coun. Paul McDonell lists only his councillor's salary on his financial disclosure. Coun. Nick Volkow also lists only his councillor's salary on his income. As for assets, he lists five shares of British Columbia Resources Investment Corporation (BCRIC), a holding company created by the Social Credit government of Bill Bennett, whose shares were distributed for free to all British Columbians in 1979. They're now worthless.

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

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