Rich Coleman

Richard Thomas Coleman (born c. 1956) is a Canadian politician and former police officer, who served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in British Columbia from 1996 to 2020, and is a former interim leader of the British Columbia Liberal Party. He was first elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017. Coleman represented the riding of Langley East.

Rich Coleman
Rich Coleman 2016.jpg
Leader of Opposition in British Columbia
In office
August 4, 2017 – February 3, 2018
Preceded byChristy Clark
Succeeded byAndrew Wilkinson
13th Deputy Premier of British Columbia
In office
September 5, 2012 – July 18, 2017
PremierChristy Clark
Preceded byKevin Falcon
Succeeded byCarole James
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia
In office
June 5, 2001 – June 16, 2005
PremierGordon Campbell
Preceded byIvan Messmer
Succeeded byJohn Les
In office
April 27, 2009 – June 10, 2009
PremierGordon Campbell
Preceded byJohn van Dongen
Succeeded byKash Heed
In office
October 25, 2010 – March 14, 2011
PremierGordon Campbell
Preceded byMichael de Jong
Succeeded byShirley Bond
Minister of Housing and Social Development of British Columbia
In office
June 23, 2008 – October 25, 2010
PremierGordon Campbell
Succeeded byKevin Krueger
Minister of Forests and Range of British Columbia
In office
June 16, 2005 – June 23, 2008
PremierGordon Campbell
Preceded byMichael de Jong
Succeeded byPat Bell
Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly
for Langley East
Fort Langley-Aldergrove (1996-2017)
In office
May 28, 1996 – November 24, 2020
Preceded byGary Farrell-Collins
Succeeded byMegan Dykeman
Personal details
Bornc. 1956 (age 66–67)[1]
Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
Political partyBC Liberal

Early lifeEdit

Coleman was born in Nelson before the family moved to Penticton[2] in 1957[3] where he graduated from Penticton Secondary School in 1971.[4] His father was a civil servant and his mother Rosa Coleman was a school English teacher.[3][5] He has five siblings[2] and is married to Michele Coleman.[5]

Before entering politics, Coleman was member of the RCMP and ran a real estate management business.[6]

Cabinet and leadership positionsEdit

In January 2007, as BC Forests and Range Minister, at the request of Western Forest Products, Rich Coleman approved the removal of 28,283 hectares (approx. 70,000 acres) of private land from three coastal tree farm licences along the south-west coast of Vancouver Island and transferred ownership of these lands in totality to Western Forest Products.[7] Minister Coleman announced this decision about eight months after his brother, Stan Coleman, joined Western Forest Products as their manager of strategic planning.[8]

In response to the many concerns and allegations of this land giveaway, the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre requested an official investigation by the Auditor-General's Office of British Columbia.[9] On July 1, 2008, BC Auditor-General John Doyle released his report, "Removing Private Land from Tree Farm Licences 6, 19 & 25: Protecting the Public Interest?"[10] In his report he "condemned former forests minister Rich Coleman for allowing a forestry company to remove land from three tree farm licences for residential development, citing the possibilities of conflicts of interest and insider trading by government staff."[11]

Rich Coleman was the interim leader of the British Columbia Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition in the British Columbia Legislative Assembly, from August 4, 2017 to February 3, 2018.[12]

From 2012 to 2017 he was Deputy Premier and served variously as Minister of Natural Gas Development, Minister Responsible for Housing.

Coleman served as Chair of the Cabinet Working Group on Mental Health, Vice Chair of the Cabinet Priorities and Planning Committee and was a member of the Cabinet Committees on Jobs and Economic Growth and Environment and Land Use. Coleman was also Government House Leader. He previously served as Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Minister of Forests and Range, Minister Responsible for Housing, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Minister of Housing and Social Development.

As Minister of Housing and Social Development, Rich Coleman presided over those years when offshore foreign investment in BC real estate was a growing public concern, amidst a growing housing crisis. As late as July 2015, Rich Coleman refused to comply with repeated requests for relevant data and analysis: “We’ve worked with the real estate guys for years and have got data on sales,” Coleman said. Asked twice why not at least share the data, he redirected the topic to dangers of restricting foreign investment, claiming that “throws an ethnic group out there and says they’re the problem.”[13] By August 2016, with a year leading up to the next provincial election (May 2017), "the B.C. government moved so quickly to institute its new tax on foreign buyers that it never finished a promised study into the impact of foreign ownership on housing affordability."[14]

From 1996 to 2001, Coleman served as opposition housing critic, forests deputy critic, and caucus whip, and was a member of the Official Opposition Caucus Committee on Crime.

Coleman was the minister responsible[15][16] for the April 2009 shutdown of an RCMP task force on illegal gambling, three months after it warned that organized crime was involved in both legal and illegal gaming activities in BC.[17] Internal government records were later released suggesting that the task force was disbanded due to "funding pressure ... and perceived ineffectiveness."[18] Coleman has said that the team was shut down because "it wasn't effective."[19] In early 2020 new revelations came to light regarding the extent and criminality of this episode of money laundering in BC. Rich Coleman "was repeatedly asked to respond in an interview to the allegations in this story" but refused, agreeing by statement only to cooperate with any future inquiry.[20]

On December 1, 2010, Coleman announced to the media he had decided not to enter the provincial Liberal leadership race to replace retiring BC Premier Gordon Campbell. Coleman indicated he had planned to announce his run on Thursday, had MLA support and campaign funds, but decided not to pursue the post due to family reasons.[21] He was considered a frontrunner to replace Gordon Campbell.[22]

Coleman is considered one of the best fundraisers and organizers for the BC Liberals.[22]

In February 2019, Coleman announced that he would not seek re-election in the next provincial election.[23]

In June 2022 the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia final report stated:"By 2010, then-minister responsible for gaming Rich Coleman was aware of the concerns of the GPEB investigation division and law enforcement that the province’s casinos were being used to launder the proceeds of crime... more could have been done by Mr. Coleman... who served in that role for extended periods during the evolution of this crisis.[24]

A poll conducted by Research Co. in June 2022 found that 66% of British Columbians believed it is true that Coleman knowingly ignored warnings about suspected drug-money laundering in casinos.[25]

Coleman ran for mayor of Langley Township in 2022, finishing a distant third.


Coleman received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003.[6]

He was awarded the Canada 125 Medal for community service.[6]

Coleman was the 1988 Langley, British Columbia Volunteer of the Year[5][6]

Coleman was awarded Rotary's top honour the Paul Harris Fellowship[5][26]

Coleman was the second person ever awarded Kin Canada (Kinsmen)'s highest honour, the Hal Rogers Fellowship, after Kin founder Harold A. Rogers.[5]

See alsoEdit

Electoral recordEdit

2017 British Columbia general election: Langley East
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
Liberal Rich Coleman 16,348 53.45 $58,649
New Democratic Inder Johal 7,817 28.14 $7,046
Green Bill Masse 4,968 16.24 $587
Libertarian Alex Joehl 448 1.47 $39
Total valid votes 30,584 100.00
Total rejected ballots 223 0.72
Turnout 30,807 64.54
Registered voters 47,730
Source: Elections BC[27]
2013 British Columbia general election: Fort Langley-Aldergrove
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rich Coleman 15,989 55.10 –5.99
New Democratic Shane Dyson 7,511 25.89 –4.34
Conservative Rick Manuel 2,615 9.01
Green Lisa David 2,229 7.68 +0.56
Independent Kevin Mitchell 672 2.32
Total valid votes 29,016 100.00
Total rejected ballots 136 0.47
Turnout 29,152 60.53
Source: Elections BC[28]


  1. ^ 'For me, it's zero tolerance': Back in his days as a Mountie, Solicitor-General Rich Coleman saw his share of carnage on the roads -- and it makes him all the more determined to stamp out street racing and save lives. He's already come down hard on B.C.'s high- horsepower hotheads, and even tougher laws are on the way: [Final Edition] Smyth, Michael. The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 02 June 2002: A14.
  2. ^ a b "Forest Minister's Brother High in Firm Granted Tree Farm Deal". 14 January 2008.
  3. ^ a b "MLA Rich Coleman's mother passes away at 93". 17 July 2013.
  4. ^ "School District 67". Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e "About Rich Coleman | | MLA Rich ColemanMLA Rich Coleman". Archived from the original on 9 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d "Executive Council Biographies". 16 June 2005.
  7. ^ "PRIVATE LAND REMOVED FROM TREE FARM LICENCES". 31 January 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  8. ^ MacLeod, Andrew (14 January 2008). "Forest Minister's Brother High in Firm Granted Tree Farm Deal". The Tyee. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  9. ^ "B.C. auditor general to review Vancouver Island land deal". CBC. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Removing Private Land from Tree Farm Licences 6, 19 & 25: Protecting the Public Interest? | Auditor General of British Columbia". Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Auditor general's report slams sale of forestry lands". 16 July 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Christy Clark resigns as MLA and leader of B.C. Liberal party, Rich Coleman to serve as interim".
  13. ^ Ball, David (16 July 2015). "What Vancouverites Don't Know Is Hurting Our Housing Hopes". The Tyee. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Incomplete government study on foreign buyers now a waste of money: Opposition". Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  15. ^ Cooper, Sam (15 January 2020). "B.C. disbanded RCMP unit after report warned possible crime figure bought stake in casino". Global News. Retrieved 22 January 2020. The minister responsible for reviewing the January 2009 RCMP report and the decision to disband IIGET, former B.C. solicitor general Rich Coleman, has stated the unit was ineffective.
  16. ^ Ball, David P. (1 July 2018). "How the laundering of 'dirty money' in B.C. casinos was exposed". The Star. Retrieved 22 January 2020. In 2009, Coleman — a former RCMP officer himself — oversaw the elimination of the only independent, dedicated gambling crime police unit, the integrated illegal gaming enforcement team (IIGET).
  17. ^ Holman, Sean (6 August 2010). "B.C. warned of organized crime's reach into gambling". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  18. ^ Cooper, Sam (24 October 2017). "Illegal gaming unit killed in 2009 due to BCLC 'funding pressure'". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  19. ^ Zussman, Richard (5 July 2018). "Rich Coleman says BC Liberals did 'everything we could' to crack down on casino money laundering". Global News. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  20. ^ "B.C. disbanded RCMP unit after report warned possible crime figure bought stake in casino". Global News. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Coleman had support, not "heart" for race". Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  22. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  23. ^ "Long-time Langley MLA Rich Coleman says he won't seek re-election". The Canadian Press. 29 February 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia : Executive summary" (PDF). Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  25. ^ "British Columbians Would Appoint Anti-Corruption Commissioner". Research Co. 24 June 2022. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  26. ^ "Hon. Rich Coleman". Archived from the original on 29 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Statement of Votes – 41st Provincial General Election – May 9, 2017" (PDF). Elections BC. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Statement of Votes - 40th Provincial General Election" (PDF). Elections BC. Retrieved 17 May 2017.

External linksEdit

British Columbia provincial government of Christy Clark
Cabinet posts (3)
Predecessor Office Successor
Kevin Falcon Deputy Premier of British Columbia
September 5, 2012–July 18, 2017
Carole James
Ministry Created Minister of Natural Gas Development
June 7, 2013–June 12, 2017
Ellis Ross
Steve Thomson Minister of Energy and Mines
March 14, 2011–June 7, 2013
Bill Bennett