Allegations fly at Kwantlen

Past and current student boards accuse one other of financial mismanagement.

The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) says recent speculation and conflict of interest allegations leveled against it are an attempt by former student executives to divert attention from prior mismanagement of the KSA going as far back as 2002.

Last week, it was revealed that one of the newly elected members of the association, Justine Franson, is the sister of a former KSA member named in a 2008 lawsuit alleging theft and fraud involving thousands of dollars while he was in office. Because the new board changed lawyers – thereby putting the legal action on hold – critics have said Franson is in a conflict of interest because of her family ties to one of the defendants.

In a press release sent out late Friday, current members of the association said though they did fire lawyer David Borins, the legal counsel handling the lawsuit, shortly after taking office, but claims it was because he is a close friend of longtime former KSA general manager Desmond Rodenbour, who was terminated early this year. Although the lawyer has changed, the legal position regarding the 2008 lawsuit has not, said the student group.

The KSA said the conflict allegations against it are intended to divert attention from prior long-term financial fraud. Among other things, the association claims Rodenbour and former chairperson Laura Anderson had an intimate relationship that renders their decisions and spending of million of dollars of student fees questionable.

“These positions are central to the balance of power, ensuring checks and balances, and accountability. This is a clear form of corruption…” the KSA alleged in last week’s press release.

The executive has now hired Deloitte & Touche to conduct a forensic review of the society from 2001 to 2011 to highlight what the current student group calls past “fraud, embezzlement and mismanagement.”

Justine Franson was elected the KSA’s director of operations in the spring.

Aaron Takhar, her brother, was leader of the Reduce All Fees (RAF) party, which took power of the KSA in a controversial 2005 vote and then was subsequently ousted in a court-ordered election. Takhar, as well as former association president Danish Butt, Jaivin Khatri, Yasser Ahmad and Jatinder (Joey) Atwal were sued by the subsequent student executive. At the time, the plaintiffs said the focus of the lawsuit was Takhar, who was considered the leader of the group.

The lawsuit stemmed from findings of financial audits in 2007 concluding there were thousands of dollars in mysterious loans, questionable investments and undocumented payments made to KSA executives and staff between December 2005 and November 2006.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction underway for new Cloverdale elementary school

The $33 million school is to seat 655 students

George Garrett retires from Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society board

Society completes more than 58,000 trips since 2016

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

Two Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, including second contact for Panorama Ridge

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read