THE ADVOCATE 593
VOL. 78 PART 4 JULY 2020
Again, Ted survived, but he was ready to move on to a role that would be
less demanding. Or so he thought.
After leaving the Deputy AG’s office in 1990, Ted took on two part-time
positions: Complaints Commissioner for the B.C. Police Commission and
chair of the B.C. Law Society’s committee on gender equity, an issue he had
always taken seriously.
But if Ted had thoughts of easing into semi-retirement, those were blown
away by the Fantasy Gardens affair and Premier Vander Zalm’s dealings
with the flamboyant Faye Leung. Ted always had an abiding respect for civil
servants and holders of public office, and he was adamant that even the
appearance of conflict must be prohibited to maintain public confidence.
When Vander Zalm’s government enacted B.C.’s first conflict of interest legislation,
it fell short of Ted’s aims, but it did establish the Conflict of Interest
Commissioner’s position. Ted was an obvious choice.
His first assignment in this new “semi-retirement” role was a big one:
Vander Zalm asked him to review the Fantasy Gardens allegations, fully
expecting Ted to exonerate him. Later, in his autobiography, Vander Zalm
called this “the biggest mistake of my entire life”. On the day Ted’s report
was released, the premier resigned. (In that autobiography Vander Zalm
cast aspersions on Ted’s motives. Ted sued for libel and won.)
His eventful six-year term as Conflict of Interest Commissioner came to
a dramatic close. He had announced his intention to leave the post, but
when Premier Glen Clark surprised him by replacing him on one day’s
notice, he initially acquiesced. Then he announced at a press conference
the next day that he had “felt like a gun was put to my head” and should not
have agreed to the move. Reactions were swift and furious, and that night
the premier called to apologize. Ted resumed his role and stayed for a year.
By this time Ted was in demand for commissions of inquiry throughout
western Canada and the North. He delved into matters as diverse as police
practices, prison riots, medical services in the North, banned substances at
the Pan American Games and bidding processes for construction of Vancouver’s
But Ted often said that the most meaningful chapter of his career was his
tenure as Chief Adjudicator of the Indian Residential Schools Alternative Dispute
Resolution process, which gave former students an out-of-court route to
compensation for abuses suffered in residential schools. It was an undertaking
unique in the world, and Ted’s leadership and commitment set the tenor
that endures today in the process that succeeded his and has resolved more
than 38,000 claims. From the beginning, Ted listened to Aboriginal people.
He consulted with a respected elder to help train adjudicators and make sure