Bill Tieleman

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Bill Tieleman is a political columnist and former NDP political strategist in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is known for his coverage of the BC Legislature Raids, for opposing the 2009 referendum on electoral reform, and (with allies Suzanne Anton & Bob Plecas) [1] opposing the 2018 referendum on whether to hold a second vote to choose a proportional voting system.[2] Tieleman is also known for strongly advocating hydraulic fracturing to extract methane for export from BC, and for denying the role of global warming in BC forest fires.[3] He actively promotes federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, but his provincial role is unclear, as he works as a lobbyist including for the BC tourism & wine industry. Tieleman supported the Site C dam [4] & opposed the 2017 governing agreement between three elected BC Greens & NDP leader John Horgan.

Tieleman was a director of communications (public relations) for the British Columbia Federation of Labour and also in the Office of the New Democratic Premier Glen Clark.[5] Tieleman owns West Star Communications, a consulting firm that provides "strategy and communication services for labour, business, non-profits and government," according to Tieleman's blog. Tieleman appears as a political commentator on radio and writes a politics column weekly in the 24 Hours newspaper and The Tyee online magazine. From 2005 to 2009, he appeared as a guest opposite Norman Spector weekly on CKNW's Bill Good Show.[6] Tieleman also participated in a political panel for about 10 years on CBC Vancouver Early Edition radio show.[7]

He previously wrote a Political Connections column for The Georgia Straight.

He is known for his commentary and coverage of the BC Legislature Raids. In December 2007, he came back from the courtroom to discover that his office had been broken-into and materials related to the trial moved about. Tieleman regarded this as an attempt at intimidation.[8][9] In 2008, Tieleman reported receiving death threats following a 24 Hours column calling for a boycott of China.[10]

He is affiliated with Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver, and worked on his campaigns, including at the provincial level. Tieleman views affordability and poverty as the two largest civic issues.[11]


He was president of the No STV Campaign Society that successfully prevented the introduction of BC-STV, a form of Single-Transferable Voting in the second referendum on provincial electoral reform.[12] Tieleman played "the leading role on behalf of the No STV camp in the public debates and discussions."[13] The NO STV campaign concentrated their media buy in the final two weeks prior to the referendum. Opposition to the measure increased from the first referendum, he felt, because citizens had more information on the practical consequences of STV, including large multi-member ridings.[14][15]

After the Liberal government of Premier Gordon Campbell introduced the concept of a new Harmonized Sales Tax or HST, Tieleman started a No HST campaign on Facebook. When Facebook removed the group in January 2010, Tieleman claimed it was the province's largest Facebook group with more than 130,000 members. The group was restored by Facebook without explanation two days later.[16][17] He also became a strategist and media spokesman for Fight HST, the official proponent, led by Bill Vander Zalm, seeking a referendum to cancel the HST in accordance with the Recall and Initiative Act.

Tieleman sought official recognition (with allies Suzanne Anton & Bob Plecas) [18] to oppose a 2018 referendum on whether to hold a second vote to choose a proportional voting system.[19] As both sides of the referendum receive public funding, this is effectively an application for direct subsidy for lobbying efforts.


Tieleman holds a master's degree in political science from the University of British Columbia and lives in Vancouver.[20] As a student at UBC, Tieleman quit the negotiating team for the teaching assistant union in a dispute over the settling of a labour dispute with the university.[21] Tieleman has served as a director of the board for VanCity, the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union.


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  5. ^ "Tyee Bios - Bill Tieleman". Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  6. ^ Tieleman, Bill (April 14, 2008). "Bill Tieleman leaves the Bill Good Show". Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  7. ^ Littlemore, Richard (2011-02-07). "Bill Tieleman the BC NDP Svengali?". BC Business Magazine. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  8. ^ Tieleman Hit by Break-In, The Tyee, Dec. 4, 2007. Accessed June 15, 2010
  9. ^ Office break-in tied to coverage of Basi-Virk case, reporter says Archived November 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, The Victoria Times-Colonist, Dec. 5, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2010
  10. ^ "Journalist threatened". April 14, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  11. ^ Chutter, Erin (Feb 3, 2010). "Erin Airton interview with Bill Tieleman". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
  12. ^ President of NO STV makes his case, The Shotgun Blog, The Western Standard, April 29, 2009, Accessed: June 16, 2010
  13. ^ Herath, R.B. (2007). Real power to the people: a novel approach to electoral reform in British Columbia. University Press of America. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-7618-3685-8.
  14. ^ Hall, Neal (May 13, 2010). "BC-STV soundly defeated in electoral reform referendum". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved June 18, 2010.
  15. ^ Tieleman, Bill (May 19, 2009). "Why STV failed in B.C." The Georgia Straight. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  16. ^ Tieleman, Bill (January 30, 2010). "Why did BC's largest Facebook group disappear?". Bill Tieleman blog. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  17. ^ Austin, Ian (February 1, 2010). "Anti-HST group's web page vanishes". The Province / Global-TV. Retrieved May 4, 2010.[permanent dead link]
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  20. ^ Know STV biographies. Accessed June 15, 2010
  21. ^ Hedstrom, Arnold (Jan 21, 1982). "The teaching assistant union strike is over before it even started" (PDF). The Ubyssey. Retrieved June 24, 2010.

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