James Wang is the BC NDP’s star candidate for the riding of Vancouver-Langara. Ten years ago he and his brother, who has a different last name, were President and V.P. of a holding company that operated Pattison College with campuses in Vancouver and Toronto.
According to multiple news stories from around that time including the Toronto Star, students who paid tuition to Pattison College were ripped off. One student from Taiwan forked out $5,400 for his tuition then found Pattison had closed shop and refused to offer a refund, and he wasn’t the only student who felt ripped off.
Watch as I show you how the Ontario government had to get involved in action against Pattison College including a letter from the government of Ontario ordering Pattison College to cease and desist and outlining how the Ministry said they were in violation with the Private Career Colleges Act.
In the letter the government of Ontario states that in late 2006 they sent inspectors into Pattison College where they found that it was not operating with honesty or integrity and that Pattison College staff had tried to obstruct the government inspectors. We are unsure if Pattison College ended up complying or simply shut down the college in 2008 as the Toronto Star article suggests.
To be fair, I wanted to give Wang and the BC NDP a chance to respond to these allegations and ask why his holding company allowed Pattison College to operate what appears to be an unethical and dishonest business. Their response was a predictable denial.
“Mr. Wang was not an officer, director or manager of Pattison College Inc. nor did he exercise any control or oversight over the company. Mr. Wang has previously publicly and repeatedly stated this. In fact, the Liberals had to pull down a similar release they posted.”
But according to a December 2005 interview with the Vancouver Sun, Wang took credit for starting Pattison College telling the Sun that after establishing an immigration services company, they found this about their clients:
“We saw they also wanted to receive education,’ Wang said. So, it established Pattison College, which prepares students for post-secondary programs by improving their English. The school also provides access to business and MBA programs.”
The NDP did not respond to my follow up questions about whether the Holding company was aware of the actions of Pattison College or their dubious claim that Wang had no involvement given the interview he gave the Sun in 2005.
The BC Liberals did pull their original press release from Sunday, but re-released it the next day with additional information about Wang and Pattison College.
I learned a hard lesson after the Alberta election in 2015 - do not let NDP candidates run without investigating and researching them first or we’ll end up with our own group of Destroyers in this province come May 9th.