Nanaimo councillor defiant over false claims and insults at retired couple

Gord Fuller falsely accused military veteran of being linked to mercenary group -- and then mocked his marriage
Gord Fuller
Gord Fuller
Nanaimo councillor Gord Fuller is refusing to apologize after publishing a ridiculous allegation against a retired Canadian military spokesman then disparaging his marriage.

The nasty written attacks on former Department of National Defence public affairs officer John Dacombe and his spouse Wanda Thompson, also a former government spokesperson, were made on Facebook and in emails from the councillor’s official city account.

Mr. Dacombe gave more than 26 years’ service to his country, first as a member of the regular Canadian Forces and then for the Department of National Defence.

Ms. Thompson spent more than 31 years in the Federal Government, much of it at senior levels serving ministers and deputy ministers in various departments.

“Mercenary killing machine”

In a Facebook post published to almost 5,000 people, the caustic councillor falsely accused Mr. Dacombe of being “connected to the mercenary killing machine Blackwater.”

He made the shocking allegation based on a 2012 news article in which Mr. Dacombe, speaking on behalf of Canada’s Defence Department, was merely explaining why the military had trained some of its soldiers at a facility run by the controversial US defence company.

Gord Fuller post
Fuller’s post on Facebook

But instead of apologizing or deleting his baseless allegation, Mr. Fuller then ramped up his venomous attack on the couple.

In an email copied to all of council and some staff members, Mr. Fuller mocked their relationship.

He suggested they were having marital troubles because they have separate email accounts and copied each other on their correspondence with council.

When News Nanaimo challenged Mr. Fuller to explain his insulting email yesterday, he fired off a new one to council and Ms. Thompson.

“I could be wrong re relationship issues and it could just be because of a dominant/submissive relationship and you are not allowed to pose questions without keeping him (Mr. Dacombe) informed,” wrote the councillor to Ms. Thompson.

Gord fuller email
One of the emails by Gord Fuller disparaging the couple’s relationship

“Are you two connected”

Mr. Fuller’s vitriolic barrage was set in motion by councillor Jim Kipp.

Responding to emailed questions from Mr. Dacombe on Jan. 31, Mr. Kipp replied to the couple by including text from two news articles quoting them as government spokespeople.

“Are you two connected to the following articles I have embedded about cannor and the mercinary (sic) killing machine black water (sic)?,” wrote Mr. Kipp.

Cannor is the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, for which Ms. Thompson was formerly a government spokesperson.

Jim Kipp

When asked by News Nanaimo if he routinely probes the backgrounds of residents who write to council, Mr. Kipp responded with one of his trademark rants.

Among other things, he said: “Are you so daft to conclude that I should not know whom I’m dealing with as duty of diligence?”

Post sparks uproar

Three days later, Mr. Fuller repeated Mr. Kipp’s Blackwater allegation when he made a post to the 4,790 members of the popular A Better Nanaimo group on Facebook.

The post sparked an uproar, with dozens of people lambasting the councillor for attacking a resident.

The Blackwater allegation was repeated in a comment on another discussion by Cathy Haines, a close friend of Mr. Fuller’s and a fellow director of the Nanaimo 7-10 Club Society.

Ms. Haines has also refused to apologize to Mr. Dacombe.

When News Nanaimo contacted Mr. Fuller to ask if he would apologize, he ignored the question and aimed his venom at this reporter.

“Mr. Jones you can say it a thousand times and perhaps you even believe it but you are not and never will be anything more than a tabloid blogger. Paying taxes on your added income I hope,” he wrote in one email.

Gord Fuller
Fuller at a recent council meeting

Then yesterday after Ms. Thompson again emailed council with her comments about the council’s affairs, Mr. Fuller responded with the insults about her and Mr. Dacombe’s relationship.

That finally prompted councillor Diane Brennan to intervene last night.

In an email to Ms. Thompson she said it made her “sick” that her council colleague had sent the email. It was “even more egregious” that he had used the city’s email, she added.

“I can only speak for myself, but I am so sorry you have received this awful message,” Ms. Brennan wrote to Ms. Thomson.

Ms. Thompson said mayor Bill McKay later also emailed an apology to her.

“Disturbing and upsetting”

It’s not the first time Mr. Fuller’s temper and venom have brought disrepute to council. In October 2016, an angry outburst in which he yelled “screw you” and “bite me” at the mayor made national headlines.

In 2016, Mr. Fuller was involved in an attempt to smear News Nanaimo with similar ridiculous claims.

Said Mr. Dacombe: “What I find really troubling is that these individuals… control a $200 million budget and almost 1,000 employees.”

Added Ms. Thompson: “It is disturbing and upsetting to receive these kind of responses to serious questions about what is going on at City Hall.

“Nanaimo has already been shamed by these councillors, and these statements make a mockery of our democratic institutions.”

News Nanaimo will continue to extend the right of reply to Mr. Fuller even though he appears uninterested in exercising it.


Subsequent to publication, councillor Fuller doubled down on his allegations.  On Friday night at 10:32pm, he published a “rebuttal” to this article that repeats the Blackwater allegations. He also made false allegations against various other people.

Gord rebuttal
Fuller repeated the Blackwater allegation after this article appeared

In his “rebuttal,” Mr. Fuller says “my question to John, does he have or has he had any association with BlackWater seems reasonable to me.”

He also again asks if this reporter is “claiming the income made from his tabloid with revenue Canada? A simple question one should be curios (sic) of as he gets paid every time a person clicks on his blog.”

As Mr. Fuller was previously informed, News Nanaimo operates at a loss and this loss is accounted for in our tax returns. Contrary to Mr. Fuller’s assertions, we do not get paid “every time” someone clicks on this site.

Mr. Fuller has been informed of this on numerous occasions but he continues to say otherwise.

The important issue raised in this article is that residents who engage council should always be treated with respect and not become the subject of malicious attacks on their character.


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  • ““Are you so daft to conclude that I should not know whom I’m dealing with as duty of diligence?” (Jim Kipp). It’s worth keeping this poor man on Council (in a non-voting capacity) just for his entertaining offerings of utter gibberish in broken English. I hope they’re not a symptom of a serious condition.

    • Gord Fuller is a perfect example of the effects of smoking marijuana every day for 40 years.
      Kipp looks, sounds and behaves like a drunk. He is incoherent and makes no sense whatsoever.
      There is no advantage to having them on council and making decisions that affect the community.
      But hey this is Nanaimo and the people voted them into office. I hope they feel good about that.
      The only way things will improve is for 5000 to 10,000 people to vote, who have never voted before.
      If that doesn’t happen, you can look forward to five more years of the Fab Five and a hockey arena on the waterfront.
      You could get five more years of Tamra Samra too, as a bonus. Lucky you!

    • It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s dam near impossible to win a argument with a stupid person

  • one gets a clear idea of what mayor mckay and others on council faced on a regular basis the past few years, given the characterizations of the council members here… who needs facts, when innuendo, supposition or outright slander suffice? this article is another ”wow” for me…

  • Typical street thugs. They are power drunk and we will sober these clowns up in October. Just imagine what the Mayor and Councillor Brennan and others have endured all of this time behind closed doors.

  • It amazes me as to how low in the gutter this has gotten. The two individuals being slandered by these two councilors and one of their molls have joined a growing list of individuals who have been slandered, lied about, had their families contacted in an attempt to dig up mud and then publicly falsely accused. We have also gained signed statement from 7-10 Club members who attest to being subject to harassment and displays of unwarranted anger from Mr. Fuller. I wasn’t going to comment as I feel he is dead in the water when it comes to the next election, along with his buddy Kipp, but it is important for everybody to realize that this is not a one off situation. The man is disgusting. Plain and simple. He must go. As for Mr. Kipp. I give him the benefit of the doubt and realize that he has been too long in his position and for his own good, should step down. I believe that Fuller will run again due to his own delusional ego, that tells him he is still a warrior for the little guy. At one time maybe but now he has become nothing more than an embarrasing waste of skin who continues to drag the reputation of our community down. At one point, I considered him a friend. At this point, if he were drowning. I would throw him an anchor. The man has proven to be morally and intellectually bankrupt.

    • Well said Kevin!
      Fuller is a fool who believes his own rhetoric and verbal diarrhea. He needs to check his ego along with the facts as he spews lies and garbage about other people. How is this poor excuse for a human being still in office? Given his actions, lack of regret and continuing behavior I would submit that he step down as a City of Nanaimo council member immediately. Between his and Kipp’s bullying tactics, smearing anyone that askes a question they don’t have an answer to, and plain old fabricating lies to shift focus off of the actual issues, coupled with both of them harming the reputation our beautiful city and it’s people, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Go home, you’re high, you’re drunk and you’re both done.

    • Very well said Kevin , you are right on the ball. He is a very stupid person. And he is dangerous because HE THINKS HE IS SMART..HAVE YOU EVER LISTENED TO SOMEONE FOR A WHILE AND WONDERED WHO TIES THEIR SHOE LACES FOR THEM??

  • Wow! More conduct unbecoming of elected official, Councillor Gordon Fuller, toward residents of Nanaimo. How pathetic!

    Having had a similar experience with him, due to his inappropriate and unprofessional conduct toward me, two years ago, I had reason, at a Council Meeting on March 14, 2016, to respond to him in Question Period, telling him that he was “not fit to be sitting there”. And I did not use those words lightly.

  • It is difficult to understand why we have elected these ill mannered people to Council. Absolutely nothing is gained by such boorish behaviour and so much is lost. Vote, Nanaimo, be sure to vote!

  • Kipp and Fuller are disturbing creatures and an embarrassment. Both should grow up. I can’t wait to vote these clowns out of office.

  • We often hear people admonishing the scoundrels in our city government to “grow up”.
    Unfortunately, “personality” in an adult can not be changed.

    Treatment That Does Not Work:
    • Punishment, including prison
    • Therapy/counseling
    • Medication
    • Teaching empathy and emotion

    Treatment That Works:
    • Confronting the problem head-on
    • Adopting a systemic approach

    Indeed, it is the citizen voters in Nanaimo who need to “grow up”.

    Why do we continue to tolerate the damage that has brought shame, ridicule, dysfunction and despair
    onto what should be the gem on Vancouver Island?

    Do we have to wait until October? Can our Mayor not apply for Trusteeship from the Province?

    Scandal-plagued city in Quebec asks: Put us under trusteeship

    • Anon, What ails Mr. Fuller and Mr. Kipp, and what the best treatment is for their deplorable behaviours, is confidential and not the concern or business of the people of Nanaimo. What is their concern and their business is the incompetent management of our city. And citizens have every right to vent. These two need to resign immediately, and hopefully they will have the presence of mind and decency to do so. If they do not, then very soon other avenues will be pursued to force them out of office. But one way or another, on or before October 20th, they are going to be removed from the Nanaimo political landscape.

      Also, you mention you do not like the public’s use of the the term “grow up” with reference to these councillors, but then use it to describe the good people of Nanaimo: “Indeed, it is the citizen voters in Nanaimo who need to “grow up”. Really?

    • Aron, wish we could do something now as you say. Surely someone in our city could take action. They would get a pile of support

  • Gotta say – nice hair Gord. Your photo like you is a lie. You are a vile person with some self righteous chip on your shoulder. You are vile and vindictive and a Hippocratic SOB. So much for the people without a voice, the downtrodden and the like you were to help. You are a vaccuum sucking up what you can for yourself and using your position as councillor to pad your own picket and power trip. Resign you CLOWN.

  • I just read your update. Fuller twists facts and then spreads them even in the face of proof positive that he is dead wrong. He carries on spewing his BS as if he were revealing some important and new information always in the same bullheaded and ignorant way. He is INCORRIGIBLE and hopeless. I hope he runs for re election in October. That is one truth he will have to accept. He is an embarrassment to most people who voted for him and I will not make that mistake again.

  • For anyone wanting to understand the dysfunction at city hall, and all the related chaos, craziness and puerile behaviour – not to mention the inability to conduct city affairs in a mature and efficient manner – look no further than this fine example of ego run amok. It fits a pattern like a child’s puzzle easily assembled. The picture that emerges, once this recent matter involving Fuller is added to and exanded on, is one of Fuller, Kipp and Bestwick, with the soon-to-be former city manager, pouring sand into the gears of the municipal machinery that citizens and taxpayers have a right to expect it to run smoothly. We can guess at the motives of this group, aided and abetted by some other councillors and limited outside support, but in the end it amounts to disrespect – for city staff, city residents and businesses, themselves, and above all the democratic process. Enough. All has now been revealed to voters who will show up in October, anger in one hand and pencil in the other. After the crap that has gone on, expect not just a repeat of the massive rejection of Bestwick’s costly failed waterfront multiplex referendum but a redifining of the political landscape in this city. If Fuller, Bestwick and Kipp haven’t figured it out yet – a good possibility – don’t even think about running again. You’ll get wiped out. Leave the decision-making to those who put the good of the city before their own, those who can behave rationally and respectfully, those who can engage with council colleagues and staff in a productive way. Those we can trust to make sound decisions. You three have been the cause of the worst council this city may have ever seen. Do the right thing, bow your heads in shame and ride off into the sunset.

    • Thank you Louis, you have perfectly summed up the fustercluck of the Bestwick, Fuller and Kipp fiasco! (Don’t forget Samra and Mema).
      My wife and I recently moved out of Nanaimo after living there for twenty five years, in a large part due to the inept fools we speak of. We now pay 30 % less property tax in Qualicum Beach for superior services and adults in charge at City Hall.

  • Fuller and Kipp are a pair of dummies, can’t wait to have them off city council, hope the dumb pair get charged for slander