Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More questions raised in Legislature on relationship between ex-DM Finance Paul Taylor and lobbyists Erik Bornmann, Brian Kieran

NDP MLA Leonard Krog questions Finance Minister Carole Taylor in BC Legislature today over the relationship between Basi-Virk lobbyists turned Crown witnesses and Paul Taylor, former Deputy Minister of Finance and now ICBC CEO

The following is from draft transcripts of Hansard from today's Question Period.

KPMG REPORT ON ACTIONS OF PAUL TAYLOR

Leonard Krog: Over a month ago the government released only a summary reporting letter from KPMG into the activities of Mr. Paul Taylor and the B.C. Automobile Dealers Association.

[DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

In this House on May 29, the Premier promised that the full review, the terms of reference, the documentation, the process undertaken, the steps taken and the full report will be made available on completion of the review.

The summary reporting letter does not meet the Premier's promised standard. It is quite simply a whitewash, and so my question is very simple. Will the Minister of Finance live up to the government's promise to this House and direct forthwith the release of the full KPMG report as promised?

Hon. Carole Taylor: As has been said in this House, when the proper FOI process has been completed, information will be released.

[DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Mr. Speaker: The member has a supplemental.

Leonard Krog: It's very clear that that process appears to be more of a delaying tactic than a process.

The opposition has received a further relevant e-mail dated January 27, 2003, from Mr. Kieran to Mr. Bornman, part of which reads: "Just got a call from Paul Taylor's wife. She is his message bearer. He suggests we get Omnitrax together with Larry Blain, the new CEO of Partnerships B.C., the P3 agency that Paul engineered. Larry is on holiday at the moment. Paul says all partnerships with government including BCR will be funded by Partnerships. We'll put this together next week."

This clearly shows that the real issue is the relationship between Mr. Taylor and Pilothouse, which KPMG was not instructed to investigate. This e-mail shows that Mr. Taylor was providing Pilothouse with a range of information dealing with the most sensitive and confidential government matters.

Will the Minister of Finance do the right thing and launch today a full inquiry with real powers to investigate the activities of Mr. Taylor?

Hon. Carole Taylor: When the information came forward to the Premier's office, an investigation was launched with KPMG, a reputable firm. They found in their results that, in fact, there was no wrongdoing by Mr. Taylor.

If any new information is available, I would suggest that the opposition make it available to the Premier's office.

13 comments:

Jack said...

The "blabby deputy minister" comes through again. Whats next bill, the suspense is driving me crazy!!

Budd Campbell said...

"Just got a call from Paul Taylor's wife. She is his message bearer. He suggests we get Omnitrax together with Larry Blain, the new CEO of Partnerships B.C., the P3 agency that Paul engineered. Larry is on holiday at the moment. Paul says all partnerships with government including BCR will be funded by Partnerships. We'll put this together next week."

There is something very weird about the wording of this message. It sounds like something that's intended to be incriminating, something someone else is supposed to "discover" and then react to. Sorry to be so grassy knollish, but it's near bedtime and I am just so god-damned sure I heard a fourth shot and saw a puff of smoke coming from that fence over there.

Anonymous said...

What does Paul Taylor have to say about this?

Bill Tieleman said...

In response to Anonymous, this story ran in today's 24 hours newspaper:

November 22, 2007

Lobbyist e-mail raises questions

By SEAN HOLMAN, 24 HOURS

The New Democrats are raising questions about top provincial bureaucrat Paul Taylor's relationship with former lobbyist Brian Kieran.

In the legislature yesterday, attorney general critic Leonard Krog released a 2003 e-mail between Kieran and his then business partner Erik Bornman.

The e-mail reads: "Just got a call from Paul Taylor's wife. [She is his message bearer.] He suggests we get OmniTRAX together with Larry Blain the new CEO of Partnerships BC [The P3 agency that Paul engineered] ... Paul says all partnerships with government including [the BC Rail privatization deal] will be vetted by Partnerships. I'll pull this together next week."

At the time the e-mail was written, Taylor was the deputy finance minister and Kieran and Bornman were representing OmniTRAX - one of the firms that made an unsuccessful bid for BC Rail.

Taylor is now head of the Insurance Corp. of B.C.

ICBC senior media relations manager Doug McClelland said Taylor was "not available for comment" on the e-mail.

Meanwhile, for his part, Kieran stated, "First, I must assume that this e-mail is part and parcel of matters before the court. And I find it somewhat alarming it has been trotted out by the NDP four months before the trial is set to begin."

"Second," he continued. "I have no recollection of the context around which this e-mail was written. It was almost four years ago. That said, my reading of it indicates the content was of routine government information."

And "third, throughout the disposal of BC Rail, when I was on the file for OmniTRAX I never directly lobbied anyone in finance at the deputy level or above. With respect to Paul Taylor, he did not have the BC Rail file. That job had fallen to Chris Trumpy."

Wayne said...

Brian Kieran hasn't explained the "blabby deputy minister". Maybe Holman could call him back and get an explanation.

G West said...

I'd just add the following:
Why do you suppose Chris Trumpy - who also happens to be a bit of whistle-blower on this file - was put into the position relative to the BCRail negotiations and deal?

He's a career civil servant...the Campbell government needed someone up front on this deal to create the impression of propriety. It is known as plausible denial and Brian Mulroney is currently the most prominent practitioner of the art in Canada.

As for the release of this information - KPMG's analysis was so utterly compromised from the beginning (having been ordered by Jessica Macdonald, a Campbell appointee who had reported to Taylor when he was still deputy if I'm not mistaken) and circumscribed in its ambit and laughable in its conclusions that one can only say 'Thank God' something is finally coming out about Taylor and the games he was playing with his car dealer lobbyist friends.

Late - one hopes not too late though!

Anonymous said...

Kieran's response is contradictory to his public filing with the lobbyist registration record.

Click here:
https://eservice.ag.gov.bc.ca/lra/public_reports.jsp

Registered on behalf of Omnitrax
(dated between OCT 31, 2002 - DEC 31, 2003), under the heading "Agencies Contacted" he list's FINANCE.

So Mr. Kieran if you did not lobby anyone in FINANCE, why did you list the Ministry?

Of note, there is a reference that Mr. Kieran also lobbied the Minister of Finance, Gary Collins and most important Brian Kieran lobbied the Office of the Premier for Omnitrax and Premier Gordon Campbell directly.

Anonymous said...

just reviewed the email from my NDP friend.

has anyone spoken to Pat Bell or Shirley Bond about their dealings with Pilothouse?

The look on Pat Bell's face and Shirley Bond's is a clear tell. They need to work on a better poker face.

Anonymous said...

How about we stop paying to ICBC till Paul Taylor is removed. Send your comments to ICBC via http://www.icbc.com/help/contact.asp

BC Mary said...

.
We're seeing Citizen Journalism at its best. Many thanks, all around.

Now ... how can we get some Citizen Justice in this Province?

Maybe it wouldn't hurt, if we made the public interest visible by showing up in the Supreme Court public gallery tomorrow morning.

9:00 AM, for those who can be there. That's Friday Nov. 23, 800 Smyth Street, Vancouver.

.

Deep Throat said...

Jack:

You ask "what's next"? The next is Coleman. He is the "John Mitchell" of this cover-up.

W said...

Bill what I find astounding is the stuff in the email about finding a way "to alarm Pat Bell and Shirley Bond on this". What does this tell you about the degree of manipulation and cunning by these lobbyists, not to mention their chummy relationship with a "blabby deputy minister" who was obviously feeding them information and who knows what else.

You served as a senior official in the NDP government of the 1990's have you ever seen something like this?

If campbell had any credibility he would ask for an immediate investigation and look at the finances of these people. How can we be sure "the blabby deputy minister" wasn't feeding his lobbyist friends information on the budget etc?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:27 said, "The look on Pat Bell's face and Shirley Bond's is a clear tell. They need to work on a better poker face." Can someone tell me the connection between Bell, Bond and Pilothouse?