Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Full public inquiry needed into BC Liberal lobbying situation after 24 hours special report on Patrick Kinsella and firm

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column

Tuesday June 3, 2008

Time to clean up Liberal lobbying

By BILL TIELEMAN

The act is clear. There's an obligation on persons who are lobbyists to register under the act.

- B.C. Attorney-General Wally Oppal, April 5, 2006

This province needs a complete independent investigation into the activities of key B.C. Liberal lobbyists, a full public inquiry into the business of lobbying the provincial government, and legislation to dramatically clean up the practice and protect the public interest.

That's the only possible remedy after the release in today's 24 hours of documents obtained by reporter Sean Holman through freedom of information requests to the Washington state government.

Those documents show that Patrick Kinsella - the most influential unelected player in the B.C. Liberal party - and his firm have represented the interests of several corporations, and even a foreign government, going back to at least 2003 without registering as a lobbyist as required by law.

In their own words in a proposal to work for Washington State, Kinsella, his company the Progressive Group and his partner Mark Jiles state that they have been working to "promote, convince and educate" the B.C. government, cabinet ministers and bureaucrats to get "outcomes" worth in excess of $1.5 billion in government contracts for their clients.

The situation stinks to high heaven.

The documents suggest the flagrant violation of many of the provisions of the Lobbyists Registration Act, passed in 2001. Kinsella does not appear anywhere in the public reports required by the Act.

And the B.C. Liberals have known all about it and done nothing for years, all the while meeting with Kinsella and his cohorts as they furthered their clients' interests and lined the Progressive Group's pockets with lucrative fees.

At the same time, Kinsella's company and his clients - like Canadian Forest Products - donated tens of thousands of dollars to the B.C. Liberal party.

This reaches right into the office of Premier Gordon Campbell, because Kinsella has been his closest adviser outside government, has co-chaired the B.C. Liberals' last two successful election campaigns and has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the party.

Attorney-General Wally Oppal's quote above came after this question in the Legislature from NDP MLA Rob Fleming: "Can the attorney general explain why Pat Kinsella, an extremely influential Liberal organizer and fundraiser working as a political consultant for a company like Alcan, has never registered as a lobbyist?"

It stinks even further because Campbell's own former senior deputy minister, Ken Dobell, was found guilty in court of violating the Lobbyists Registration Act earlier this year. And former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Graham Bruce is currently the subject of an inquiry by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding lobbying allegations.


Nothing less than a full independent investigation and public inquiry will do.

This government's very integrity is at stake.

13 comments:

BC Mary said...

.

Great work by Sean Holman and you, Bill.

But it's rough medicine, having to accept this kind of information via an F.o.I. application to a foreign government. At least, I think it's still a foreign government.

Too bad this didn't surface during the spring session of the Legislature.

Now that the session has ended, will we ever see another one? Like, next autumn? No. Next spring? No, not with an election in May 2009.

.

Anonymous said...

Plain and simple the present one man government in Victoria is bent on selling ALL B.C.'s public assets for and to its 'friends'.

Deep Throat said...

Bill:

I will give you one guess as to ANOTHER company Mr. Kinsella has undertaken work for to “communicate” to the Premier and his Party’s Executive. Unfortunately, it is the way the Premier and his Party Executive do “business” for the “benefit” of British Columbia.

kootcoot said...

Mary reasonably wonders regarding the Legislature:
"Now that the session has ended, will we ever see another one?"

Does it really matter? The whole legislative session is just a big kabuki performance, no debate on substantive issues, no answers to serious and important questions and the government agenda shoved down the throats of the people of BC via Orders in Council and Cloture.

My MLA, Corky Evans, isn't going to run next May. I imagine we'll be seeing more such announcements from others that realize they are only part of a mass deception on the public. Carole Taylor apparently can't stomach the Campbell disrespect for women and democracy, who's next on both sides of the house? Those with scruples and a sense of honour will be the most likely to say "to hell with it!"

Another term of the Campbell liaRs in charge and there won't be enough of BC left to bother managing. ALL the decisions that matter will be being made in various corporate board-rooms of corporate cohorts of the Soup Nazi.

The only place to deal with the Campbell Gang isn't by an election or by parliamentary democracy, but in criminal court. But that would only work if we actually lived under the rule of law and equal justice under that law.

I guess I would buy part of British Columbia too, if I had the money and the "right" connections AND the requisite amount of GREED!

Anonymous said...

Great work 24, with luck this piece will be another in a series of much needed wake up calls to the public.

This article deepens my understanding of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law in modern times. That is to say all three have been perverted by perverts.

North Van's Grumps said...

Patrick Kinsella (Progressive Group) you say.....hmmmm.... is that the same guy called Patrick V. Kinsella who is a Director with Canada Payphone AND owns "CSCC Casino Software Corportaion" who's mailing address is exactly the same as the as that of the "Great Canadian Gaming Corporation" (Suite 350-13775 Commerce Parkway) ????....

Let's not forget past articles by The Georgia Straight called Political Connections nor that of Public Eye Online's We're not leaving anything to chance

Does Mr. Kinsella have an inside track to supplying casino (gambling) software to BC Lottery Corporation?

igetit said...

Yes, Bill, it is time for a full public inquiry into the whole enchillada . . .

Yes, 'Grumps'. . . same old member of the Campbell Circle; same Canada Payphone crew (including Christy's bro, Bruce, that was bailed out by Kinsella's buddy & fellow 'Bagman' Peter Brown.) The grapevine says that investors lost everything on this gambit. I wonder how these boys faired with their own accounts???

Right again about Kinsella's cozy, decades long ties to Great Canadian Casino . . . Folks, do you think gambling has expanded at warp speed in BC, despite Campbell's promises that gambling would NOT expand?

Is this the same 'consultant' of record to Poole's Concert Properties (& it's many incarnations since the early 1980s) with his and Campbell's former Constituency President (now Kinsella's VP) fingers in all VANOC's $$$$$$$ opportunities alongside fixer Dobell, Podmore & other 'Club' members at the trough?

The cesspool of bandits milking and manipulating British Columbians' assets - where rules and process within the systems, change at THEIR whim . . . is in dire need of a deep cleanse by the people of British Columbia.

It is long overdue for all British Columbians to DEMAND answers.

Anonymous said...

"This government's very integrity is at stake."
Bill Tielman

Bill,
This is to suggest that the Right Unctuous Gordon Cambell and the Liberal Party have even a shred of integrity amongst them. I would suggest otherwise.

Anonymous said...

In Northwest Business Monthly magazine (published in Bellingham) April issue there is a story about "Ambassador" Peter Legge speaking to Mount Vernon Chamber about Olympic opportunities. He comments he has spent $15,000 to produce a video as he wants to co-host the opening of the Olympic Games. Some companies mentioned say they already have contacts with party planners to help host VIP's. Is Peter Legge registered as a lobbyist? Is he paid to do this? Why do we need Whatcom county businesses stealing work from local firms? One company actually states they will bring a 36-seat catamaran here and "make it available for "a pretty sizable amount of money" so VIP's won't have to take ferries. ?? Will mail you a copy of this. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

The Way I See It #271 previous | next
The law, for all its failings, has a noble goal – to make the little bit of life that people can actually control more just. We can’t end disease or natural disasters, but we can devise rules for our dealings with one another that fairly weigh the rights and needs of everyone, and which, therefore, reflect our best vision of ourselves.
-- OFF A STARBUCKS COFFEE CUP

Anonymous said...

Bill, Campbell and his puppets have no integrity to protect.
Don't expect a rush to the political microphone in defense of their actions. They simply are whores to profit and FU to all the citizens of BC.

Really, our only hope is civil disobedience.

kootcoot said...

""This government's very integrity is at stake."
Bill Tielman

As another commenter alluded above, what a relief, it ain't like anything of value or anything that actually exists is at risk!

North Van's Grumps said...

The really interesting thing about Canada Payphone "igetit" is a well known name that is linked right back to the Legislature being raided ..... involving Basi/Virk and their bosses/back room strategists.

On the Company summary for Canada Payphone, Patrick Kinsella is listed as being a "Director of the Board" and just to the right of his name there is this guy called "Erik Bornman" under the title of "Investor Relations".

Now if you don't remember who Erik Bornman is, well he is described on Wikipedia: Erik Bornman
"is a former consultant and founding partner of Pilothouse Public Affairs. He has worked as a communications consultant in provincial and federal elections and as a strategist for the BC Liberal Party and the Liberal Party of Canada."


Does it mean anything other than birds of a feather flock together. In this particular instance, the two gentlemen (along with many others at Canada Payphone) were working together at the same time as the BC Legislature was being raided.... four long years ago.