Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wally Oppal's shameful obfuscation and inaction lets Patrick Kinsella off the hook for alleged unregistered lobbying

Wally Oppal used to be known as a straight-shooter, a judge who told it like it was, regardless of who might disagree.

What a sad caricature he has become as the Attorney-General who is sent out to defend the indefensible for the BC Liberals and Premier Gordon Campbell.

The latest embarrassment to get the Stonewally treatment - the outrageous case of Patrick Kinsella - the BC Liberals' Mr. Big - who is alleged to have lobbyied repeatedly without ever registering as required by a Liberal-passed law.

Registrar of lobbyists David Loukidelis - also the Freedom of Information Commissioner - has given up investigating Kinsella because the BC Liberals election campaign chair from 2005 and 2001 refuses to cooperate.

And thanks to a grossly inadequate Lobbyists Registration Act, that means Loukidelis can do nothing.

"Because of my restricted mandate under the LRA, I am unable to gather information from unwilling parties or to impose corrective measures or sanctions even if I were to believe that a person has engaged in unregistered lobbying," Loukidelis wrote in a letter to New Democrat MLA Leonard Krog, who released it.

Oppal told the media he agrees the Act needs to be fixed - but has no idea when that might happen. Hmmmm ....let's guess: it won't be before the May 2009 provincial election.

And Oppal positively bristled when questioned yesterday about Kinsella.

My 24 hours colleague Sean Holman - who has doggedly investigated this case and broke all the news on it - posted the entire transcript at his Public Eye Online website. Here's a short excerpt that gives the flavour of Oppal obfuscation:

Media: Do you think Patrick Kinsella is making a bit of a mockery of this by refusing to cooperate?

Attorney General Oppal: First of all, I'm not going to comment on his actions.

Media: Why not?

Attorney General Oppal: Merely, because this is brought into the public and the opposition has taken the liberty to expose his name doesn't mean that it doesn't deserve any kind of public comment. If someone is contravening the act, there is a remedy - in spite of the fact it's not within the act. The fact is the police could investigate that person.

Media: He's a prominent Liberal supporter. Leave his name out of it. Shouldn't prominent Liberal supporters respect the spirit of the act, which is to cooperate?

Attorney General Oppal: Well, the other side of the coin is maybe he's not a lobbyist. I don't know.

And on it went.

What a disgrace.

Fortunately there's still one option left for getting at the bottom of this situation - Krog has asked the RCMP to investigate.

Unfortunately that would be the same RCMP that investigated the Basi-Virk case and led to the BC Legislature Raid. The 5th anniversary of that Keystone cop caper will be marked on December 28 - and still with no trial in sight.

Patrick Kinsella - rest easy.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Come on now Bill, do you really think Supt. Debruckereye (yes he has been promoted because of the great work he did protecting campbell and co) would investigate this in a serious way??

Keystone Kops doesn't accurately sum up this band of misfits. How about incompetent, pathetic, corrupt, arrogant, decietful and shameless just to name a few.

After the latest revelations from the Pivot Legal Society I would bet you anything the RCMP monitor your site as well. I wouldn't even put it past them to have encouraged the break in at your office. As the Pivot Legal Society FOI revealed, this bunch of corrupt bandits in BC will go to great lengths to not only influence public opinion but protect and work with political parties that are more in tune to their philosophy - a philosophy where the courts and the charter be damned lets throw our opponents in jail!!

On this point Bill I think its now clear for all to see the rcmp have a political agenda that makes them very dangerous. We need to disband the leadership of the rcmp in this province and give it back to the rank and file who serve to protect us from the criminal element. At present we have thugs running the rcmp with their own personal political agenda that have a sudden mental block when it comes to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I don't know why am I surprised at this once proud symbol of what was good about Canada has degenerated into a national laughing stock!!

Anonymous said...

Bill, you are absolutely correct. The RCM Police will not investigate Kinsella and he will have given the people of BC the middle finger wave.

Michael Smyth had a great article comparing how Ken Dobell had treated the Lobbyist registrar versus Mr. Kinsella.

Unfortunately, the Van Sun did not see fit to report on the other lobbyist that ran afoul of the Lobbyist Registration Act. I believe that one of the individuals that did not register in a timely manner was Jamie Elmhirst. Another story which you were able to investigate thoroughly.

Where would the public of BC be without independent journalists with great investigative journalistic talent that is allowed to dig up these stories?

Thank god for these blogs.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 3:51

What were John Wards famous words again, "the public doesn't have a right to know anything". This should tell you the contempt they have for the public, the rule of law, respect for the rights of canadian citizens and free speech.

Oh I almost forgot, "there are no elected officials under investigation". What a joke!!

A. G. Tsakumis said...

Shameless, doesn't even begin to cover what this govt is doing...

If Glen Clark's closest political advisor was reaping millions in contract fees for clear lobbying, sans the reggie, how fast do you think then Leader of the Opposition Campbell would be screaming for even a public inquiry?

Pretty damn quickly...

Anonymous said...

Well done, Mr. T.

It's all one huge political 'game' of fingers in the dyke - but the dam WILL burst. It's blatantly obvious what's goin' down here - and man . . . just more of what has been hidden from the publics prying eyes, now surfacing with the stench.

C'mon people . . .are we really surprised with these pathetic tactics? Kinsella's just one of the boys!!

"On this point Bill I think its now clear for all to see the RCMP have a political agenda that makes them very dangerous. We need to disband the leadership of the RCMP in this province and give it back to the rank and file who serve to protect us from the criminal element."

I agree anon 3:51 pm, the RCMP and the justice system in general, has become tainted with political agendas - we see the pattern repeat itself as political misconduct continually slides off the table. Oppal's also just playin' by his pals rules - after all, he came from the BCS court politically 'hot' benches - he's been trained well in this 'game'.

Of course this is a "dangerous" situation for the best interests of us, the public. We are not protected from political corruption 'anywhichway' . . . but what an education we are all having thrust at us!

Ah, yes, Anon 7:50 pm: . . . . "there are no elected officials under investigation" - and why was this the case?

Wasn't it uncovered in the pretrial evidence that the reason the politicians were "not under investigation" was directly linked to a telephone call from the good ol' Solicitor General's office (the Asst. Dep Min. Begg as I recall???) suggesting to then RCMP Asst. Dep Comm Gary Bass NOT to pursue the investigation on the elected officials?

. . . you know, the same Solicitor General's that Kinsella wined & dined with . . . hmmmm. What else was he fixin behind the scenes?

. . . further, that pretrial disclosure also indicated that Debruyckere and his team wanted to pursue the investigation of the politicos??? It appeared he was hot on the trail until the 'higher ups' decided otherwise.

BTW, where is DeBruyckere now???? Is he really a Supt???? Seems to me I read recently several media articles (maybe BC Mary's Blog?) where he was heading up another political criminal investigation . . can anyone jog my memory here???

Is it fair to guesstimate that the majority of the "rank & file" want to do their jobs ethically but are afraid to rebel or be sent to somewhere near outer Mongolia - capiche?

. . . . but at what price to themselves and the public?

I'd really like some in house feedback here from the ranks.

Terri Williams said...

Someone challenged Wally Oppal to DO something about gang violence or get recalled? I am so in favour of this action. What happened to the guy who suggested it? Has he taken action? Where do we sign up?

Terri Williams said...

For those who operate City Hall Vancouver.
1. Do something about VPD investigating themselves on EVERY ISSUES, not just some issues.

2. Housed the homeless in HOMES.

3. Outlaw rogue bar owners who allow weapons onto their premises.

4. Bring about legal marijuana.

5 Forget chickens, allow residents to own dogs for safety. Outlaw landlords discrimination against responsible pet owners.