Tuesday, March 17, 2009
What did BC Liberal Party insider Patrick Kinsella do for BC Rail for $297,000 - let's play 20 questions
Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column
Tuesday March 17, 2009
More questions than answers
By BILL TIELEMAN
What we don't know is why would B.C. Rail have a lobbyist and pay him $297,000.
- Kevin McCullough, Bob Virk's defence lawyer in B.C. Legislature Raid case, in court March 12
Let's play 20 questions - can we figure out why B.C. Rail - a Crown corporation owned by the provincial government - paid well-connected B.C. Liberal Party insider Patrick Kinsella $6,000 per month for 49 months for a total of $297,000?
1 How did Kinsella - co-chair of the B.C. Liberal Party's 2001 and 2005 election campaigns - help B.C. Rail for $297,000?
2 Kinsella's firm, the Progressive Group, issued a statement Thursday that: "Mr. Kinsella was engaged by BC Rail to assist in understanding and interpreting the Core Review Process as to its potential impact on the Corporation. BC Rail sought counsel on what implications, if any, might affect the Crown Corporation's operations and their strategic plan going forward."
Can we see the reports or memos that B.C. Rail bought for $297,000?
3 B.C. Rail said Thursday it hired Kinsella to: "Provide strategic advice to our new President, Board of Directors, and Chair . . . specific to the Core Review process government was undertaking during that period, and general business communication advice."
What advice was needed after B.C. Rail was sold to CN Rail in November 2003?
4 Why did B.C. Rail need Kinsella's help when it had highly paid executives and a government-appointed board of directors?
5 In court, lawyer Kevin McCullough said a 2004 e-mail to then B.C. Rail Vice-President Kevin Mahoney from another executive asked: "Why are we paying this guy?" and the answer was that Kinsella was a "backroom Liberal."
Why did a B.C. Rail executive not know about Kinsella's role providing "advice" to B.C. Rail for about three years?
6 What was Kinsella's hourly rate, and those of any associates working for B.C. Rail?
7 Did B.C. Rail put Kinsella's work out for a public tender and if not, why not?
8 Did Kinsella or his firms at any time conduct work for any of the other railway companies who bid for or supported bids for B.C. Rail - in other words, for CN Rail, CP Rail, OmniTRAX or Burlington Northern Santa Fe?
9 Did Kinsella or his firms act on behalf of B.C. Rail in dealing with any of those rail companies?
10 Why do Premier Gordon Campbell, Attorney General Wally Oppal and Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon state they can't say anything about Kinsella's B.C. Rail role because it is "before the courts" when B.C. Rail and Kinsella released statements and Kinsella is not under any investigation related to the David Basi and Bob Virk trial, the two government aides facing corruption charges.
Oops - out of space - and 10 questions left!