Tuesday, October 16, 2007

 

Lobbying activities of Graham Bruce are the subject of hot debate in B.C. Legislature on first two days of Fall Session 2007

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Gary E. alerted us to the troubling performance of the B.C. Attorney General when asked yesterday about Graham Bruce during the opening day of the Fall Session. Bruce is no rookie; he was a former Cabinet Minister and House Leader in the Gordon Campbell government. Here's the Hansard Official Report of Debates of the Legislative Assembly for Monday, October 15, 2007 afternoon sitting. To see the Graham Bruce topic, click on the link provided, then scroll down ... way, way down ... to [1450].
- BC Mary.


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LOBBYING ACTIVITIES OF GRAHAM BRUCE
[Draft transcript only.]



L. Krog:

Ken Dobell, Jamie Elmhirst and now Graham Bruce: yet another Liberal insider breaking the law, lobbying this government without registering. Since losing his seat, Mr. Bruce has been working as a lobbyist. When he was asked about it, he said it never crossed his mind to register as one. Rather shocking.

My question to the Attorney General is simply this: can you please tell this House how you expect British Columbians to have any faith in the Lobbyists Registration Act if someone who sat at the cabinet table doesn't take the act seriously?

Hon. W. Oppal: That member is a member of the bar. I assume that if he has any knowledge of someone breaking the law, he would take that to the appropriate authorities.

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Just wait, Member.
The member has a supplemental.

L. Krog: I'm delighted by the brevity of the Attorney General in his response. Perhaps the Minister of Health could take lessons.

The Members' Conflict of Interest Act forbids former cabinet ministers from lobbying the government within two years of leaving office. H.A.D. Oliver, a former Supreme Court judge, a distinguished British Columbian and a man noted for temperate comments, said in respect of Mr. Bruce's affairs: "For obvious reasons, we don't want ex-ministers to be in a position to exercise improper and undue influence. That's straight corruption there, and that's what we try to avoid."

The simple question to the Attorney General is this: why do Liberal insiders keep getting away with breaking the Lobbyists Registration Act and the Members' Conflict of Interest Act?

Hon. W. Oppal: You know, I'm amazed at the reckless statements made by this person without…. He read it in the media; it must be true.

If there's any evidence that….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

Hon. W. Oppal: I wonder if that's the way he practised law. You know, if there's…

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

Hon. W. Oppal: …any evidence of anybody contravening a statute, if there's any evidence that someone has broken the law, the remedy is clear. The commissioner has the authority to deal with that. The commissioner will deal with it in due course. That's the law. We have a process. That's what happens when someone contravenes a law.

[End of question period.]


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Next day Tues. Oct 16 2007: Oral Questions continued
LOBBYING ACTIVITIES OF GRAHAM BRUCE

The Opposition is led by Carole James. They keep hitting hard, question after question. Jenny Kwan hasn't lost any of the edge she sharpened at Joy MacPhail's side. Doug Routley (after introducing Meaghan, her partner, and their child) had some things to say too. This is the Opposition behaving the way we've been wanting to see them behave. Read all about it in Hansard (the link is below).

First, I'm going to insert Meaghan's fact-filled comment here ... but do please go to the URL at the very bottom of this text, click on it and you'll be taken to today's Hansard debate; then scroll down, down, down to Oral Questions: LOBBYING ACTIVITIES OF GRAHAM BRUCE.

Don't miss it! The Opposition questions are sharp and relentless. The Campbell government bluffs, blusters, and threatens. Amazing. - BC Mary.


Meaghan's new comment on your post "Lobbying activities of Graham Bruce ..."

To be fair to media... the original documents we had on Bruce were damning ... they showed the misappropriation of the Treaty money - but they didn't spell out exactly what he was doing with the money.

The second set of documents just released last week, by Kev Thorne, (on matters totally unrelated to Graham Bruce) connected the Treaty Money issue WITH The smoking Gun of the undeniable lobbying issue and the Conflict of Interest legislation ...

Until the media had BOTH parts of the puzzle - they really couldn't report on this issue without collectively covering their asses.

As it is -- in Hansard today (available at Somena Media) -- the Liberals are already making noises trying to claim that the documents on Kev's sight aren't legit or that because they haven't seen them they don't exist and such nonsense ...

Noticeable however is that the Premier himself sat like a lump on a log. I watched from the peanut gallery... He didn't stand to address any of the questions thrown his way about what he was doing meeting with Bruce about Money for the NAIG and other "initiatives" before the "cooling off period" stipulated in the Conflict of Interest period.

In short - the Premier knows he is on VERY Shaky ground in this regard. So he sends out DeJong to be his attack dog, to pretend like the NDP are doing something wrong to try and protect the Cowichans from being bilked out of a misappropriation of $121,000+ that were Bruce's fees for his "Year of the Cowichan" *work.

More of my thoughts on this on my blog. http://somenamedia.blogspot.com/ - MW

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http://www.leg.bc.ca/hansard/38th3rd/H71016y.htm

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[Wed., 17 Oct. Having computer trouble. Can't seem to post excerpts from today's Vaughn Palmer column in Vancouver Sun. He describes the 3-page Press Release from Graham Bruce which was distributed within the Legislature. Sounds as if Vaughn is beginning to smell something, too. Today's edition. - BC Mary]

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Comments:
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Gary E.,

Thanks again for your vigilance.

I really couldn't quite believe what I saw in the Hansard record.

Krog connected a couple of dots: Dobell, Elmhirst, and now Graham Bruce.

But Oppal's ugly comments after that ... holy cats, you'd think it was some lout on a streetcorner, not the holder of high judicial office speaking.

I'm going to keep watching Hansard. It's clear to me that the Media isn't picking up on ALL that Stonewally is saying.

Or all that the Opposition is saying, either. Did H.A.D. Oliver really say the radioactive word "corruption"?? Krog says he did. Oppal didn't correct him. Hmmmm.

Thanks again, Gary E.

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The sad part of this Mary, is that it has been going on for months – Whoops! Pardon me – years; and lobbyist Bruce now claims he 'didn't know'. These matters have been known to readers of this blog for ages – and this information was available in other venues even longer than that. I wonder if he has been cashing his cheques every month or if he’s arranged for direct deposit. A quick look at his bank account to determine when those monthly payments began would be ‘very’ interesting. Perhaps critic Krog should be making an FOI request for those accounts too.

For Mr. Bruce and Attorney Oppal to now feign ignorance is pathetic...that the media is only now (as of last week) covering this issue is laughable and that Opposition members are getting their clues about this from the Vancouver Sun is beyond belief.

What planet are we living on? One thing I think can be essayed without much fear of contradiction – communication between the Band Offices and certain elements of the government will be extensive. Do you suppose the Attorney will have to rely upon someone seconded from the Ministry of Finance to keep him apprised of this little scandal too?
 
To be fair to media... the original documents we had on Bruce were damning.. they showed the missappropriation of the treaty money - but they didn't spell out exactly what he was doing with the money.

The second set of documents just released last week, by Kev Thorne, (on matters totally unrelated to Graham Bruce) connected the Treaty Money issue WITH The smoking Gun of the undeniable lobbying issue and the Conflict of Interest legislation...

Until the media had BOTH parts of the puzzle - they really couldn't report on this issue without collectively covering their asses.

As it is - in Hansard today (available at Somena Media) The Liberals are already making noises trying to claim that the documents on Kev's sight aren't legit or that because they haven't seen them they don't exist and such nonsense....

Noticeble however is that the Premier himself sat like a lump on a log. I watched from the peanut gallery... He didn't stand to address any of the questions thrown his way about what he was doing meeting with Bruce about Money for the NAIG and other "initiatives" before the "cooling off period" stipulated in the Conflict of Interest period.

In short - the Premier knows he is on VERY Shaky ground in this regard. So he sends out DeJong to be his attack dog, to pretend like the NDP are doing something wrong to try and protect the Cowichans from being bilked out of a missappropriation of $121,000+ that were Bruce's fees for his "Year of the Cowichan" *work.

More of my thoughts on this on my blog.

MW
 
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Thanks immensely, M.W.

I hope it's OK by you, if I just pick up your comment (above) and add it to the Hansard report of yesterday's debate.

M.W.'s blog is at http://somenamedia.blogspot.com/

Thanks for all your good work, and best wishes.

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Strange. The Law Society's "Lawyer Lookup" doesn't mention Bruce. Len Krog is listed. Allan Seckel, Deputy AG, is there.

http://alt.lawsociety.bc.ca/lkup/mbrsearch.cfm

I remember when the LSBC caused a Bench arrest and 3o day incarceration of a "vexatious litigator."
http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2007/2007bcsc442/2007bcsc442.html

You won't find it on Westlaw or any legal database, but the jailed man had earlier sued Supreme Court justices, Garson and Williams (Picton jurist), only to have Chief Justice Brenner personally quash the suit in 2006. Why was the man jailed on the spot? Normally, civil incarcerations follow the allowed Review or Appeal limits. Someone wanted the man jailed put in custody in a public court. Then again, Brenner assigned his Deputy, Pat Dohm, to go easy on Walls-Millard after their criminal convictions. And Brenner has just kicked his government friendly "fact-finder," Dave Tysoe, up to the Appeals Court. Consistency.
 
Anonymous glass guy said:

Socioeconomic Legacy Project? That is classic Mr. Bruce. Who's socioeconomic legacy project? The Cowichan bands or yours?

Creative Bruce has some interesting Public Relationship handlers.Government staffers distributed Mr.Bruce's 3 page statement?(Vaughn Palmer's Wednesday Oct.17 2007 article)Very funny Vaughn.I believe this is a conflict of interest,way beyond percieved conflict. This has to be a first-Conflict of Interest allegations covered up by ---- a Conflict of Interest.WOW!!! Where does one sign up for being a press secretary for this government. Oh I forgot that excludes anyone with integrity.

I just finished reading a Times Colonist article by Kines and Rud Apr.19 2007 regarding Paul Taylor and Ken Dobell's conflicts. Mary Carlson(Executive Director of the Lobbyist Registry)said she would forward her file regarding Dobell's late lobbyist registry to Attorney General Wally Oppal. Oppal said it was not his responsibility saying Mary Carlson should call the police if she believed an investigation is warranted. Who is running this show? Mr. Oppal is a past judge.Please, someone remind him of that and maybe he could try to act at least a little professional. Mr. Oppal acts like a fool on a continuous basis. Please somebody talk to this man.

The liberals should have a full investigation into Creative Bruce. KPMG has a great track record with these kind of conflicts,just make sure we get a "Detailed Report".

P.S. I will send KPMG a telephone book. They might need a hand finding some crucial witness's contact numbers.
 
Get to watch question period this evening. What a mess. Now the band is telling the government how the opposition is messing things up. De Jong read out a very long statement from the band council. Miuke likes to chuck manure at everyone else but now and again some sticks to him.
Conflict of interest wasn't part of their story. I can see this thing going on for some time. dl
 
For anyone here following Question Period this week I have discovered an interesting developement about the Cowichan Band Council. It seems they do not speak for the whole band. Mraghan has done an interview with her grandfathe Ken Williams. Its pretty interesting. View it at http://somenamedia.blogspot.com
 
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