Thursday, March 12, 2009

 

BC Rail pays Liberal Insider

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B.C. Rail paid Liberal insider

A-G Wally Oppal cites court case in refusing to discuss payment

Patrick Kinsella, a friend of Premier Gordon Campbell and one of the most powerful stringpullers in the B.C. Liberal party, has made a killing on government contracts since guiding his pals to power in 2001.

{Snip} ...

"He [Kinsella] wrote the platform for the governing party that said it wouldn't privatize B.C. Rail and then he got the best of both worlds," said NDP MLA Rob Fleming.

"In 2002, he started getting on the payroll and made 300 grand — presumably to advise on exactly how to privatize B.C. Rail!"

{Snip} ...

Read Michael Smyth's full story here.

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QUERY RAISED ABOUT WHAT KINSELLA DID FOR BC RAIL
The Globe and Mail - 12 March 2009

Full story is here.


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KINSELLA LOBBYING MATTER RAISED BY JUDGE (and Defence) IN BASI-VIRK CASE
Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - March 12, 2009

Read the story HERE.

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STONEWALLY TO THE FORE AS NDP POUNDS KINSELLA CONNECTION
Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun - March 12, 2009

Read the column HERE.

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'BACKROOM LIBERAL' KINSELLA PULLED INTO BC RAIL CASE
Andrew MacLeod
The Tyee - March 12, 2009

Read the story HERE.

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Comments:
MARY JUSTICE BENNETT RAISED CONCERNS WITH THE KINSELLA PAYMENTS AND ASKED THE LAWYERS TO COMMENT ON THIS SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT.

Kinsella lobbying matter raised by judge in Basi-Virk case


By Neal Hall, Vancouver SunMarch 12, 2009 2:02 PMBe the first to post a comment

VANCOUVER – The trial judge in Basi-Virk case raised the matter of BC Rail/Patrick Kinsella lobbyist matter Thursday in court, saying she had read about it in the newspaper.

"I don't know if you want to address any issue related to the Kinsella documents or not," B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett said. "I gather there are more documents."

Defence lawyer Kevin McCullough responded by saying all he knows about the matter is what was raised in Thursday's Vaughn Palmer column in The Vancouver Sun.

The lawyer told the judge that he understood that the New Democratic Party had obtained documents from the legislative library listing lobbyist payments of almost $300,000 from BC Rail to Patrick Kinsella, a well-known Liberal strategist.

"What we don't know is why would BC Rail have a lobbyist and pay him $297,000," McCullough told the judge, adding that the defence is seeking third-party records to partly answer that question.

He reminded the judge there is an email from 2004 to Mr. Kevin Mahoney, then vice-president of BC Rail, from another executive, asking: "Why are we paying this guy?" and the response is that Kinsella is a "backroom Liberal."

The lawyer said at the time of the email exchange between the BC Rail executives there was an audit being done at BC Rail and questions were being asked about the payments made to Kinsella and his company.

The Kinsella matter arose during two days of question period at the legislature in Victoria this week, when the NDP repeatedly asked why BC Rail paid Kinsella $297,000 over three years from 2002 through 2004.

The Liberals sold off the government-owned railway's freight operations to Canadian National Railway for $1 billion in 2003.

During the period in question, Kinsella chaired two successful B.C. Liberal election campaigns.

Attorney-General Wally Oppal declined to answer questions about the matter, saying it was before the courts in the Basi-Virk case, which is in pre-trial proceedings.

Earlier Thursday, Bennett ruled that the defence must refine its application for third-party records because it was too broad.

The defence lawyers seek emails and cell phone records of MLAs to see if they had contact with Pilothouse, a lobbying firm that represented OmniTrax, a U.S. bidder for BC Rail.

The judge found the defence application "needs to be more precise and manageable." Individual MLAs have to be named in the application with supporting affidavit material, she added.

The defence had sought to have the office of the speaker of the legislature collect the information sought from MLAs.

The defence also is seeking documents from the office of the government's conflict commissioner, where MLAs have to file conflict of interest disclosure forms.

Frank Falzon, the lawyer representing the conflict commissioner, told the judge Thursday that his position is that the material sought by the defence is confidential.

"It's fundamental to my position that parliamentary privilege is absolute," he told the court.

The case involves two former government aides, Dave Basi and Bob Virk, who are accused of accepting a benefit, fraud and breach of trust related to the controversial sale of BC Rail in 2003.

nhall@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
 
Anon-Above and All The Other Mice....

In Mary's absence, I've rush posted my take on the matter of the Mdme Justice's comments over at my place which can be found here.

RossK

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Wally was doing his thing in question period again today, Thursday. his efforts are getting boring
 
Sure hope Sean Holman got some more post-sitting Hallway footage...

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I spent close to three hours tonight looking for the audit trail that would link BC Rail to Kinsella's Progressive Group via the Legislative Library...... There were plenty of financial reports from BC Rail, but nothing that named names until I went and read Sean Holman's Public Eye On-Line.

The keyword is not "Kinsella" when searching the Legislative Library, nor is "BC Rail", but using a phrase from Mr. Holman nailed it down so that even a Premier Librarian couldn't duck the question.... of just how much, and who....

The search phrase is "BC Rail Financial Statements" which then gives you....as if we were speaking another lanuage Financial statements / British Columbia Railway Company."

A click on the first available URL: and its away to the races.

This page is titled:

"BC Government Publications Index for: British Columba Railway Financial Statements".


I clicked on "2004" and came up with my Find Command two hits on the word "Progressive". One for "Progressive Holdings Ltd." (page 27) for$46,288.20 and the second was paid to "The Progressive Group" (page 28) in the amount of $33,063.00.


NOTE: The Find command worked on this one because its not a digitized photo but the 2005 statement required to read the pictures....


2005:

Page 20 of 20 "The Progressive Group" - $66.126.00


Have Fun!
 
Thanks (again!) NVG--

I think that Mary should bestow upon you the title of honourary LedgeRaids' Archivist.

RossK
 
Thanks for that NV Grumps. Wow...what a great caboose full of info. I found it interesting that in the legislature debates with Joy that Gordon Campbell said the property transfer taxes on the sale of BC Rail were 10-12 million dollars. That rightfully infuriated Joy as she states then that CN, not BC Rail, should have been made to pay the property transfer taxes according to law: The Property Taxes Tranfer Act to be exact. But this final statement doubles that amount to $20,799,806.31. Why the big discrepancy? And wasn't it illegal to make BC Rail pay these property transfer taxes? Shouldn't they have been paid, according to law, by CN? Where is the fairness in that, O ye fairness advisor, CRA?

And did you see the BIG money that went to the law firm that seems to crop up over and over again in this case - Borden, Ladner , Gervais?:

$6,798,292.50
 
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