Wednesday, March 11, 2009

 

Patrick Kinsella and the BC Rail sell-off

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HANSARD Blues - Wednesday, March 11, 2009 afternoon


ROLE OF PATRICK KINSELLA IN B.C. RAIL SALE

L. Krog [MLA for Nanaimo, Opposition critic for Attorney-General]: Yesterday, if the Premier wasn't already aware of it, he was made aware that his friend Patrick Kinsella and his companies — the former co-chair of two Liberal campaigns — received $297,000 of taxpayers' money from B.C. Rail. My question to the Premier is quite simple. What services did Mr. Kinsella and his companies provide for $297,000?


Hon. W. Oppal [BC Attorney-General]
: Obviously, this matter arises out of those issues that are now before the Supreme Court in the B.C. Rail dispute. In the circumstances, I'm not going to comment on it ...

L. Krog: I want to remind the member for Point Grey that he's not just an ordinary member of this assembly. He's the Premier of Her Majesty's government. He is the leader of the B.C. Liberal Party. And he promised…. [major uproar deleted - BC Mary]

L. Krog: And he promised that he would have the most open and transparent government in British Columbia ever.

My question is to the Premier. He has been asked. He's had a day to find out. It is his duty. Tell this House today: what did his friend Mr. Kinsella do for $297,000?

Hon. W. Oppal: If that member has any evidence of wrongdoing, he should take it to the….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. Members.

Hon. W. Oppal: He should take it to the appropriate authorities.

J. Horgan: My question is to the Premier, who ran in the 2001 election claiming to want to preside over the most open and transparent and honest government in North America. I'm wanting to know….

Interjections.

J. Horgan: Wow. Wow. Too much pixie dust. Too much pixie dust. I wanted….

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Just take your seat.

J. Horgan: I wanted….

Mr. Speaker: No, Member.

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members. Members. Member for Victoria-Hillside, withdraw that remark unequivocally, please.

R. Fleming: I will withdraw the remark, and my heckle should have said that the B.C. Liberals…

Mr. Speaker: Member.

R. Fleming: …betrayed their promise on B.C. Rail.

Mr. Speaker: Member. Continue, Member.

J. Horgan: My question is a simple one to the Premier of the most so-called open government in British Columbia's history. How can it be that a close personal friend and campaign manager can get $300,000 from the government of B.C. and we're not allowed to know what he did? Can the Premier please explain to me, my constituents, everyone in this place how it's possible that it's none of our damn business? ...

Hon. W. Oppal: Right now there's a trial proceeding in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and in the circumstances, it would be improper for anyone in this House to comment on any matter that arises either directly or indirectly from that trial.

J. Horgan: Audited financial statements from a Crown agency — formerly a Crown agency — B.C. Rail: proceeds to Progressive Holdings, the Progressive Group — $297,000.

This is not before the courts, to the best of my knowledge. Mr. Kinsella, to the best of our knowledge, is not before the courts. This document was tabled in this Legislature. Will the Premier tell us why his pal got $300,000? Did he write a memo? Did he send an e-mail? Did he say that everything was fine? Is the train running on time? What the heck did he do?

Hon. W. Oppal: My answer is the same. The question is the same.

M. Farnworth: Well, the Attorney General won't answer, in part because he wasn't here. He stated a few moments ago that people should ask the appropriate authorities. Well, guess what. The Premier was here. The Premier is the appropriate authority, and won't answer, in part because he wasn't here, and he stated a few moments ago that people should ask the appropriate authorities.

Well, guess what. The Premier was here. The Premier is the appropriate authority, and he knows the answer as to why Patrick Kinsella was given a $300,000 untendered contract. So our question is very simple. To the Premier: why was Mr. Patrick Kinsella given a $300,000 contract? What did he do for that $300,000, and why won't you tell this House and the public of British Columbia what he got that money for? ...

It's a very legitimate question to be asking the government, now that it's exposed, to provide details on what he was hired by B.C. Rail to do, because he 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. He came in, in 2002, started getting on the payroll and made 300 grand, presumably to advise on exactly how to privatize B.C. Rail.

So tell the taxpayers of British Columbia exactly what Mr. Kinsella was on the payroll to do and what he was paid for.

Hon. W. Oppal: There are people who are before the Supreme Court, charged with some serious offences, and when comments of that sort are made, we take every chance here of jeopardizing a right to a fair trial ...

S. Herbert: Well, on this matter, I heard the Minister of Transportation say: "Oh, well, that document is public." You're damn right it's public, and that's why we demand an answer. ...

Hon. W. Oppal: Let me give that member a bit of a lesson on separation of powers. ... Our system operates under principles of independence. The Legislature is separate and independent from the executive. The executive is independent from the judiciary. Each body does not intervene or comment upon the activities of another body. That's what the principle of independence means.

While that member obviously doesn't appreciate these long-hallowed principles, I want to remind him that any comments that we make here can have unfair repercussions on the fairness of the trial process. ... "It is essential to the rule of law that the integrity of the judicial process not be interfered with. High-profile prosecutions have failed in the past because politicians felt compelled to make comments in public that were later deemed prejudicial." That's the member for Nanaimo.

[End of question period.]

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Interjections have been mostly removed and readers who go to the Hansard record may agree that today's Question Period "was not an Answer Period" and that the government rules were fulfilled: "if you have nothing more to say, ATTACK." Ijits. Please note the strange remark by Wally Oppal: "
we take every chance here of jeopardizing a right to a fair trial." Did he really mean that? - BC Mary.

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Comments:
Marvelous work, BCMary!

I watched this exchange today. The Questions were focused based on the proof from the audited financial statements of BC Rail - now in the public domain. The squirms and grime faced Campbell benches were evident.

The Premier apparently suddenlty had to leave the floor of the Leg perhaps having to upchuck at this continued revelation of the truth/the players behind the BC Rail 'deal' that went down.

Oppal's answers were scary . . . Is this man really the Attorney General for BC in charge of crown duties to the people? Lord save us all.

Krog's wise legal moves have yielded substantial results. Perception is 9/10ths reality. The lay of the land re: this Raid on the Leg dirt leaves one queasy. What next?

The "Club's" private agendas inherent with their well tied strings of connections within the 'family membership' are now visible - better late than never.
 
Did Mr. Oppal really mean that?

Well, only if he really feels that it is BC Rail itself and/or its privatization that is on trial.


(as opposed to the three people who have been formerly charged).

Shameless really.

Meanwhile, Mr. Campbell insists that he has already answered those questions.

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In a scrum after leaving the chamber, a reporter asked him about the money. Gordo said. I've answered that. Of course he had not. Go check Shan Holman's site. He has it on video
 
Anon-Above.

True enough, but that was yesteray (Tuesday Mar 10th).

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Mary it seems as though that you are now under attack by the worker bees in PAB.

The questions about you attending the trial are irrelevant.
 
Your contribution through this site is quite remarkable and I think will be looked back on with considerable interest in the years ahead. "...showing yor face..." was an assinine comment.
 
Mary, when you return, you will be interested to see the Justine Hunter's story today re:

"CONSULTING CONTRACTS
Query raised about what Kinsella did for BC Rail

A-G has no comment about why consulting firms owned by Liberal campaign chair were paid nearly $300,000 by Crown corporation"


(http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090312.BCRAIL12/TPStory/National)
 
"we take every chance here of jeopardizing a right to a fair trial." Did he really mean that?"

Well, he and all of Gordie's crew must be hoping like hell the court case will drag on to where it can be successfully tossed out on a Charter challenge, right to speedy trial and all that.
Methinks Wally had a Freudian slip moment.
 
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