Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Patrick Kinsella's $300,000. to smooth the way for the sell-off of BC Rail
Debates of the B.C. Legislative Assembly
5th Session, 38th Parliament
Hansard blues draft transcript
Tuesday March 10, 2009 - PM
See March 11 News Release from Official Opposition (below)
ROLE OF PATRICK KINSELLA IN B.C. RAIL SALE
L. Krog [Opposition critic for the Attorney-General]: Can the Premier confirm that his friend Patrick Kinsella, the chair of the 2001 and 2005 B.C. Liberal campaigns, received an untendered contract from B.C. Rail in 2002 to smooth the way for the sell-off of B.C. Rail?
Hon. W. Oppal:[Attorney-General]: The member well knows that the issue relating to B.C. Rail is before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and we will not comment on the matter.
L. Krog: Perhaps the Attorney General and the Premier didn't hear what I had to say. The documents aren't before the courts. They're, in fact, available up there in the Legislative Library. If the Attorney General or the Premier has some knowledge about them and something that indicates that this matter is before the courts, perhaps they'd care to tell the House here today.
B.C. Rail's audited financial statements show $297,000 in payments to Mr. Kinsella over the period of the B.C. Rail privatization scheme. Patrick Kinsella's specialty is working the back rooms. My question is to the Premier. Who was Patrick Kinsella lobbying on behalf of the government during the sale of B.C. Rail? It wasn't the federal government. It wasn't the municipal government. Will the Premier tell us: who was Mr. Kinsella paid to talk to, and what did he tell them?
Hon. W. Oppal: You know, I don't know if this member realizes it or not, but there are people who are on trial before the Supreme Court of British Columbia right now.
Hon. W. Oppal: Irresponsible comments of that sort jeopardize a fair trial, and that member well realizes that by commenting in this arena about the trial that's before the Supreme Court jeopardizes the right to a fair trial.
R. Fleming: Very simply, we're asking questions about items that aren't in evidence. They're in the parliamentary library just down the hall from here. We're asking questions about a secret, untendered contract worth $300,000, awarded to the Premier's friend Mr. Patrick Kinsella to help sell B.C. Rail. A secret untendered contract to the author of the Premier's 2001 election platform that, you'll recall, promised not to sell B.C. Rail.
Don't the people of British Columbia deserve to know the truth about this payment — a payment that broke the rules and has been kept secret for six years? My question is to the Premier. Who did Mr. Kinsella lobby in this regard? What did he tell them? Tell us what Mr. Kinsella's role was in the B.C. Rail sell-off.
Hon. W. Oppal: The fact that the documents are now available in the public library, in the library here in the Legislature, is irrelevant. The fact is they were before the courts. They were secured as a result of being in the courts. You know, I'm quite prepared…
Hon. W. Oppal: …to give the members opposite lectures on the doctrine of separation of powers, but in the meantime, I'm not going to comment on anything that's before the Supreme Court or has been before the Supreme Court or has been connected to the trial that's before the Supreme Court.
R. Fleming: These filings — the evidence of this contract that is in the parliamentary library — is because the Financial Administration Act was violated. This is information that should have been available to the public for six years, since those contracts were awarded, and they never were, by B.C. Rail online or in any other source.
Here's what we know now. The government broke the rules to give the campaign chair of this party — the governing party — and their chief fundraiser a $300,000 contract to help smooth the B.C. Rail privatization.
Just what did this key Liberal official know? He's known for his lobbying and not calling it lobbying. What did he do for his money? That's the question today to the Premier. Will he tell British Columbians the truth? Will he tell why his government paid Mr. Patrick Kinsella $300,000 to help sell off B.C. Rail?
Hon. W. Oppal: The fact that the documents are now available is not relevant. The fact is they have been in evidence.
Hon. W. Oppal: The documents relating to B.C. Rail have been the subject of a decision by Madam Justice Bennett of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
J. Horgan: Well, let me help the Attorney out. I know he's always keen to solicit my advice. The financial statements for B.C. Rail, a Crown entity, tell us, the legislators of this place, that the chief bagman for the Premier and his political party received an untendered contract for $300,000. What did he do for the $300,000? That, surely, is not before the courts.
Hon. W. Oppal: The fact is all of this matter is related to what's before the Supreme Court. The subject of the B.C. Rail….
Hon. W. Oppal: The B.C. Rail litigation is before the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The fact is all of this matter is related to what's before the Supreme Court. The subject of the B.C. Rail litigation is before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and I'm not going to comment on it.
J. Horgan: Well, we do know something about Mr. Kinsella's expertise. In his own resume to the state of Washington, he suggests that he has experience with a company called Accenture by providing inroads to the government to privatize half or one-third of B.C. Hydro. He has experience with Alcan, another company familiar to the Premier and his colleagues, who received a pretty sweet deal for electricity purchase and power sales during the tenure of this government. So that's Mr. Kinsella's expertise.
Why would B.C. Rail, who are identified in the platform of the current government as not for sale…. Why would B.C. Rail pay this guy 300 grand? What is the deal with that? Why is that not appropriate questioning in the Legislature of British Columbia?
Hon. W. Oppal: I'll repeat my answer. The issues relating to B.C. Rail are very much before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and we're not going to comment on that.
M. Farnworth: The Attorney General stands here in this House and says he's prepared to lecture, you know, on before the courts. Well, one thing he's still going to get, no matter how many lectures he does, is a failing grade on openness and accountability on this issue.
These documents were not before the courts. They're in the Legislative Library, they've always been in the Legislative Library, and they have not been before the courts. My question to the Premier is: what was Mr. Kinsella doing for $300,000? Stand and answer that question. Why was he paid $300,000?
Hon. W. Oppal: The issue of accountability and alleged wrongdoings relating to all documents, whether they are before the court now, whether they have been released for the court, are all linked to B.C. Rail. All of those matters are before the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
MEDIA RELEASE by BC Official Opposition
For Immediate Release
Mar. 11, 2009
CAMPBELL GOVERNMENT SUGGESTS LIBERAL INSIDER CONNECTED TO B.C. RAIL CORRUPTION TRIAL
VICTORIA – Attorney General Wally Oppal added a new twist to the B.C. Rail corruption scandal when he refused to answer questions about a contract awarded to B.C. Liberal insider Patrick Kinsella, arguing that the issue is part of the ongoing trial at the B.C. Supreme Court.
B.C. Rail financial statements show the crown corporation paid Kinsella almost $300,000 between 2002 and 2005. When New Democrat MLAs raised questions about the contract in Question Period on Tuesday, Oppal refused to respond, saying “The fact is all of this matter is related to what's before the Supreme Court.”
New Democrat Attorney General critic Leonard Krog asked Gordon Campbell to explain what duties Kinsella performed for the contract, but the premier refused to answer the question and Oppal continued to claim the matter was before the courts.
“These financial statements are a matter of public record. Is the Campbell government saying the contract with Mr. Kinsella is part of the ongoing court case? If so, it would be the first time the Campbell Liberals suggested their top campaign organizer is part of the B.C. Rail corruption trial,” said Krog.
Kinsella co-chaired the 2001 and 2005 B.C. Liberal election campaigns ...
Video link from Sean Holman's site, Public Eye Online, HERE. :
So . . . perhaps we now know why the head honchos running the RCMP investigations who chat with the politicized Solicitor General's Ministry on WHO and WHAT EVIDENCE they choose to investigate (remember the little chat by the ADMin in the Sol Gen office nudging RCMP ADep Comm not to pursue the politicians re: the Raid on the Leg etc.). . . .
. . . did NOT choose to investigate the lobbyist registry charges levelled against non-registered Lobbysist,Campaign Chair, and big time Campbell Bagman/pal Kinsella. Gee it just might have opened the can of worms on the BC Raid file the RCMP were holding, right?
Oh what a tangled web we weave . . . Bring it ALL on - out of every shadowy nook and corner of these hidden closets! So much more to learn . . .
Thank you Mr. Krog for your diligence with the truth.
And no, I'm not talking English pounds.
Instead, I'm talking about a 300,000 pound pile driver.
Because now things are really getting heavy.
By the way, Paul Willcocks has some interesting stuff up relating to the infamous Binder #5.
After all, if Mr. Oppal and friends (ie. see: Falcon, Kevin) are going to keep insisting that everything they don't want to talk about can't be talked about because it involves RailGate, well then, it would appear that such a turn around really is fair play.
Maybe we would be better off without any of them.
Did you see Vaughn Palmer in the Sun today? ....on that issue I pointed out to you privately yesterday?
Sometimes people ask me how I'm so quick to post the news. Ha. It's often because I have so many wonderful commentors.
Because no (still not feeling super-well), I haven't got around to Vaughn Palmer today ... but now that you've told me about it, I'll totter right on over there.
I've just come back from visiting Koot's House of Infamy too, and I recommend it. Apparently CBC also paid attention to BCRail last evening, as well as Global.
Someone just brought me daffodils and I think, spring is almost sprung. That's what's making those funny rumbling noises in Victoria, ya think?
Here's the thing though.
Yesterday, what with Mary, Sean Holman and Paul Willcocks all firing away on all cylinders, I'm not so sure we even needed those very fine folks you mentioned.
And if those fine folks don't keep up, well, they just may soon find themselves 'irrelevanced'.....
We definitely have to sustain the pressure. Attention spans are kinda short!
Here in Lotusland (central?), the best example of someone who has made sure she didn't go the irrelevant route is Frances Bula.
Her independent freelancing and, especially, her blog, has really raised the level of serious discussion and widened the circle of folks truly paying attention to what is happening in Vancouver at a civic level.
Thus, I don't see why the efforts of folks like Mr. Holman and Willcocks et al. can't do the same thing.
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