One of the crime scenes

Friday, October 03, 2008


No Leash Law for
Lobbyists


Or: Lobbying Ain't Lobbying
...........................When Liberals Do It!


Back in the beginning of Capo Campbell's ongoing crime spree against the citizens of British Columbia, before the Campbell mob learned to avoid holding sessions (and risk having to answer embarrassing or incriminating questions) in the Rock Palace in James Bay, the BC Liar's party promptly enacted Bill 20 - the Lobbyists Registration Act. After all, they had campaigned promising to provide British Columbians with open, transparent and accountable governance. Now, over seven years later, it has become obvious that this act does nothing in this regard, or more accurately almost nothing at all.



When Ken Dobell, in spite of his protestations of innocence, was found to be in violation of the act for his multi-hat wearing, job juggling performance as a tax payer funded adviser to the Premier while simultaneously being paid by the Sam 'I AM' Sullivan led city of Vancouver to lobby that same Premier and cabinet - some folks felt that having to return Vancouver's money AND write an essay felt short of being even a 'slap on the wrist.'


This week we have Patrick Kinsella, whose lawyers have written* to the Registrar of Lobbyists to inform him that their client will not co-operate with any investigation arising from his office into allegations that he has violated the act. It would appear that the only job of the registrar is to provide a pen and open the registry for the trough feeding lobbyist who actually considers what he/she does lobbying (B.C. Liberal's work for payday loan firm wasn't lobbying, company says - Globe & Mail) and not say - consulting. According to Liberal organizer won't co-operate with probe in today's Times-Colonist:

...Kinsella was refusing to consent to any resulting investigation because he believes the registrar "has no legislative or other power to ... conduct any investigation. - bolding - kc

Ken Dobell did co-operate with the registrar's investigation and look what it got for him; I mean those meanies made him write an essay, for gawd's sake


So we are left with two questions to ponder. First, is the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists mostly a ceremonial title with an undoubtably handsome compensation plan? And second, will Leonard Krog, NDP Justice Critic (a position Sisyphus would have found more frustrating than his rock moving task) now ask the RCMP to investigate these allegations. According to the same Globe & Mail article:

The NDP says it will go to the RCMP with complaints about alleged lobbying activities by Mr. Kinsella after his lawyers refused to co-operate with the province's lobbying watchdog.


...../snip
Mr. Krog, who has called for the law to be strengthened, says he has no choice but to provide the RCMP with the same information he forwarded to the lobby watchdog and let them decide whether to investigate.



Of course as we have seen in the aftermath of the Legislature Raids, the RCMP seem to have a desk drawer full of waivers for any potential criminal activity that appears to involve members of the Campbell Mob.


This isn't a New Issue


Whatever it is that Mr. Kinsella actually does (lobbying, consulting, public service), it is clear that he knows how government works. The CBC reported in August of 2002 that the B.C. Libs deny they're selling access to government.

The British Columbia Liberal party is making no apologies for a fundraising letter suggesting $10,000 will get the "undivided attention" of key cabinet ministers.

The letter went out to major public relations firms in Vancouver inviting them to a luncheon. But when news of the letter's contents got out, the luncheon was cancelled.

It was supposed to take place at a restaurant in one of the city's exclusive waterfront hotels.

B.C. Liberal party fundraiser Patrick Kinsella and about a dozen principals from Vancouver's biggest PR firms were scheduled to attend.

But the lunch was called off after CBC News obtained a copy of the letter that accompanied the invitation.

The letter, from Kinsella, tells PR firms the communications sector hasn't paid its share. It suggests a $10,000 cheque would demonstrate the firms' support for the government

It also suggests the $10,000 could buy an intimate lunch or dinner with a key cabinet minister for important clients.

B.C. Liberal party executive director Kelly Reichert denies accusations the party is selling access to the government. "We've been very clear to all the people that seek donations, and all the people that give donations, that all they should expect to get from that is that they're going to get better government."


Does this mean since I can't afford to give $10,000 of tribute to the Campbell Mob, I can only expect mediocre government, when it comes to my concerns? I have to admit that that's how it sounds to this cowboy.

This all happened back when Joy MacPhail led the two woman unofficial opposition, which many, including myself, still feel was more effective than today's much more numerous Carole James led Official Opposition. In her inimitable style Joy had this to say about the canceled luncheon and the Liberal excuses/explanations.

It's sort of like when someone says, 'You know it's not about the money,' you know it's about the money. And when someone goes and says, 'It's not about access,' you know darn well it's about access.


* Click below:
for Correspondence between Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP and the Registrar of Lobbyists



Correspondence published by Sean Holman at Public Policy Online.


Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
Patent & Trade-mark Agents
595 Burrard Street, P.O. Box 49314
Suite 2600, Three Bentall Centre
Vancouver BC V7X 1L3 Canada
Tel: 604-631-3300 Fax: 604-631-3309

September 3, 2008

VIA E-MAIL, COURIER
and REGULAR MAIL

Lobbyists Registrar for British Columbia
PO Box 9038
Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9A4

Attention: Registrar Loukidelis

Re: Complaint under the Lobbyists Registration Act - OIPC File No. L08-35188

We are counsel to Mr. Kinsella, the principal of Progressive Holdings Ltd.

We understand that Leonard Krog, MLA, wrote to Registrar Loukidelis on June 5, 2008, asking him to investigate certain alleged lobbying activities respecting which Mr. Kinsella has not registered as a lobbyist. Mr. Kinsella has been advised that Ms. Carlson, Executive Director of the Lobbyists Registrar, is in the process of completing a preliminary analysis of the materials submitted by Mr. Krog, and will be informed by Ms. Carlson whether or not an investigation will be undertaken by the Registrar of Lobbyists.

We have reviewed the Lobbyists Registration Act, S.B.C. 2001, c. 42 ("Act"), and have determined that the Registrar of Lobbyists has no legislative or other power to accept complaints, or to conduct any investigation or reporting on the activities of individuals alleged to have contravened the Act. Accordingly, we are of the view that any investigations by the Registrar concerning the alleged lobbying activities of our client have no legal basis.

If the Registrar is of a contrary review, we would appreciate if you would provide us with a detailed explanation of the legal basis upon which this investigation is being conducted.

We are not foreclosing the possibility of cooperating with the Registrar in an investigation of our client's alleged lobbying activities. However, it is our position that any results of an investigation undertaken by the Registrar of Lobbyists, in the absence of legal authority for such an investigation, will be moot.

Yours truly,

Paul R. Cassidy

***

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
Patent & Trade-mark Agents
595 Burrard Street, P.O. Box 49314
Suite 2600, Three Bentall Centre
Vancouver BC V7X 1L3 Canada
Tel: 604-631-3300 Fax: 604-631-3309

September 3, 2008

VIA E-MAIL, COURIER
and REGULAR MAIL

Lobbyists Registrar for British Columbia
PO Box 9038
Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9A4

Attention: Registrar Loukidelis

Dear Registrar Loukidelis

Re: Complaint under the Lobbyists Registration Act - OIPC File No. L08-35188

As we advised in our correspondence of September 3, 2008, we are counsel to Mr. Patrick Kinsella, the principal of Progressive Holdings Ltd.

Last night, we had the opportunity to attend the Canadian Bar Association British Columbia Branch meeting of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section. In your keynote address, you said the following with respect to the authority of the Registrar of Lobbyists to conduct investigations regarding complaints you receive of alleged violations of the Lobbyists Registration Act, S.B.C. 2001, c. 42 ("Act"):

We [the Office of the Registrar] have undertaken a number of investigations depsite...with the consent of those whom we are investigating.

We agree with your statement as to the Registrar's lack of authority conduct any investigation or reporting on the activities of individuals alleged to have contravened the Act.

We hereby advise that Mr. Kinsella does not consent to any investigation or reporting by the Registrar of Lobbyists in respect of any such complaint(s) that may involve him.

Yours truly,

Paul R. Cassidy

***

BY FAX (604) 631-3309

October 2, 2008

Paul R. Cassidy
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Suite 2600
595 Burrard Street
Vancouver BC V7X 1L3

Dear Paul Cassidy

Complaint under the Lobbyists Registration Act - OIPC File Nos. L08-35188 & L08-35189 - your reference 97426/1

I have your September 26, 2008 letter and also have no seen your September 3, 2008 letter on the same issue. I am now directly involved and will respond as soon as practicable after reviewing this matter.

Copies of your September 3 and 26 letters are being sent to Leonard Krog with his copy of this letter.

Yours sincerely

David Loukidelis
Information & Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia
& Registrar of Lobbyists

copy: Leonard Krog MLA

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Of course as we have seen in the aftermath of the Legislature Raids, the RCMP seem to have a desk drawer full of waivers for any potential criminal activity that appears to involve members of the Campbell Mob." Sure seems so, Koot.

The Sol. Gen. Office is really the RCMP's 'boss' here in BC, right?

Good luck to the NDP allegations with anything happening re: this Mr. Fixit LOL!!

Among Kinsella's stall of 'consulting' (choke,gag) duties, it now comes to light that Mr. Kinsella apparently had cozy ties with the Solicitor General's Office.

Re: 'The Trial to Nowhere' isn't it interesting that during the pre-trial hearings we learned that the Sol. Gen.'s Office placed a call to then RCMP Asst. Dep. Comm. Gary Bass (now Dep. Comm) to strongly suggest that they NOT pursue the politicians in the Raid on the Leg/BC Rail scandal, when in fact, the lead investigators were hot to trot???

We've seen Kinsella's paws into Vanoc & the Olympics wheelings& dealings with cozy ties to pal Poole and David Emerson.

What else don't we know about his smorgasbord of dealings????

It's all so easy when the game is kept within 'the family' . .

Friday, October 3, 2008 at 4:53:00 PM PDT  
Blogger North Van's Grumps said...

On the Attorney General's website one would have thought that in an "Open and Transparent" self proclaimed government that claims that this is the Best place on Earth, it would strive to match any oppostition to their not having called a Fall Session.

The Lobbyist Commissioner has written a letter to confirm that he will not have anything to do with Patrick Kinsella or Mark Jiles or their lawyers, other than releasing to the public the reasons for not eg. a toothless Lobbyist Act written by the BC Liberals that has long been known for it favouring insiders from the BC Liberal Party over the public's right to know..... in an Open and Transparent government.

Consultations on Legislation and Policy welcomes us to the Legislation and Policy page of the Ministry of Attorney General website, and there's not one peep on the antiquated Lobbyist Act.

What is high on the Radar for the AG is STV, and only STV, but with a rider, the deadline for coments ended on Wednesday, September 10, 2008.

A link to other Legislation and Policy Consultation ... that are Archived includes:

Proposed to Amend the Notaries Act Now ended, no date given)

Proposed Wills, Estates, and Successions Act (Now ended, no date given)

Retirement Age for Provincially Appointed Judicial Officers (Now ended, no date given)

Family Relations Act (Now Ended, no date given)

Family Compensation Act 2007

Limitation Act 2007

Trustee Act 2007

Wills, Estates, and Succession Law 2007

Advance Directive Legislation 2006

Representative for Children and Youth Act 2006

Civil Liability Regime for Secondary Market Disclosure..... Whooooops! 2006


It would seem that the AG has more than enough legislation that should have formed the basis for a hearty debate in a Fall Session (2008) espically the last one, in this declining stock market climate that hasn't been seen since 2003 or 1974.

Come on Wally, stop standing on the BC Liberal platform of failed promises of being Open and Transparent and get on with being an Attorney General of British Columbia that is answerable to the public....... or at the very lease have your Deputy change your website

Sunday, October 12, 2008 at 8:54:00 AM PDT  

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