Rerun of April 11,2009: “The Kinsella Connection” – It’s no secret that Patrick Kinsella is one of Gordon Campbell’s closest friends…(or Christy Clarks)

*** technical issues nearly resolved- China is a formidable foe!

Or, at least their hackers are…however, in homage to the recent Rich Coleman /Patrick Kinsella / liquor distribution branch debacle – and yes it is a repeat of everything we saw under Campbell – I bring to you this columen, originally posted on April 11, 2009, thus proving the old adage, the more things change, the more they stay the same…

“The Kinsella Connection” – It’s no secret that Patrick Kinsella is one of Gordon Campbell’s closest friends…

Posted on April 11, 2009 by

having co-chaired the Liberals’ 2001 and 2005 campaigns.

A wonderful bit of work has come my way from a very keen source, that I would like to share with you.

It is a detailed look at Patrick Kinsella’s dealings.
Forgive the format- wordpress isn’t always the best in this area…

Patrick Kinsella’s consulting firm Progressive Group has made millions closing lucrative deals between government and private industry.

According to his own estimate, Kinsella’s clients have raked in more than $2 billion in government deals.

The NDP have long been calling for an independent investigation into Kinsella’s lobbyist activities and contracts with government.
The details below connects various dealings between Progressive Group’s clientele to lobbying work with the Campbell government and in some cases, donations to the B.C. Liberal Party.

The format for this information is listed sequentially in the following order:
Progressive Group Clientele
Lobbying timeline
Progressive Group Lobbying Work

Donations to the B.C. Liberals

A global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.
Lobbying timeline: Jan. 2003 – Jan. 2008 – Progressive hired to promote and educate the B.C. government on the benefits of outsourcing a # of B.C. Hydro government services.
Result: Accenture wins a $1.5-billion take over of B.C. Hydro office functions. Accenture donated $500.00 between 2005-2008

Alcan B.C. is part of the global operations of Alcan Inc. and produces primary aluminium for Pacific Rim customers.
Lobbying timeline :– The Progressive Group was contacted by Alcan “to promote and educate the provincial government on the value of allowing Alcan to increase the size of its smelter operation in Kitimat B.C.”
Result: Kinsella’s lobbying resulted in a plan that meant job losses for Kitimat and a deal for Alcan from the BC Liberals that was so generous the B.C. Utilities Commission had to intervene on behalf of consumers. No record of donations 

B.C. Motion Picture Production Industry Association
Lobbying timeline: March 2005 – 2007 – Progressive contracted by the B.C. Motion Picture Production Industry Association to convince the Provincial government to extend foreign tax credits.
Result: Despite the Campbell government’s stated opposition to business subsidies, extended the foreign tax credit – and the B.C. Motion Picture Production Industry Association receives $65 million in provincial tax breaks.
North Shore Studios’ Paul Clausen and Peter Leitch, donated $9,375 between 2005-2008

B.C. Rail
Lobbying timeline :
Aug. 2001 to Sept. 2005 – B.C. Rail paid Progressive Group $297,567 to provide strategic advice to the President, BOD and Chair.

Result:To be determined….
Patrick Kinsella and the Progressive Group donated a total of $126,085.50 between 2001 and 2005.

Engineering, construction, and project management.
Lobbying timeline: Spring 2006 – Record of meeting in 2006 between Special Advisor Ken Dobell and Patrick Kinsella. The meeting is notated as Canfor-Bechtel.
Result: Hired by Bechtel to assist with plans to win a government transportation contract, namely the Port Mann/Hwy 1 Project .No record of donations 

Brooksfield Lepage Johnson Controls
BLJC deals in workplace management services for real estate portfolios.
Lobbying timeline: Dec. 2003 – FOI documents reveal that Progressive arranged meetings between BLJC in its capacity as the government of B.C.’s facility manager and Washington businesses seeking facility management business.
Result: Awarded 5 year contract in 2003 as B.C. Buildings Corporation\’s (BCBC) outsource provider of property management services.
Brookfield Asset Management donated $51,400 between 2001-2008

Canadian National Railway
Unknown Documents relating to the BC Rail corruption trial suggest that Kinsella was working for CN as well as BC Rail during the brokering of the sale of BC Rail to CN.
CN donated $166,085 between 2001 and 2005. CN, and principal officer David McLean, are consistent BC Liberal Party donors, and have donated outside this time period as well. 

Canfor Forest Products
Forest Products Company based in Vancouver, B.C.
Lobbying timeline: Jan. 2004 – Jan. 2007 – Progressive contracted to assist Canfor with the Provincial government in regards to complex softwood lumber issues. Record of meeting in 2006 between Special Advisor Ken Dobell and Patrick Kinsella. The meeting is notated as Canfor-Bechtel.
Result: Progressive describe the outcome of their work as “The Canadian and United States governments settle long disputed softwood lumber deal.”
Canfor donated $363,927 between 2001 and 2008.

Chief Development Company
Lobbying timeline:
Sept. 2005 to March 2006 – Progressive contracted to convince the Township of Langley and B.C. govt to invest in a $30 million Private Public Partnership for the development of a new spectator ice arena.
Result: Secured $25 million dollars Nov. 2006 to build the spectator arena.
$5,170.00 donated between 2001 – 2008.

Clean Energy
A California-based public company that provides natural gas for transportation.
Lobbying timeline: 2005 Progressive contracted to promote Clean Energy as a provider of natural gas for transportation.
Result: In July 2007 Clean Energy won a contract to upgrade certain TransLink fueling stations and fuel demonstration vehicles. No record of donations.

John Les’ calendar reveals that on Feb 9, 2006 Kinsella and Tom Nellis of Playtime met with the then Solicitor General along with other community gaming industry players.
The BC Liberals’ massive expansion of gambling is in part due to its policy decision to allow small town bingo halls to be transformed into mini-casinos with slots or “community gaming centres” .
A Public Eye investigation found that the B.C. Liberals accepted over a quarter of a million dollars worth of hidden gaming donations between 2002 and 2007.

ING Insurance
ING Canada is a provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada.
Lobbying timeline: April 11, 2007 – Calendar for then-Solicitor General John Les states meeting between Kinsella and an ING Canada Inc. executive at the premier’s Vancouver office.
The topic of the meeting: “polling info” specifically related to ICBC. ING corporate communications VP Gilles Gratton was unable to say what kind of work Kinsella was doing for the company, “The only thing I can tell you is we’ve used the services of his firm on a number of occasions…”
Donated $15,400 between 2005 to 2008

Liquor ******
Lobbying timeline:
2005 – Kinsella and partner Mark Jiles have had meetings with the Solicitor General on behalf of private liquor interests. In addition, Kinsella was a Liquor Barn Income Fund trustee and director with Liquor Barn GP Inc. According to a directors’ circular dated April 25, 2006, Kinsella owned 2,500 fund shares, with an option for a further 5,000.

Result: Between 2002 and 2006, the BC Liberal government has repeatedly made policy changes beneficial to the private liquor industry, including two increases increase in the wholesale discount between March 2005 and January 2006.
Received $150,000 during the 2005 election campaign from the private liquor sector

Orca Creative
A Washington State company that deals in trade show exhibits.
Lobbying timeline: 2005-2008 Kinsella and Jiles work with Orca Creative Group to win a contract with the B.C. Government’s Olympic Secretariat – successfully circumventing the Bid Book requirement for BC businesses to get 2010 contracts Orca Creative scored a lucrative 2010 contract in the summer of 2006.
No record of donations

Payday Lenders/ Cash Store Financial
Lobbying Timeline: Spring of 2007 – In May of 2007,Kinsella had meetings with John Les, noted in the Solicitor General’s calendar as “payday lenders”. Cash Store Financial VP Michael Thompson said about Kinsella’s work: “He was just basically bringing [John Les] up to speed on what our position was with respect to the regulation of payday loans in the province of British Columbia.” Asked if that was lobbying Thompson said, “Correct.”
Result: The Campbell government’s payday loans bill included a promise to consult with the industry on the regulations.In 2007, Cash Store Financial sent a letter to Ontario payday lenders claiming success inblocking” that BC’s legislative effort. Michael Thompson has since clarified this remark, saying the use of the term “block” wasn’t appropriate.
National Money Mart donated $10,600 between 2005-2008

Plutonic Power
Plutonic Power currently develops run-of-river hydroelectric projects in British Columbia.Plutonic communications director Elisha McCallum has confirmed that Kinsella provides the company’s vice-chairman and CEO with “high level strategic advice on public policy.” Result: B.C. Hydro Corp. offered Plutonic an energy purchase agreement for its East Toba River and Montrose Creek project in July 2006.

Plutonic donated $50,956 between 2005 and 2008

Washington State Allied Waste company. Rabanco accepts garbage from Whistler, Powell River and Maple Ridge.
Lobbying Timeline: Fall of 2005 – Progressive contracted by Rabanco to pursue the long-term waste disposal business of the replacement of the Cache Creek Landfill. Progressive reports work in November 2006 as “ongoing”.
Result: Metro Vancouver board approved an interim solution to allow Rabanco to manage 600,000 tonnes of garbage a year from Metro Vancouver in March 2008. Pending approval by province No record of donations

Sun Micro Systems
Develops technologies for the global marketplace.
Lobbying Timeline: 2002 – Progressive contracted to work on business development objectives with the B.C. government.
Result: Selected to develop and implement the Provincial Laboratory Information Solution and the Electronic Health Record system as components of B.C.’s eHealth strategy. Donated $16,655 between 2001 – 2008.

” It’s all about the deal.” ~ Mr. Beer and Hockey, 2009.

As if Christy didn’t have enough troubles already…

Christina Joan Clark(e)  – and her former husband, Liberal power player Mark Marissen – have both been named as defendants in a long-standing supreme court civil action, and were scheduled to stand in a 2 day trial by judge September 28th, 2011.

However, an order for adjournment was signed August 26th, and a new trial date was to be rescheduled by counsel – that date has yet to be posted as confirmed with the court registry yesterday by phone, nor has the matter been settled. The clerk noted that from the notes on the file, the adjournment was requested by the plaintiff, not Marissen and Clark, however she could not confirm that without the actual document in hand.

With a supreme court civil trial  possibly still looming over her head, sources tell me this was yet another contributing reason she did not want to call a fall election.  Simply wouldn’t do to have any press on even this kind of thing in a campaign, if the judgement didn’t go in her and Marissen’s favour.

The case stems from a car accident that occurred September 2008, in which court documents allege Christy hit the other driver from behind, while driving a vehicle leased by her former husband- Volvo Canada is also named in the suit,which was filed in Supreme Court in early 2009.

Now,in a rather ironic twist, it was none other than  Justice Anne Mackenzie that presided over the latest order to adjourn and reschedule…. a name familiar to any and everyone following the BC rail story for the last few years.  Also interesting in a Bornman(n)-esque kind of way, is that in the statement of claim and statement of defence spell her last name as Clarke , not the more familiar spelling of Clark. Just counsel being cautious, or did Christy drop the letter e somewhere along the way, like Eric Bornman(n)was known to do throughout his career?

After all, they were friends!

*** Update.

Here is the Statement of Defence submitted by Clarke and Marissen: statementofdefenceMarissen

Statement of Claim – page 1not included because of personal information.

BC government pulls $40 million worth of promises out of provincial budget- yet no money to hire new staff for Jimmy Pattison Outpatient /Christy Clark photo op.

Here is a conundrum, and tell me what you think, and how you feel about this.

I am all for job creation in BC, I really am, in particular in trades, but today the BC government pulled $40 million of promises out of their arses to bolster the Seaspan shipbuilding bid.  That’s a great thing right? It’s about time BC got some good federal contracts rather than farming that work out overseas, right?

But here are my questions. And perhaps some of you won’t like this line of questioning, but oh well, the questions must be asked.

 How is it that they so easily found $40 million in this tight budget to bolster a ship contract, when they can’t afford to even hire new staff for the Jimmy Pattison outpatient centre, they simply moved over some existing staff from Surrey Memorial, creating closures and longer wait times there?  I just had a test there and the facility was creepy in it’s desolate, upscale, EMPTY nature. Very few staff to be seen, very few patients( I saw three) empty halls, empty rooms, nothing going on… but lots of high end amenities and machinery… I spoke with a worker I did find, and she said it was like this all the time. Always empty, and worse yet, the mess left behind at Surrey Memorial all for the sake of making this financial white elephant look slightly useful.

Or what happened to the money Falcon promised was coming to build new, and badly needed schools in Surrey, the only district with a phenomenal rate on increasing enrollment yearly? At the rate Watts allows the endorses the cities expansion, we’ll have more kids learning in school gyms and extra curricular rooms with no windows than we did last year. And yes, that did happen in several schools while waiting for more portables.

Add those two little bizarro scenarios to the fact that Kyle Washington, chairman of Seaspan International, was a member and supporter of Falcon 20/20 during the BC Liberal leadership race,  as well, a financial contributor to his leadership campaign. The Election BC link to the scanned campaign documents for Kevin Falcon went dead shortly after I posted it, as reported by several readers. It still gives people a ” Bad Gateway” message as stated in the comments below. Thanks to a wonderful friend and reader, I now have the scanned Falcon leadership contributers, in this PDF document. falconscontributors

Hmm, I would hate to think his support and friendship with Finance minister Kevin Falcon would lead the government to fork out so much to make this bid better – in particular since Kyle Washington and family are hardly lacking funds.   No, no,I couldn’t imagine Falcon would reward a supporter by helping to sweeten the pot.

Nor could I imagine an even stranger twist to all of this, and one that makes me shake my head in irony – the fact that Seaspan  is part of the Washington Marine Group, the same group that hired current Premier Christy Clarks brother, Bruce Clark, as a lobbyist to try and get the Roberts Bank Line for said company during the BC rail scandal time period… 

Now, you tell me how  this “new” , families first government  really works… and who  exactly is pulling the strings?

( by the way, RossK and friends were thinking about  whether or not this would happen back in June)

” Circumstances do not make the man… they reveal him.” ~ James Allen, former defence minister of New Zealand

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.. what does this one tell you?  ( And a reminder to scroll down and read the HST agreements that the government would rather you not see, and how far they would go to prevent that from happening.)

Meet British Columbia’s best friend in government – Auditor General John Doyle

In CBC this morning:

B.C.’s auditor general is going to the province’s Supreme Court to get information about defence costs related to the Basi Virk corruption trial.

John Doyle filed a petition Tuesday seeking an order for access to records and information, arguing that the information is essential to an audit due at the end of June.

Auditor John Doyle is an exceptionally busy man, and an exceptional man. I have written to him with my concerns on P3’s and how they are accounted for, and what impact that nefarious accounting will have on provincial budgets- as well as the long term impact on the provinces true debt load. Other progressives have made similar contacts with their concerns on BC Hydro and Ipp’s. Each time, he has replied personally, with thoughtful and insightful comments and at times, at length. I believe he is absolutely committed to doing his job the best he can, and this action supports that.

Will this be the avenue that finally reveals all? Watch this story as it develops and how our unelected premier deals with the questions that this development will undoubtedly resurrect.

” Looking beyond…to future P3 projects, there is a need for stronger public accountability requirements.” ~ Office of the Auditor General of B.C.

No kidding.

With the recent combination of distractions revolving around strata president duties, my sons highschool graduation and my garden, a very important report I have waited on nearly escaped my attention. I say nearly, because thanks to a wonderful reader who knows I have a fetish for such things, I spent the greater part of my free time yesterday evening mulling over the report, and not watching the Canucks take on game 5.

The office of the Auditor General of BC finally issued a long-awaited report on the Academic Ambulatory Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital – one of the earlier P3 projects completed in BC. 

There are a number of findings as well as a number of key recommendations the Auditor General makes that I find alarming and should be brought to the attention of all British Columbians and yet again, there has been nothing in the press that I can find about this report.  Although this project was started in the early part of this decade – it was not opened until 2oo6-in my experience researching the P3 projects built since then, nothing has changed.

Among the Auditors key findings:

Overall, we concluded that not all of the key value-for-money goals of the Academic Ambulatory Care Centre P3 project were met:

* Construction was completed on time, but the final capitalized value of $123 million was 29.5% higher than the estimated capital cost of $95 million disclosed in the Project Report.

 *The use of a P3 contract was not effective in controlling VCHA initiated design and scope changes.

 * The performance-based payment structure for operations and maintenance of the facility does not represent good practice.

 * Facility users are generally satisfied with the building and services provided. However, there has been no public reporting on the ongoing results of the project since the Project Report was released in 2004.

 * The P3 agreement is flexible in allowing for change. However,VCHA was unable to provide us with documentation to support the analysis and approvals for key contract amendments.

Stunning findings to some, but not to myself and others who have called for similar audits on more recent P3 projects such as the Sea to Sky highway, the William R. Bennett Bridge and the Canada Line.

The government has repeatedly been shown to be incorrect in the biased and incorrect Value for Cost reports issued at completion of a P3 project.  They have repeatedly been shown to be in a conflict of interest with regards to Partnership BC being in charge of promoting and pursuing P3’s for the government, but also evaluating them.

This report supports my calls for an independent body being charged with overseeing the public’s interest in P3 projects being considered by any government body, and I am not alone in that request.

I spoke with Erik Andersen, who is a founding director and economic advisor of the BC First Party, about this report last night, and he had this to say:

After more than ten years of gaining an appreciation of how P3 projects have turned out in Canada (see John Loxley’s “Public Service: Private Profits“) one would think our government would be way up the learning curve on this process.Sadly that seems not so.

BC Auditor General’s audit of this P3 project found that instead of it costing $95 million, it ended up at $123 million. He gives two main reasons for the over-run. $11 million occurred because of less than adequate pre-construction preparations and $17 million because games were played with the selection of discount rates in order to give favorable pre-contract status to the P3 option.

Professor Loxley recounts a generous collection of these kind of games picked up by other Canadian Auditor Generals. It seems our government has a decided bias to P3s no matter the evidence available from other jurisdictions that these are not crafted and executed in the publics’ best interest.”

Erik has been a valuable colleague and resource for my work, as our interests and concerns are remarkably similar in nature. While I have mainly concentrated on the governments many P3 infrastructure projects, Erik has led the charge for a full reveal on BC Hydro’s structural changes and operations, which he believes are designed to bankrupt the crown corporation to sell it off to private interests, not unlike BC Rail. Not just theory, he supports this belief with comprehensive studies and analysis.

I can say with confidence that I look forward to more revealing reports to come forward as this report indicated the office of the Auditor General will be looking at other P3 projects in the future. Considering the repeated examples of P3 projects being conducted to preserve and protect the interests of the private corporate partner rather than taxpayers dollar, I could not more strongly urge all British Columbians to take an interest in this report, and P3 projects in general.

You can read the entire report HERE: OAGBC-P3-Report-May-2011[1] 

* past stories on several P3 projects can be found on the Best Of button at the top of this page.

Lessons in big money,bad politics and blind ambition.

Politics, n:  [Poly “many” + tics “blood-sucking parasites”]  ~Larry Hardiman

Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.  The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.  ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary,1911

 Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.  ~Oscar Ameringer

 A funny thing happened while writing this post earlier today. I was searching google images for a photo of Christy Clark and Gordon Campbell, and guess what ? They all seem to have disappeared – even cached versions are now redirected to Christy Clark’s premier page on the government of B.C. website. 

 In fact, the only photo I could find of the two of them together, remains in existence in a cached version… on my site! ( click image to enlarge)


 Kind of funny, no? If you can find one of the two of them together, save it to your computer before it disappears too. She seems to want to break any association between the two of them.

The powers of the BC Liberal party never cease to amaze me, nor do they surprise me any longer. I have personally had contentious or telling links disappear within hours, gone dead, and even the cached versions gone and it hasn’t only happened to me, but other writers as well. What the Liberals don’t want known, they will work very hard to make disappear, and if they can’t make it disappear, they will push the spin cycle button and wash that news right outta your hair faster than can blink your eyes.

With her narrow margin win in Point Grey this evening, one thing has become clear to nearly everyone watching her tonight. Christy Clark has become a stunning example of blind ambition, big money, and bad politics. And today the voters backed that up at the polls in a stunning way, despite the rain, despite the media and despite the thousands of people she talked to… Christy barely won. Barely.

Was it because she has taken more than a few pages from the Campbell Guide to bad politics?  Re-hashing old press releases and posing for photo opportunities out the ying- yang. Taking credit for projects, initiatives and openings that she had nothing to do with. Saying little of anything with substance, but smiling widely and pushing the ethnic buttons all over the lower mainland. Don’t say it isn’t so – it is, and we both know it.

Tonight’s win does not bode well for Christy’s future. Her rosy glow has already begun to fade as more candid shots of her show the narrowed lips and eyes of a politician who will do and say anything to get to where she wants to be.

Try as she might, she is stumbling already. Watching more than a couple of videos of her at town halls like this one in Richmond, she appears less at ease, stumbles on her words and uses far too many of those filler words we all rely on when we don’t know  what to say: Umm, ok, well, now, you see…. could it be that  she knows that all the big money behind her, all those corporate advisors and friends who are waiting to lap at the river of money sure to flow in their direction under her leadership, are worried she won’t make it? Did they back the wrong person?  Could it be that she really doesn’t have any real change to offer, that she is banking on the mom image to fool people long enough for her to get a foot in the only door she’s really wanted to be in since she left so many years ago?

Sure it is. And that is just the beginning.

She still has the BC rail issue stuck to the heel of her shoes, every single pair. And it isn’t going to go away, the people will see to that. She still has the association of having been one of Campbell’s minions back in the day. She can’t shake the stink of the mess she left behind with teachers, education and those most vulnerable in society during her failures in those ministries.  And guess what? When she resorts to the same bad politics as Campbell did when he was most desperate, she only strengthens the argument she is more of the same old thing we’ve had for the last ten years.

Big money. Bad politics. Blind ambition.  Frankly, I’ve had enough of all three.


I’m Laila Yuile, and this is how I see it.


An open letter to Christy Clark ( and one I welcome her to respond to via this site)

I received this from a dear man and reader, Ray Eagle, who so kindly shares with all of us this letter he recently sent to Christy Clark. Dare I say… it is hard to soar like an Eagle when governed by turkeys ?

Many thanks to Mr. Eagle for sending this to me.

Dear Premier Clark:

It was a shock to learn that despite your expressed intentions to make your Government different to that of Gordon Campbell’s you have selected Gwynn Morgan of SNC Lavalin as your transition advisor. Selecting him, of all people, hardly bodes well for change!.

Nevertheless, there are a number of issues that should be addressed though I can see already that convincing you of their importance will not be an easy task. The following are the ones that I consider to be important:

As a regular user of the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale ferry route I think the privatization of B.C. Ferries is a failed experiment and it should be returned directly to government control. This so-called privatization is, in any case, purely semantic and has not resulted in any meaningful efficiencies.

One of the first items on Mr. Campbell’ agenda was the mean-spirited act of removing the reduction on the first ten visits to chiropractors and physiotherapists, which took away the ability of many people to afford the cost of repeat visits in the first vital days of injury. To bring back the reduction would be a meaningful step towards your promise.

Mr. Campbell also cancelled a benefit to B.C. seniors, which was to pay only the dispensing fee on all prescribed medications. He immediately made them pay the full cost to a certain level under the so-called ‘Fair Pharmacare’ legislation. As an eighty year old senior (as of April 4) I think it was a reprehensible act and again I think that if you mean what you say this should be addressed. I take four medications for certain medical problems, none of which are lifestyle related. I wrote to the Government suggesting that in the case of people on permanent medication the previous rule of paying only the dispensing fee should be restored, as opposed to those who are prescribed a single course of medication for a temporary problem after which the need ceases. Despite taking the suggestion to my MLA, Ralph Sultan, nothing came of it. Fortunately my prescription costs are not prohibitive compared to some seniors, but a restoration to the original subsidy would be helpful, instead
of the pure ‘fluff ‘ handed out to seniors in lieu of real help.

Lastly, there is a great anomaly which needs addressing. When you were a talk-show host you strongly defended the Cambie Street merchants in their quest for compensation, especially Susan Heyes in her valiant fight against the construction companies and several levels of government. During that time I had several letter exchanges with the Hon. Kevin Falcon, who is now your Deputy Premier. He was vehemently opposed to any compensation for the merchants and I am sure he remains of that opinion. He must be absolutely gleeful that Ms. Heyes has been hung out to dry by the companies who built the Canada Line, abetted by the three cold, uncaring Appeal Judges who found in their favour. Now you have compounded this anomaly by bringing Gwynn Morgan onto your team, a man who represents a company that is responsible for Susan Heyes’ present predicament.

The arguments of the Appeal Judges make absolutely no sense, especially their assertion that a bored tunnel would cause as much disruption as cut and cover. In a letter addressed to them I pointed out that that they had obviously made up their minds to uphold the appeal and built their ‘shoddy’ arguments to fit that end.

If you have the conviction that you demonstrated before gaining the Premiership you should seek some means to help Susan Heyes stave off bankruptcy. You should also bear in mind the lasting consequences if the appeal decision goes unchallenged. The result will be that no small business owner or individual is safe from ruin or interference by any level of government or large corporation that wishes to construct a mega project, regardless of whether its impact is temporary or permanent.

I hope that you will give due consideration to these suggestions because their implementation will go a long way in proving that you mean it when you promise to do things differently, though with the appointment of Gwynn Morgan a large part of that promise has already been negated!


Ray Eagle.

“Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.” ~ Irene Peter

Never would you find a more fitting quotation to apply to our newly unelected Premier’s cabinet appointments. Just because everything is different, doesn’t mean anything has actually changed at all.

I, like many others, watched the live feed  of yesterday’s undemocratic proceedings, and I say undemocratic because in this rare instance, democracy has not yet reared her lovely head. There is nothing democratic about swearing-in a leader that has not been duly selected by vote of the people, and if anything, Ms.Clarks glowing expression throughout the ceremony smacked of smug regard in the faces of those who bode her no good will.

However smug she is now, she would do well to enjoy her time in the big chair and take as many photos as possibly to sit and bitterly reminisce over in the cold, dark days of certain defeat. Defeat, because in choosing her cabinet she has effectively terminated whatever chance she may have had in showing cynical British Columbians that she is any different from Campbell at all.

Where to start? Appointing the privatization king, Kevin Falcon, to finance minister and deputy premier was the hail Mary of all mistakes. Falcon, who so proudly pointed out endlessly on his leadership campaign that big business is his best friend, will prove  a big barrier to the Liberals winning any election based on the overwhelming public perception that he is Campbell incarnate. If he runs the ministry of finance like he ran the ministry of transportation, we can look forward to a heavy push towards privatising services across the board, as well as a strong surge of P3 projects in entirely new  and possibly untested venues. Family first values? Not with this Falcon. He is well-known for stating that he prefers China’s undemocratic methods of forcing projects on people without having to deal with things like public consultation! And we know he loves the HST, so good luck with that one.

And what possibly can I say about Rich Coleman except that he’s been around the Liberal block so many times he’s gone a little past his expiry date and should have been left on the back shelf like sour milk.  Remember, it was under Coleman’s watch that 10 jails, 24 courthouses and the Vancouver pre-trial were closed.He was also the minister that rejected calls for a public inquiry into the death of Frank Paul – not once, but twice, first in 2001, and again in 2004. Toss in some issues with the BCLC …. and it’s clear Christy’s choices again leave the people of BC lacking.

Where I find Ms. Clarks mindset for her families first agenda so troubling is to have allowed Mary Polak to stay in cabinet at all, appointed to  Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. This woman is so clearly unqualified to handle any position of authority with regards to decisions that directly affect humans of any age, that she too should have been shelved on the sour milk shelf with Rich Coleman. Seriously. She leaves the ministry of children and families with a black cloud of shame over her head for failing the vulnerable and special needs children of our province, a horrific mark on her, and on the Liberals who instead of addressing what they have done wrong, will deflect and make some ridiculous statement about how much money they have put towards families.  Is Polak the right choice to steer Aboriginal issues in this province, a segment of our population that is plagued with addiction, poverty and youth depression and suicides? Never.

What I find so interesting is that Christy is facing a variety of difficult challenges in the province, challenges that mean balancing economic hardships with environmental concerns that have been blatantly ignored by Campbell’s government. In appointing so many of the same key players with the same values Campbell demonstrated – ” friends take care of friends” – Christy has revealed her  stunning lack of depth in understanding the electorate in the province she is now deemed with running. Does she not get that people don’t want to hear or see Patrick Kinsella’s name in connection with yet another premier? Does she not care that we find it repugnant that she has chosen people working with Enbridge and SNC- Lavelin to head up her transition team? Maybe not, after all this is the premier who loves Manswers…

Clearly, contrary to her claims, Ms. Clark did not listen to the people of BC while working as a talk show host on CKNW, because if she did she would have some inkling that her future as premier is bleak and short. Being a mom does not make you a better premier, but being a person with integrity does. By refusing to discuss the documented proof of her involvement with key players in the sale of BC rail, by refusing to call even the most limited inquiry into the payment of Basi and Virks legal fees, she has effectively killed her own claims to creating an open and transparent government, a contradiction in terms to her own actions she will not be able to back out of at the polls.

As opportunistic as the rest, she has surrounded herself with corporate players and backroom manipulators rivalling the worst -or best- of Campbell’s era, signalling that her hockey mom, families first persona is just that. And considering how Ms. Clark has bought and paid for a good part of Vancouver’s media,(  including CTV’s Chris Olsen ‘ On your side’, who is obviously no longer on your side, after all ) – I suspect she has  already anticipated the need to create the biggest PR team in BC history to create a bed of roses out of her pile of dung.