On Friday, Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm released edited copies of the legislature raid search warrants. Included in those search warrants was a list of individuals that had been identified during the Project Everywhichway investigation. The usual suspects, former ministerial assistants David Basi and Bob Virk (among others), were on that list. But a several other politically-connected individuals were also included: Lyall Knott, Glen Ringdal, Keyvan Shojania and Colin Topham. Of course, it's important to note that being named in a search warrant doesn't mean you've been involved in any kind of wrongdoing. And the police have made it abundantly clear that only Messrs. Basi and Virk are under investigation. But, to get a better sense of who these individuals are, Public Eye has prepared the following dossiers.
Lyall Knott is a major donor for the provincial Liberals. Since 1999, he and his firm have contributed at least $31,386.50 to the party. Mr. Knott made headlines two years ago when Province columnist Mike Smyth reported he was organizing a $2,000 seat fundraiser for then Sustainable Resource Management Minister Stan Hagen. The covering letter for the fundraiser, which was signed by the Vancouver lawyer, described it as "an opportunity for (business leaders) to get the benefit of the minister's thoughts on the issues of the day, but also an opportunity for him to get the benefit of your thoughts."
Mr. Knott, who also raises money for the federal Conservatives, is a prominent lawyer. His area of practice includes public-private partnerships. Clark, Wilson, the law firm where he is a senior partner, was involved with semi-privatizing the British Columbia Ferry Corp. and negotiating leases of Crown-owned real estate for the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre - two high-profile provincial government projects. The firm also represents HSBC Bank plc, which allegedly fired economist David Bond in 2001 for casting doubt on whether the Campbell administration's tax cuts would, by themselves, restore the provincial economy. Calls placed to Mr. Knott have not been returned.
Glen Ringdal is president and chief executive officer of the British Columbia Automobile Dealers Association (now known as the New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia). That association, and its members, have been major cash cows for the provincial Liberals. Since 1999, the association alone donated more than $80,717 to the party. And its past chief executive officer Paul Taylor is now the deputy minister of finance. Pilothouse Public Affairs Group counts the British Columbia Automobile Dealers Association as one of its clients. Mr. Ringdal was formerly the vice-president of the Vancouver Canucks, the president of the B.C. Lions and president of Vancouver 86ers Soccer. Mr. Knott sits on the advisory board of the Vancouver Canucks.
Keyvan Shojania is the founder of Victoria-based Windsor Law Group. Since 1999, he and his firm have donated $1,599 to the provincial Liberals. Mr. Shojania was also named by the Campbell administration to the Royal Roads University's board of governors in 2003. But he is better known as a federal Liberal, being listed as the contact person for Victorians for a Strong Canada, a registered third party advertiser during the 2000 election. In 2002 he was appointed by the federal government to the Triangle Mountain antenna towers review steering committee.
Mr. Shojania has numerous corporate affiliations including being president and secretary of WCG Enterprises Inc., which operates startup software development company Xeptex. He is also a founding member and former advisory board member with Performance Capital Group Ltd., a 280-member investment club. And he's a director with the Oasis Project Investment Corp., Inter-Net Trade Corp. and LogicLynx Inc. Mr. Shojania has not yet responded to an email we sent him on Sunday.
Colin Topham recently became the executive director of the federal Liberals in British Columbia. He was previously the manager for Vancouver East Grit candidate Shirley Chan's disastrous election campaign and president of the University of Victoria Young Liberals. Mr. Topham worked with Mr. Shojania at the Windsor Law Group.