In the house today, Opposition MLA Harry Lali continued to hammer the provincial government over a $360,000 contract that was directly awarded to the husband of a top bureaucrat back in 2003. Economic Development Minister Colin Hansen defend the contract, saying the direct award was made following an earlier "independent" competitive process that selected Gary Cowan, a former senior real estate developer and manager, as the best candidate to do the work. Later in the day, government acknowledged the B.C. Leadership Centre had been "involved" with that process. That likely means the centre hired the headhunting company (Pinton, Forrest and Madden/EMA Partners International) that managed that competitive process - as is the case with most government executive searches. At the time, Mr. Cowan's wife Diane Rabbani was the deputy minister in charge of the centre. A version of this article will be published in tommorow's edition of 24 hours.
October 19, 2005