The New Democrats will be asking the Mounties to investigate Patrick Kinsella. This, after the provincial Liberals' most powerful backroom boy refused to "consent to any investigation or reporting" by the lobbyists registrar. In June, the registrar, David Loukidelis, launched a review of Mr. Kinsella's interactions with the Campbell administration. Mr. Kinsella has never registered as a lobbyist. In the past, he has repeatedly denied ever lobbying the government he was instrumental in electing. And, according to a written statement issued by his company, The Progressive Group registers "each and every time" it communicates with a public office holder on behalf of its clients.
But a national payday loan company executive has told Public Eye his firm hired Mr. Kinsella to do lobbying work. Earlier records exclusively obtained by Public Eye also show Mr. Kinsella's strategic communications company has helped win major contracts and benefits for foreign and business interests. And those same records show Mr. Kinsella was scheduled to repeatedly meet with one government minister.
As a result of Public Eye's coverage, the New Democrats requested Mr. Loukidelis review Mr. Kinsella. But, in a letter sent to the registrar, Mr. Kinsella's legal counsel Paul Cassidy stated his client won't be cooperating with that review because the registrar lacks the "authority to conduct any investigation or reporting on the activities of individuals alleged to have contravened" the Lobbyists Registration Act.
In response, New Democrat attorney general critic Leonard Krog says, "If Mr. Loukidelis can't investigate, then it leaves the opposition no choice but to ask the RCMP to investigate the information surrounding Kinsella's activities."
Mr. Cassidy declined to comment on the opposition's request. Mr. Kinsella didn't return a call from Public Eye at the time of publication. Under the act, consultant lobbyists are required to sign-up if they, for pay, communicate with a office holder in an attempt to influence government or arrange a meeting with an office holder and another "person" - although there are some exceptions to those rules.