Oppal: "...we have an act out there that has obvious shortcomings."

Attorney General Wally Oppal acknowledged today the Lobbyists Registration Act has "obvious shortcomings." But he said there's nothing the government can do about the situation involving the provincial Liberal's powerful former campaign co-chair Patrick Kinsella and his business partner Mark Jiles. At issue: the New Democrats have alleged Messers. Kinsella and Jiles lobbied the government without registering. But, by law, proceedings could only be brought against them within six months of their alleged offences - which happened in or before 2007 - taking place. As a result, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police won't be investigating those allegations - which both men deny.

Speaking with Public Eye, Attorney General Oppal said, it was "regretable" the New Democrats - if they had concerns about Messers. Kinsella and Jiles - "didn't have their tackle in-order and complain (to the Mounties) before the statutory period expired? Surely, they must know the Offence Act has a limitation period of six months. And they should have done their homework and laid their complaint in time."

Attorney General Oppal said there's nothing government can do to determine whether an offence has been committed, questioning whether "is it worth calling a (public) inquiry over an (alleged) breach of an act - and I'm not minimizing the (alleged) breach at all - where it's a summary matter."

That being said, Attorney General Oppal stated, "Obviously, we want to bring the law up to date. So, from that perspective, I recognize we have an act out there that has obvious shortcomings. And that needs to be remedied. And we've made it quite clear we will remedy it."

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