Yesterday, in an interview with Global BC's John Daly, provincial New Democrat attorney general critic Leonard Krog, called for an "independent investigation" into former provincial Liberal campaign co-chair Patrick Kinsella. At issue: revelations Mr. Kinsella's company was paid almost $300,000 to provide "strategic advice" on the core review process to British Columbia Railway Co. and has helped win major government contracts and benefits for powerful foreign and corporate interests. It's a complex story. So, to provide some context and background, Public Eye pleased to provide a timeline of the major reporting on Mr. Kinsella since 2001.
August 21, 2002 The Terrace Standard's Jeff Nagel reports then competition, science and enterprise minister Rick Thorpe refused to respond to a question about Mr. Kinsella's relationship with Alcan Inc. and the government, saying, "Are we trying to talk here about the future of the northwest or are we just trying to cause conflict? I'm trying to bring people together to build a spirit of co-operation and partnership."
September 19, 2004 Mr. Kinsella tells Public Eye, "I don't consider myself a lobbyist. I hold myself up as a communications consultant. I don't do any lobbying. They don't need me to pick up a phone and talk to the provincial government or any members of the provincial government. I make it very clear to my clients that I don't do that."
August 17, 2005 Mark Jiles, the premier's former constituency campaign manager, confirms he and Mr. Kinsella may soon be doing business together, "advising companies on everything from (Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic) sponsorship opportunities to procurement opportunities."
July 12, 2007 Public Eye reports Mr. Kinsella was a trustee with the Liquor Barn Income Fund and director with Liquor Barn GP Inc. - which operated 19 private liquor stores in British Columbia until it was bought out by Liquor Stores Income Fund on June 8, 2006.
June 3, 2008 Records obtained by Public Eye via an access to information request to Washington State reveal Mr. Kinsella's firm The Progressive Group has helped win major government contracts and benefits for powerful corporate and foreign interests, including Accenture Business Services and Alcan.
June 4, 2008 The New Democrats announce they will be asking lobbyists registrar David Loukidelis to investigate if Mr. Kinsella and Mr. Jiles, The Progressive Group's president, should have registered as lobbyists for some of their clients.
June 5, 2008 Progressive issues a statement saying it is "confident it has consistently and correctly followed the requirements" of the Lobbyists Registration Act. Under the act, consultant lobbyists are required to sign-up if they, for pay, communicate with a public office holder in an attempt to influence government - although there are some exceptions to that rule. But consultants must always register if they, for pay, arrange a meeting with an office holder and another "person."
August 7, 2008 Public Eye reports that, according to records obtained via a freedom of information request, Mr. Jiles arranged a meeting between a Washington State representative and a senior member of the BC Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games secretariat.
August 11, 2008 The Vancouver Sun's Jonathan Fowlie reports documents obtained by the New Democrats show Mr. Jiles "met with then tourism, sports and the arts minister Olga Ilich in 2005, along with Peter Leitch of Lions Gate Studios."
August 21, 2008 Public Eye reports Mr. Jiles, in an email, attempted to arrange a meeting "on behalf of Glen Ringdal, Moray Keith and Henning Brasso of the New Car Dealers Association" with then Forests and Range Minister Rich Coleman to "discuss the elimination of the 2% Luxury Tax on the sale price of new pickup trucks that sell for over $55,000.00..." The response: "OK to meet," according to a note handwritten above the email.
October 2, 2008 In an interview with Public Eye, The Cash Store Financial Services Inc. senior vice president and corporate secretary Michael Thompson says Mr. Kinsella did lobbying work for his firm in the "spring of 2007." Mr. Thompson states he believes Mr. Kinsella "helped to setup one meeting between ourselves and the minister's office."
October 2, 2008 The New Democrats announce they will be asking the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to investigate after Mr. Kinsella refuses to "consent to any investigation or reporting" by the lobbyists registrar.
October 31, 2008 ING Canada Inc. corporate communications vice-president Gilles Gratton tells Public Eye Mr. Kinsella worked as a "consultant" for the insurance giant. Mr. Gratton confirms Mr. Kinsella, while working for the company, attended an April 11, 2007 meeting with then solicitor general John Les, along with another ING executive.
November 6, 2008 Registered Gaming Management Companies of B.C. president Tom Nellis tells Public Eye Mr. Kinsella attended meetings between community gaming centre and bingo hall owner/operators and the government as a free favour to the industry.
December 11, 2008 Public Eye reports Mr. Kinsella attempted to arrange a meeting with British Columbia Lottery Corp.'s then president and chief executive officer Vic Poleschuk to "chat about issues of mutual interest and concern" four months after the last provincial election.
December 18, 2008 Public Eye reports Mr. Kinsella was repeatedly scheduled to meet with Mr. Poleschuk between 2005 and 2007. In an interview, the former British Columbia Lottery president and chief executive officer declined to comment on what he discussed with Mr. Kinsella.
January 15, 2009 Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson Annie Linteau tells Public Eye the force won't be looking into New Democrat allegations Mr. Kinsella violated the Lobbyists Registration Act in or before 2007. The reason: violations of that legislation are enforced under the Offence Act. And, under that statute, proceedings could only be brought against Messers. Kinsella and Jiles within six months of their alleged offences taking place.
February 19, 2009 Public Eye reports Mr. Kinsella has provided Plutonic Power Corporation Inc. vice-chairman and chief executive officer Donald McInnes with "high level strategic advice on public policy."
March 10, 2009 The New Democrats reveal British Columbia Railway Co. paid $297,000 to Mr. Kinsella's companies between 2002 and 2005. Mr. Kinsella later confirms those payments were part of a contract to "assist" the firm in "understanding and interpreting the Core Review Process as to its potential impact on the Corporation."