On Thursday, provincial New Democrat attorney general critic Leonard Krog called for "independent investigation" into former 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. But, for those who covered politics when the Socreds were in government, this story will seem somewhat familiar.
On August 15, 1986, then premier Bill Vander Zalm announced he would be looking into "any past connections between The Sentinel Group of companies" - which included a firm owned by Mr. Kinsella - "and the premier's office." This, according to The Vancouver Sun's Gary Mason and Miro Cernetig.
The reason: "the new premier said in an interview he owed it to the grassroots Social Credit delegates who supported his leadership bid to look into report that any individual or group was influencing the decisions of government."
Prior to that announcement, Mr. Kinsella denied having undue influence with the Socreds or former premier Bill Bennett. And, a month later, in an interview with CHEK-TV's For the Record, Mr. Vander Zalm said his investigation hadn't uncovered anything untoward.
"So I've done some checking, are they in fact getting contracts, are they in fact getting percentages of whatever it might have been...so far I'm satisfied there is no wrongdoing; there is nothing wrong and the rumours are untrue."