Oppal soundbites media

What was former provincial Liberal campaign co-chair Patrick Kinsella's involvement in the 2003 privatization of BC Hydro Corp.'s back-office services? That's what the New Democrats legislators John Horgan and Mike Farnworth wanted to know in the legislature today. At issue: a resume, obtained by Public Eye last year, in which Mr. Kinsella's firm states it worked with Accenture Business Services to develop "a comprehensive marketing plan" and a "very broad government-relations plan" that helped get the company that $1.45 billion deal.

Attorney General Wally Oppal refused to answer that question because the "matter of B.C. Rail, the matter of Patrick Kinsella, is before the Supreme Court of British Columbia" - a reference to the legislature raid trial. But, when it became evident the Accenture deal wasn't a matter before the court, the attorney general refused to answer Mr. Farnworth's inquiries because "I know nothing about that deal, but I do know...that all the other matters that the member refers to are before the courts, and I'm not going to answer them."

And he got testy with The Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer and The Globe and Mail's Gary Mason when pressed outside the legislature about the government's continued refusal to answer questions about Mr. Kinsella. The following is a recording of that scrum, in which the attorney general initially responds to an inquiry about Mr. Kinsella's involvement in the Accenture deal.

2 Comments

Stonewalling is bad enough, but the self-pity behind Mr. Oppal's comment "It's easier for you guys to call me Stonewally" demeans the dignity of the office he holds.

Such self-pity will make it easier for my friend Vicki Huntington to defeat him in the election for Delta-South. Is Mr. Oppal secretly a member of her campaign team? :)

Sad, very sad, to watch an otherwise decent man take it in the teeth like that. He knows better, too. I'm not sure if it was Gary or Vaughn who nailed him with it, but "As a former judge" he does indeed know that the rules on public comments have changed.

His further suggestion that there is every reasonable expectation that Justice Bennett might be swayed by any comment he might make on unrelated political matters, is as absurd as my suggesting that I'm going to enter the Mr. Universe contest, with the expectation that I will win.

By the way, this camera work of yours is stupendous!

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