Yesterday, in an interview with Public Eye T. Richard Turner, confirmed he had a small stake in a Paragon Gaming Inc. casino development in Alberta while he was chair of the British Columbia Lottery Corp. But we weren't able to squeeze everything Mr. Turner told us into our first take on that story. So here's some squibs that may be of interest to those covering and following this issue:
* As we earlier reported, Mr. Turner - who is presently chair of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia - advised the lottery corporation of his financial interest in River Cree Resort and Casino in January 2005. But he also informed his "counterpart" at the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission about that investment. "I told them, out of a courtesy, when this casino gets built I'll be gone from the B.C. Lottery Corp. by then. But right now, I'm still there. And I'm a minority, itty bitty, limited partner in this thing just so you know. Because I didn't want any hiccups at all."
* Mr. Turner declined to specifically say how much money he has invested in Paragon's various operations. "I wouldn't give a number because it's family business and I feel uncomfortable. But we wouldn't own more than one-and-a-half percent of anything. It's really, really small...I own so little of this there's no personal gain at all."
* Asked why he resigned as chair of the lottery corporation in December 2005, Mr. Turner said, "I was doing ICBC and BCLC at the same time. And I told you, I've got 45 jobs. I didn't have any time. If you do them properly, they both take a lot of time. And I've done both since December 03. And, by the time December 05 rolled around, I said I can't do this. I've got no time."
* At the time of our interview, Mr. Turner stated he hadn't yet spoken to anyone at a political-level about the stories surrounding his relationship with Paragon Gaming.