Is it okay for Crown corporations to hire lobbyists to bend the ears of their government masters in Victoria? As first reported by The Tyee's Andrew Macleod, the British Columbia Innovation Council seemed to think so, retaining two lawyers from Davis LLP in 2008 to discuss with the province how much its chief executive officer was being paid. A spokesperson for the council - which supports the development of technologies by the private sector - said the lawyers were just being "overly, overly cautious." But the Campbell administration has put a stop to that practice. Public Eye has exclusively learned the Liberals have ordered the Crowns to not engage lobbyists in their "dealings with Government." Asked why that requirement has been added to the letters of expectation outlining relationship between the province and those corporations, a finance ministry spokesperson stated, "The provincial government does not believe it should use taxpayer dollars to fund the lobbying of government on behalf of Crown agencies."
May 26, 2010