Political insider backed outsider candidate

On February 26, lobbyist and thoroughbred owner Patrick Kinsella had a big day on British Columbia's political race track. With his company having made a $20,000 donation to Christy Clark's campaign, he's now in the enviable position of being one of the few prominent Liberal insiders who supported the former CKNW talk show host's successful leadership bid. But this is far from the first time Mr. Kinsella - whose present clients, according to the provincial lobbyists registry, include Great Canadian Gaming Corp., the Pacific Western Brewing Company Ltd. and the New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia - has backed a winner in provincial politics.

In 2001, for example, he co-chaired the campaign that brought the Liberals and Gordon Campbell to power. During the ensuing 10 years, his firm The Progressive Group consulted for clients ranging from Accenture Business Services to British Columbia Railway Co.

Indeed, according to records recently obtained by Public Eye, Mr. Kinsella discussed what services he could provide the Crown-owned transportation firm just five months after the Liberals' election victory.

In an email sent to the company's then-human resources vice-president Kevin Mahoney on October 30, 2001, the Liberal insider stated, "we are essentially communications consultants with what I would call a 'value added' component."

"That value added could be interpreted as political savvy and to some extent public opinion expertise that allows us to provide commentary and advice to our clients vis-a-vis the current BC Liberal government."

So now that there's been a change at the top of the government - a change he helped bring about - Mr. Kinsella is likely well-positioned to continue offering clients the same kind of value-added communications advice under the incoming Clark administration.

The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned email.

Patrick Kinsella's proposal to British Columbia Railway Co.

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