Consultant becomes target over BC Rail meetings
Published Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:16PM PDT
More than five years after a police raid on B.C.'s legislature connected with the sale of BC Rail, the NDP opposition is raising questions about the involvement of Patrick Kinsella, a Liberal insider and close friend of B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell.
The raids were prompted by alleged corruption in the government's sale of company, leading to the arrests of government aides Dave Basi and Bobby Virk. They are now on trial, charged with accepting a benefit, fraud and breach of trust.
A third former government aide, Basi's cousin Aneal Basi, is also on trial, accused of money-laundering.
And while the trial drags on in Vancouver, Kinsella has become a pre-election target because he was hired by BC Rail and paid nearly $300,000.
The opposition says there are questions about his role in the sale, and the reasons for government meetings he attended long after CN had taken over the company.
"The public still doesn't have answers with what happened to the raid on the legislature. So my question is to the premier -- what was the meeting about and who was Mr. Kinsella representing?" asked NDP leader Carole James on Tuesday.
Attorney-General Wally Oppal responded to the questions from James and other NDP MLAs in the legislature by saying that the matter was before the Supreme Court and could not be commented on.
When Campbell was asked later, he was equally elusive.
"When the investigation into BC Rail started I said I hoped it would carry on as quickly as possible. I have been advised by the attorney not to comment on it," he told CTV BC.
With no answers coming from the legislature, there is hope some might come from the court later this week.
But in all likelihood, voters will again go to the polls not knowing what really happened more than five years ago.
With a report by CTV British Columbia's Jim Beatty.