Monday, April 14, 2014

Clark's answers on RCI role don't add up

Christy Clark needs to provide better answers about her previously undisclosed role with RCI Capital Group.
In 2007, Clark signed a contract to become founding chair and director of an RCI subsidiary that hoped to win multimillion-dollar contracts to bring international students to Canadian universities. The universities would get high-paying students; RCI would get money for recruiting the students in Asia; and Clark would get finder’s fees and four per cent of revenues.
Since becoming premier, Clark has promoted RCI, which collects fees for arranging foreign investments in Canada, on two trade missions and appeared at a company media event.
The appearance of conflict is unavoidable, especially as Clark failed to disclose her past involvement with RCI. A politically well-connected company that employed Clark is benefitting from her efforts as premier.
And Clark’s explanations have failed to add up.
Initially, she denied a connection with RCI and founder and CEO John Park. 
When a National Post reporter showed her the contract she had signed to work for the company, Clark said she never actually did any work or got paid. 
“When I worked in the private sector, I talked about doing some work with them — but I was never paid for any work with them,” said Clark. 
But Clark didn’t “talk about” doing work. She signed a contract, which promised an annual salary and bonuses - $20,000 if some B.C. universities came on board.
Clark says she left the firm by calling Park and telling him she couldn’t do any work for the company because she was starting a new job as a talk show host for CKNW.
Anyway, she says, she understood the project never went anywhere and the subsidiary was shut down within a couple of months.
But the contract was signed by Clark on Sept. 27. She had already been working for CKNW for a month by then. That claim doesn’t add up.
And reporter Bob Mackin shared a letter that RCI sent to the University of New Brunswick proposing a $52-million deal to recruit and deliver international students. That letter referred to Clark as the company's current chairwoman. And it indicates she was copied on the proposal.
So the claim the company was quickly shut down doesn’t add up.
The other problem is that Clark’s approach to this looks inexplicably sloppy.
She took the time to sign a contract - and even amend it to improve her compensation - to join the company. She accepted a director’s role, which carries serious responsibilities. She allowed her name to be used to promote it.
But when she quit, she apparently never thought of sending a resignation letter. A phone call was supposed somehow to nullify the contract. 
That’s baffling. Any competent person knows the importance of handling business affairs properly. A signed contract can’t be undone with a phone call. A letter of resignation - which Clark should have been able to produce when questions arose - was required.
Parks’ explanations have been equally puzzling. Initially, he denied Clark had ever had a role with RCI. 
Confronted with evidence, he said Clark had been hired, but the company was quickly shut down.
But the province’s corporate registry shows the subsidiary wasn’t shut down until 2011, after Clark was elected premier.
Park blames sloppiness in doing the paperwork to close the company, though he hasn't produced any written evidence to support his claims about when the subsidiary ceased operations.
It’s the second revelation about previously undisclosed and relevant business activities that have emerged. Clark was also a partner in her former husband’s lobbying company during her time out of office, but never revealed her role.
Clark was entitled to work during her break from politics. But citizens are entitled to disclosure of those activities - particularly when Clark is using her position in government to advance the interests of those companies.

9 comments:

North Van's Grumps said...

This description of how a high profile political figure can be a bonus for a failing company and at the same time be an absolute disgrace:

Times of crisis. Another situation when boards often consider appointing a NonExecutive chair is when the company's performance has deteriorated or if finds itself in an ethical scandal or other crisis. During a time of crisis, the nonexecutive chair can serve as a credible and independent voice, especially when addressing shareholders and government agencies.

"I'm not always a proponent of the nonexecutive chairman role because it can create confusion about who is the real leader of the company," says Edward Kangas, nonexecutive chair of Tenet Healthcare Corporation and the former chairman and CEO of Deloitte & Touche. "But the role can be instrumental if the company is in trouble. When a troubled company is dealing with the government, it is important to have someone completely independent who can vouch for the honesty of the company."- Spencer Stuart Consulting

Rci Leaks said...

Kind of like how Stephen Harper's former National Campaign Chair the "Hon." John D. Reynolds, is now Non-Executive Chairman of RCI Capital Group Inc. - and the Hon. Stockwell DAy is also a RCI Director- at a time when RCI owner John Park says he has a Canadian Schedule I bank charter application before the Harper government's Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI)? Kind of like that? See RCILeaks.weebly.com for more.

scotty on denman said...

Christy Clark eyes twinkle when she lies. She enjoys it. She thinks she's getting away with it. It's all so 'Nya-nya Nya-nya-nyaaaah!'

But let us suppose a proper conflict of interest investigation was to be held: what would it be like?...I mean, compared to what it SHOULD be like...

As far as I'm aware, a conflict of interest finding is not necessarily a firing offence. But how can there be no investigation at all in Christy's case? It's true she did about the minimum she could have done to be related to this outfit. But she did do it---isn't this enough to put an investigation at least into first gear?

Anonymous said...

Even the lowliest of community board members understand the ramifications of contracts and board liability issues.

When I was in a co-op many years ago, I'm sure we had liability insurance for board members. It was certainly discussed.

Re payment or non-payment -- if there's no actual salary, there's still payment in kind as an option isn't there? ... Unless her willingness to take on RCI was merely a high-end exercise in resume fluffing.

Signed,

Give Back the Province

RS said...

Nice to have you back.

Much of what Clark says does not add up. You may have missed this whopper while in Copán Ruinas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kvxhrr7Ks0

As if the bald-faced lie was not bad enough, Clark lays blame for the incident on her son who was what, 13 or 14 years old at the time?

Pathetic really.

RS said...

And I'm certain you missed this.

https://twitter.com/rbrthghs/status/333380141659086848/photo/1

Anonymou5 said...

Good digging Paul. You sir, are a head of the curve and absolutely spot-on. Look at the Tyee's April 17 report and see for yourself. It seems very clear Christy Clark lies in the Legislature about RCI affair, then multiple times in the media. RCI CEO John Park also came to her defense by making up a number of whoppers - even going so far as to make up a fake phone call from Christy that never happened.

Much more to come on all this. Go to www.RCILeaks.weebly.com and stay tuned to MSM and Victoria for developments.

Anonymous said...

It's always the same story. Someone accuses her and her party of something nefarious, and she just outwaits everyone while controlling the MSM in BC. Then after a bit of time all the MSM says, 'Oh that's old news, not relevant!" Just more getting away shafting the people for personal gains. Let's see, I think the next thing might be the Riverview Lands, sold to developers. And we know who the Minister of Housing is, Rich Coleman. Does that sound to you like a potential scandal? Have you seen a brown envelope lately? The BC Liberals, in my opinion, are far the most corrupt political arty BC has ever seen. And I bet there's lots more to come too.

Anonymous said...

JUST WHEN WILL BC VOTERS FINALY LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND UNDERSTAND THAT THEY HAVE BEEN FLEACED FOR THE LAST 14 yrs. AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNTILL WE ALL SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND GET RID OF THIS SELL OUT GOVERNMENT THAT WILL ALWAYS TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT AT OUR EXPENSE. ALICE in WONDERLAND STORY.