Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Even Crown corporations need lobbyists, it seems

Andrew MacLeod has an important story over at thetyee.ca. The news hook is that the newly hired head of the B.C. Innovation Council, claimed $167,342 in expenses during his first six months on the job. Most of the money went to cover moving costs for Dean Rockwell, who had been based in Atlanta.
But the real big questions relate to an earlier report by MacLeod. (It's the sidebar to the main story on post-secondary institutions hiring lobbyists, also a bizarre phenomenon.)
Rockwell was hired in October 2008. Two months later, Jason Herbert, a Vancouver lawyer, and Allen Salton registered as lobbyists for the Crown corporation. Their goal was to influence the government on "CEO compensation," according to the registration. Herbert's law firm was paid $80,469 during the period, but that could include other work for the council.
So a Crown corporation, dependent on taxpayer funding, needed lobbyists to talk the government about a raise for the CEO. What happened to picking up the phone and calling the cabinet minister responsible for the corporation?
What does it say when even Crown corporation CEOs and boards think they need help in getting the government to look favorably at their concerns?
And where does that leave people who don't know, or can't afford, lobbyists?


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Anonymous said...

Don't forget that BC Rail hired Patrick Kinsella as well following the 2001 provincial election.

I understand that Kinsella was also doing work for other Crown Corps. BC Ferries hired a lobbyist to do work in Ottawa.

There is a high level of secrecy surrounding the hiring's of Crown Corps. More work needs to be done to expose this waste of tax dollars.

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