Well, well, well......
The issue of an alleged get-together on Savary Island in the Fall of 2003 came up at the Railgate Trial today.
Here is the CP's unbylined report on the matter in the Globe:
...Mr. Brown also denied knowing the premier had a “private meeting” with several men interested in the sale on an island on B.C.’s southern coast in the fall 2003, just before CN was announced as the winning bidder.
But he noted he didn't consider it a conflict of interest for his boss to meet with those people in the midst of the bidding process....
Please note that Mr. Brown begins with a non-denial, not-quite flat-out denial.
Regardless, in my opinion the statement by Mr. Brown that he didn't think that such a meeting, mythical or otherwise, would be a conflict of interest, is downright bizarre.
So, what's this really all about Alfie?
First, please recall that Mr. David McLean (CEO of CN Rail) and Mr. Peter Armstrong (CEO of RockyMountain Railtours) have been, and continue to be two of the biggest financial backers and fundraisers for Gordon Campbell ever, right from the very beginning (ie. all the way back to at least the mid-1990's).
Second, please also recall that after Gordon Campbell rescinded a 90 year-old statute that mandated extensive passenger rail service on all of BC Rail's far flung tracks in the Fall of 2002, he then sold those tracks to Mr. McLean and CN Rail who then later made a deal with Mr. Armstrong and Rocky Mountaineer Railtours to run tourist trains on the most desirable, most non-far flung portions of those tracks (ie. North Van to Whistler, for example).
If there was, indeed, a big get together on Savary Island before the deal went down and matters such as these were, indeed, discussed before they happened - with Premier Gordon Campbell present.......
Well, that would be a pretty big deal, not to mention a whopping huge conflict of interest, don't you think?
For the record, an Anon-O-Mouse also gave an eyewitness report of this line of questioning and response at Mary's place earlier this afternoon. It can be found on this thread @ 1:11pm, and it goes like this:
"....Interesting lines of questioning around Premier Campbell meeting with the Chair of CN in October 2003. Martyn did not remember and did not feel that it was a potential conflict of interest for the Premier to be meeting with David McLean during the bidding process.
Did the Premier have a meeting with Patrick Kinsella, Ken Dobell, Peter Armstrong, David McLean at Savary Island? Martyn denied any knowledge of this meeting but I was left with the impression that the meeting could have taken place and that Bob Virk had information about it...."
Now, is it possible that the CP reporter was a little mixed up and Mr. Brown was actually being asked about MORE than one specific meeting with Mr. David McLean prior to the deal going down?
Update, 7:00pm: Within 10 minutes of posting this one up the PAB-Bots started to arrive...Interesting that, don't you think?