Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Curious End Of The 'Holinshed Research Group'



Update, Late Thursday June 07/12: At bottom of post

In case you missed it, Holinshed 'was' the polling research firm that Dean Del Mastro allegedly wrote a cheque to for $21,000 for reasons that are not yet clear, but which are being investigated by Elections Canada.

Holinshed also received six figures from the 'Economic Action Plan' initiative to develop something called GeoVote which Mr. Del Mastro's campaign, and other Conservative Party of Canada and Ontario candidates apparently used and paid for.

But here's the curious thing.

Holinshed no longer exists, at least in it's pre May, 2, 2011 form.

How do we know this for (pretty?) sure?

Well, thanks to the spade work of Saskboy, it would appear that another FedCon said so:

"…Holinshed Research has since gone out of business. (Conservative MP Rick) Norlock said the company (which he used) was sold to another interest weeks following the May 2 (2011) election…"

As we said over at Saskboys's place....

Interesting timing for that sell off, eh?

And who, we can only wonder, might that 'other interest' be that did the buying (but, see update below)?

Update: Some digging by Anon-O-Mice, in the comments has dredged-up info which suggests that the good Mr. Norlock may not be entirely correct about the demise and selling off of Holinshed....Looks like the original owners may have gone to ground with a numbered company....If you're interested, please have a look in the comments, here.



Beijing York said...

Do you think the US firm, Front Porch Strategies might have bought them?

Check this out:

This is all so sordid. It makes AdScam look like child's play.

RossK said...


I have seen nothing that says Front Porch has any direct interest in Holingshed or whatever it has, or has not, become.

But in the story I've linked to found by Saskboy that was published by the Belleville Intelligencer (part of the Sun/Canoe chain), Mr. Norlock is quoted as saying he used both Front Porch and Holingshead.

But not at the same time.

And what separated the use of the two companies?

Interestingly, enough, it was the.....

Official start of the federal election campaign of 2011:

...Norlock did employ the services of Front Porch Strategy, a U.S. firm linked with the Republican Party, but not during the election campaign.

"You know when we use a Conservative based company that's a bad thing. But when the Liberals use a Liberal based firm, there's nothing wrong. Go ahead ask me the question and I'll give you a straight answer," said Norlock. "All political parties use these companies. I have absolutely nothing to hide."

But Norlock said he employed the firm to conduct a 'tele town hall meeting' well before the election was called....


Anonymous said...

They changed their name to a numbered company ... see Corporations Canada website and do a search on the company name ... they are still "active", but in name only ...

RossK said...

Thanks very much Anon-Above.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that their last annual meeting was in 2009. Canadian corporations are supposed to file an annual return along with board minutes authorizing the person who signs. This would seem to indicate no such returns were filed in 2010 and 2011 (2012 not due yet) and no change of address or officers has occurred. The Holinshed name still comes up in various business listings on the Web but they've given up their domain, which tends to mean they are not looking for customers for that $125k software they developed.
As of earlier this year, 3918785 Canada Inc.'s directors were Colin D. Hall and Frank Hall.

Interesting side-note: Frank Hall seems to be sole director of 4333667 CANADA INC., incorporated in 2005 and listed as being in the same office building, but "Status Active Dissolution Pending (Non Compliance)" which last filed in 2009, was reactivated, and is now being deactivated again for non-filing in 2010 and 2011. (see

I wonder why they're acting on that one and not on the former Holinshed.

RossK said...

Thanks very much Anon -

It would appear then that, at least in part, MP Norlock, may be incorrect, in that the company may not have 'sold to another interest'.

Will update the post.


Anonymous said...

Off Topic - but to the point

"Robocalls reduced turnout of opposition voters by an average of 3% in the affected districts."

- Tom Cornwall
Ph.D. student, Department of Economics, University of British Columbia

- Anke Kessler
Professor of Economics, Simon Fraser University and CEPR Research Fellow

Anonymous said...

I was an employee at Holinshed. They didn't even call us to let us know they were closing. They just stopped giving out shifts one day and disconnected their phone.

RossK said...

Thanks Anon--

Would you mind sending me an Email if you have a moment?

I will keep everything anonymous and confidential.

pacificgazette at yahoo dot ca


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RossK said...

The following is an edited version of a comment from another anon-o-mous that I took down, above:

"wouldn't surprise me one bit.....(removed). I was a former employee also and know there was nothing that would stand in (the) way of (the owners of Holinshed) to make a buck...(removed)

(Anon: please note, I'm happy to let stuff stand about specific individuals if they are backed by specific examples and evidence. Generalities, however, won't do it...If you want to send me such specifics off-line please feel free to send it to me at the Email address above. Thanks)