When last we heard from him, former BC Liberal Party Golden Era Attorney General Mr. Geoff Plant was telling anyone who would listen that, when it came to the six million dollar BC Rail deal, a prior understanding was neither an agreement nor an inducement.
Or some such thing.
But lately Mr. Plant has taken to the Tweetmobile to make comments on the British Columbia body politic that are most interesting.
To say the least.
For example, the other day Mr. Plant took a swipe at Auditor General John Doyle.
Then, yesterday, it was this...
For me, the issue is not the meters themselves.
Instead, as is so often the case with the BC Liberal Party and its boosters, it is the matter of the contracts for the delivering of said meters that really has me shaking my head.
It is a story that Bob Mackin actually had almost two years ago, at that time in 24 Hrs.
Here is Mr. Mackin's lede:
The company awarded a $270 million B.C. Hydro smart meter contract is connected to one of the Crown corporation's B.C. Liberal-friendly directors, QMI has learned.
Itron, headquartered near Spokane, Wash., will supply 2 million of its OpenWay smart meters and a Cisco network, according to a Monday news release.
B.C. Hydro director James Brown is president of Canaccord Genuity, a Boston division of Vancouver investment house Canaccord Financial. In May 2009, Brown oversaw a $146 million Itron stock sale. Last month, Itron CEO Malcolm Unsworth appeared at Canaccord Genuity's annual sustainability forum in Park City, Utah.
Brown didn't respond to a QMI interview request. Since 2005, Canaccord has donated $290,630 to the Liberals. Elections B.C. records list Brown and his father, Canaccord founder Peter Brown, as principal officers.
B.C. Hydro chairman Dan Doyle told QMI via e-mail Brown disclosed his conflict of interest.
"He recused himself from the Jan. 14, 2011, board meeting wherein the Itron contract was discussed and approved," he said...
If you set everything up beforehand based on your inside knowledge of what's coming down the pike...And then step out of the room at the last moment just before the big decisions are made by your fellow board members on the inside...
Well, everything is A-OK and ship-shape, right?
But is that the last of it when it comes to insiders and the 'contracts' for the meters?
Of course not.
Again, back to Mr. Mackin's piece from the spring of 2011:
...Brown is not the only B.C. Hydro board member linked to a smart meter contractor. Director Tracey McVicar is responsible for CAI Private Equity's western Canadian operations, which include co-ownership of Vancouver-based Corix Utilities. Corix scored a $73 million contract to install smart meters. Doyle said McVicar recused herself from meetings when Corix was discussed...
Here's the real thing....
If all the BC Liberal Party cronyism, which has been repeated over and over and over again, and which has cost the people of British Columbia billions and billions of dollars, had actually transformed and powered our economy ahead I might be willing to give these people and all of their 'swagger' a break.
But, as the business-friendly Progress Board demonstrated definitively before the the current leader of the Crony-Capitalist Party killed it for good last year, our economy is neither transformed nor powering ahead.
Which drives me to distraction when I think about all of that money and all of that treasure that is no longer ours.
Money and treasure that could have been used to benefit all British Columbians rather than just the chosen few.