Saturday, March 28, 2009

RailGate Unwinding....What Did CN Know, And When Did They Know It?


Early last Thursday the Globe and Mail published a piece by Gary Mason in which he made the following kinda/sorta suggestive allegation:

"....There is the appearance that Mr. (Patrick) Kinsella might have been on the payroll of BC Rail and CN Rail during the $1-billion sale of the rail line....."

But here's the kinda/sorta weird thing.

Very little specific evidence was offered up by Mr. Mason in the column to support this kinda/sorta bombshell other than the paraphrasing of a May 2003 exchange between Joy McPhail and Gordon Campbell in the Legislature that Paul Willcocks posted-up on his blog some time ago based on a tip he was given by a commenter*.


How did Mr. Mason convince his editors to run with such a bold kinda/sorta allegation without something more than the following non-denial denial that a CN spokesthingy gave him?

"...I phoned CN yesterday to ask if Mr. Kinsella was a paid consultant or lobbyist during the bid process, and spokesperson Kelli Svendsen said: "We have nothing to say."

Me, I kinda/sorta figure that Mr. Mason may have had an evidence-backed inkling that the very same kinda/sorta bombshell would be dropped in RailGate court later that day which, again, was last Thursday Mar 26, 2009.

But, I don't that know for sure.

But I do know one thing.

Which is that Mr. Mason was not the first member to of the media to ask CN if they had a business relationship with Mr. Kinsella prior to their takeover of BC Rail.

How do I know this?

Because Sean Holman, in a post at Public Eye, said it was so earlier today:

When asked on Monday whether Mr. Kinsella had worked for Canadian National, the newspaper's Gary Mason quoted company spokesperson Kelli Svendsen as saying: "We have nothing to say." But Ms. Svendsen was more forthcoming about the reason for that lack of comment when we asked the same question on March 12.

Noting her firm has been "successfully operating" British Columbia Railway Co.'s line "for five years" the spokesperson said Canadian National's "focus remains on meeting our customers transportation needs. And the matter is before the courts."

But here's the thing.

The possibility that there was a business relationship between Mr. Kinsella and CN around the time of the BC Rail deal was not raised in court until Thursday Mar 26th, 2009.


What did CN know that we didn't on March 12th 2009 when their spokesperson told Mr. Holman that the matter was "before the courts"?

A Hansard link to the May 2003 McPhail/Campbell exchange can be found in a post of our own written the day after Mr. Holman spoke to Ms. Svendson which, it turns out, was the second Friday the 13th (in a row) of the year.
As for possibility that Mr. Kinsella himself might answer the question about whether or not he had a business relationship with CN at the time the BC Rail deal went down?......Well, most unfortunately, he has been unable to respond to Mr. Holman's repeated calls (see last sentence of post).


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