Thursday, July 28, 2011

Former Liberal Government Appointees Were NOT Out Of The HST Panel Room


Well, well, well.....

In the first blush of Sean Holman's blockbuster that revealed the secret HST InfoDom contracts that went to BC Liberal Party insiders, one of those insiders, Mr. Mark Andrew, told Mr. Holman that was kicked ouf the room during any and all discussions involving policy and that he was only involved in the logistics of setting up meetings for the (allegedly) 'non-partisan' and apparently independent HST panel chaired by Jim Dinning.

Well, it turns out that at least one person who was a legitimate (and never a super-secret) member of that panel who was present at all the meetings and discussions does not remember it quite that way.

What's more, that panel member, Mr. John Richards, names names.

Here is the lede from Robert Matas' follow-up piece in The Globe:

Let me assure you that I was kicked out of the room whenever discussions on contentious issues were being had,” says Marc Andrew, a former political aide who was appointed to help the independent HST panel.

Memories are often not reliable. John Richards, a member of the B.C. government’s HST panel, has a different recollection of Marc Andrew’s involvement.

Mr. Richards recalls Mr. Andrew and two other consultants who had previously worked for the (BC Liberal) government – Peter Adams and Dan Perrin – were in the room on many occasions when panel members were having their discussions....



This could be all innocent, right?

After all, fine politically motivated/connected folks like Mr. Andrew, who worked for the Finance Ministry of Colin Hansen that foisted the HST upon us in the first place, might have just been in the room and may not have had anything to say or given any advice to the panel that was supposed to be completely impartial, non-partisan and politics-free, right?


At least according to Mr. Richards:

...Mr. Richards did not remember anyone ever asking the consultants to leave. From time to time, Mr. Andrew would enter into conversations and make observations, Mr. Richards said.

But Mr. Andrew did not control the pen, Mr. Richards said. “It’s quite legitimate. He could make observations about matters and we could decide whether or not to accept them,” Mr. Richards said. “I don’t personally think there was anything untoward here. He exercised no undue influence on how we wrote the report at all,” Mr. Richards said....

Fair enough.

But the fact of the matter is that Mr. Andrew previously denied that he was involved in giving advice on policy.

Therefore, if Mr. Richards is correct, one can only conclude that Mr. Andrew's previous statement to Mr. Holman was a demonstrable falsehood.

Perhaps the Finance Minister's current chief communications officer, Mr. Matt Gordon, could use his pretzel logic to get to the bottom (or dig the hole even deeper) on this one.

Or, put another way....

What was the basis of Mr. Gordon stating that there was no need to call a public inquiry into this mess?

Oh, yes.....

Here it is:

...(G)overnment spokesperson Matt Gordon said an inquiry would be "completely unfounded and would be a waste of taxpayer money." Mr. Gordon earlier said that politics played no role in the awarding of the contracts that paid Backbone Technology Inc. to develop an HST website and Campaign Research Inc. to conduct telephone town-hall meetings on the tax....

No politics?

Sure thing Mr. Gordon.

Sure thing.

Oh, and if you want to see really and truly demonstrable crazy legs in action, check this out...


No comments: