Friday, May 10, 2013

BC Liberal Pay-To-Play.....Independent Liquor Division.



Friday 6pm....Breaking...Angus Reid's latest about to drop....CTV's Rob Brown is tweeting gap is no longer closing...Instead is widening...Will details be out by 8:01pm?

Writing in 24hrs, Jeremy Nuttall and Bill Tieleman have the story.

Here's their lede:

The BC Liberal Party raised more than $300,000 from liquor businesses in a single day in 2010 just weeks before the provincial government introduced substantial changes to the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, a 24 Hours Vancouver investigation has found

The changes included a section that “allows inducements for the sale of liquor subject to regulations or a direction of the general manager” by liquor manufacturers to liquor licensees, according to notes explaining the legislation.

Elections BC financial disclosure records show that on March 24, 2010, the BC Liberal Party received at least 12 liquor business donations of $15,000 each, plus a $25,000 contribution from the Alliance of Beverage Licensees of BC.

Independent liquor industry sources told 24 Hours the BC Liberal Party held an event March 24, 2010, at which liquor industry officials each paid $15,000 to meet with then-premier Gordon Campbell and Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for liquor distribution, over lunch at Gotham Steakhouse in Vancouver to discuss industry liquor issues.

The records also show dozens of smaller liquor business donations, for a total of $302,500 on that day...

And who ran the 'Alliance of Beverage Lisensees of BC' (ABLE) in 2010, back in the days before Ms. Clark was brought in to replace the Mr. Campbell?


...ABLE BC’s executive director at that time was Kim Haakstad, who later became Premier Christy Clark’s deputy chief of staff before resigning over the ethnic outreach memo scandal...

But here's the thing you may have forgotten....

The year before, despite the success of the carbon tax misdirection at the beginning, the BC Liberals started to feel the heat as the 2009 campaign moved on, which only intensifed after Carole James banged Mr. Campbell like a gong, repeatedly, during the debates.

All of which meant that they needed one of their patented wedge issues on a silver platter for the final push.

And Ms. Haakstad was only to happy to oblige them with the 'three bucks a six-pack' gambit which, as you might expect, Mr. Michael Smyth of the Province swallowed whole:

...In what the industry is calling the NDP's "six-pack attack", private store owners are warning an NDP win on May 12 could increase the price of a half-sack of suds by three dollars! Private beer stores currently account for 55% of all the brew sold in B.C. and (Carole) James has vowed to jack up their wholesale costs by six percentage points...

..."It would mean a $12 six-pack could jump to $15." Kim Haakstad, executive director of the ABLE, told me (Michael Smyth) yesterday. "I think this is the first time in historay a political party has run a campaign on a promise to increase beer prices."...

Mr. Campbell quickly flung the platter over the proMedia ramparts and, as you might expect, the rest of the puffed-up punditry picked it up and ran with it, this despite the fact that the real problem was actually one of the BC Liberals own making that Ms. James and the Dippers were trying to fix.

Sound familiar?


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