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NDP question Kinsella pay from BC Rail

The NDP raised questions today about some $300,000 that the B.C. Railway Company paid to companies associated with Patrick Kinsella.

Kinsella, who has been at the centre of a lobbying controversy, was the co-chair of the B.C. Liberals 2001 election campaign and the chair of an advisory committee that oversaw the Liberals 2005 campaign.

Between 2002 and 2005 B.C. Rail paid Progressive Group, The Progressive Group and Progressive Holdings a total of $297,567, according to the NDP's summary of financial information from B.C. Rail.

“It would indicate Mr. Kinsella was working for B.C. Rail. What was Mr. Kinsella doing?” asked Nanaimo NDP MLA Leonard Krog. “What was the Liberal bagman doing for B.C. Rail for $300,000?”

Attorney General Wally Oppal said in the Legislature that he could not answer questions related to B.C. Rail as the court case about the sale is continuing. “Irresponsible comments of that sort jeopardize a fair trial,” he said.

“For the attorney general to suggest this is somehow related to [the] B.C. Rail [court case], maybe he knows something I don't,” said Krog.

A call to the Progressive Group's Vancouver office was not immediately returned. Nor was one to B.C. Rail.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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