Normally, the members of executive council are announced the same day as they are sworn-in by the lieutenant-governor. The cabinet roster has traditionally been a well-kept secret until the swearing-in ceremony. When Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon finally made the formal appointments on June 10 at Government House in Victoria, the identities of those pledging the three-part oath of allegiance, office and confidentiality had been known to the public for three days.
That means the ministers were not ministers under-oath for the entire weekend. Any communication any one of them may have had with a lobbyist would have gone unreported.
So who went? That is a good question. The attendance list was not released, but the list of invitees was. See it below. I pored over the 80-page document and made some lists of my own.
B.C.’s captains of industry were on the invitation list. Same with movers and shakers of the Vancouver real estate scene and holders of lucrative liquor licences. The B.C. Liberal campaign’s inner-circle and some of Clark’s closest friends and relatives gathered. The guest list included owners of the Vancouver Canucks, B.C. Lions, Vancouver Whitecaps and Vancouver Canadians and even some of the folks who are Liberal members but whose allegiance to the party was hidden from viewers when they appeared in that pre-campaign infomercial.
(Surrounding a beaming Clark in the photo above are Ryan Beedie, Liberal MP Joyce Murray, Mayor Richard “Shutterbug” Stewart of Coquitlam, Industry Minister James Moore, federal cabinet regional affairs director Colin Metcalfe and ex-Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day.)
B.C. Federation of Labour’s Jim Sinclair and B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union’s Darryl Walker were invited. They would rather have been front-row-centre at Adrian Dix’s premiership swearing-in, but that obviously didn’t happen because of the Liberals’ surprise win over the NDP in the May 14 election.
Representatives of 13 industrial lobby groups, a half-dozen corporations and a federal Crown corporation donated money to fund the ceremony. How much? B.C. Trucking Association disclosed that it paid $2,500. Watch this space in the coming weeks to find out who else donated what.
Joining B.C. Trucking in the $2,500 low-tier was B.C. Interactive.
Sixteen groups paid $5,000 each: Private Forest Landowners, Brook and Brooks Associates Ltd., B.C. Real Estate Association, Clean Energy Association of B.C., Learningwise Education Inc. dba University Canada West (Eminata Group), B.C. Hotel Association, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C., Wilson M. Beck Insurance Service Inc., The Society of Notaries Public of B.C., Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, B.C. Maritime Employers Association, B.C. Construction Association, Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, Domtar, and B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association. (Rio Tinto Alcan is on the list, but in parentheses beside Progressive Holdings Ltd. Progressive is the lobbying firm owned by longtime Liberal backroom guru Patrick Kinsella.)
The biggest donors? New Car Dealers Association of B.C. gave $10,000, while an individual named Anne Millar ponied up $25,000. Millar previously donated $70,000 over four payments to the BC Liberals: $25,000 to Richmond Liberal Linda Reid’s campaign on May 13, 2013 (election eve), $35,000 to the party in 2012 and $25,000 to Clark’s leadership campaign in 2011.