There has been a lot of negative comment lately about our provincial government’s ill-advised decision to make the Jumbo Valley an incorporated municipality complete with a puppet council but not one single resident.
Because of the Jumbo issue, another example of the government’s dishonesty has gone unnoticed here in East Kootenay. In April 2010, according to the Globe and Mail and CBC Radio, the Pacific Western Brewing Co. of Prince George hired Liberal insider Patrick Kinsella to lobby the provincial government for a substantial tax break that would not be available to other brewers.
In early November 2012, Pacific Western made an in-kind donation valued at $27,000 for use as an auction item at a political fundraiser cabinet minister Rick Coleman held in his riding.
Two weeks later, Coleman granted Pacific Western the tax break they wanted. When this became public knowledge, the furor that erupted forced him to return the $27,000 donation and come up with a policy that is fairer to all the brewers in the province.
There is a very fine dividing line between what is a political contribution and what is a bribe. In my opinion, the $27,000 in-kind gift was a bribe.
If Premier Clark does not demand Rick Coleman’s resignation, it will be one more indication that our provincial government has lost its moral compass.