But lawsuit alleges Premier Clark, and ministers Coleman and Polak, were biased because of the donations and therefore it was illegal for them even to participate in any way in the pipeline review and approval decision
Groups also asking court to order B.C. Liberals to disclose details of fundraising activities by pipeline-connected companies for Liberals over the past 5 years to reveal extent of undue influence
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
VANCOUVER – Today, Democracy Watch and PIPE UP Network are in the B.C. Supreme Court for the next step in their lawsuit that alleges the decision to approve the Kinder Morgan Pipeline was tainted by the more than $630,000 paid by pipeline-connected companies to the B.C. Liberal Party in the past five years. The $630,000, plus Premier Christy Clark's $50,000 annual salary paid by the BC Liberal Party, generated a reasonable apprehension of bias arising from her participation in the decision-making.
“Incredibly, Premier Clark is pretending she didn’t participate in any way in her government’s approval of Kinder Morgan pipeline in an attempt to dodge the issue that the approval was biased by more than $630,000 in donations from pipeline-connected companies to the B.C. Liberal Party, part of which she received in her $50,000 annual salary from the party,” said Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch. “Is Premier Clark actually trying to deny that she stood in front of the cameras in 2012 and announced her five conditions for pipeline approval, and that she announced last November the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal had not yet met her five conditions, and that she announced in January that her government had approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline because her five conditions had been met?”
Premier Clark’s announcement in 2012 of her government’s five conditions for pipeline approval was covered by the media here and here, and the Premier’s announcement in November 2016 that the Kinder Morgan pipeline had not yet met her five conditions was covered by the media here and here, and her approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline in January because it had met her five conditions was covered here and here.
“The Premier's role in the Kinder Morgan approval is part of the administrative process and forms a critical aspect of the decision-making context that must be assessed in determining whether the Kinder Morgan approval was tainted by bias,” said Jason Gratl, counsel for PIPE UP and Democracy Watch.
Democracy Watch and PIPE UP have also filed a motion requesting that the court order the B.C. Liberal Party to disclose all the fundraising activities Kinder Morgan and Trans Mountain pipeline-connected companies were involved in during the past five years with the Liberals, Premier Christy Clark and the Cabinet ministers. The motion will be heard at a later date to be scheduled.
“Premier Clark and the B.C. Liberals can run but they can’t hide from the law, and we hope the court will soon order them to disclose details they have been hiding about all the fundraising activities pipeline-connected companies have helped the Liberals with since 2012,” said Conacher.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179
Jason Gratl, Gratl and Company, Tel: 604-694-1919
Lynn Perrin, PIPE UP Network, Tel: 604-309-9369