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Liquor distribution privatization pitched by lobbyist who backed Clark

Lobbyist and Christy Clark backer Patrick Kinsella has been pushing for changes to the liquor distribution system used by the provincial government, which yesterday announced it will privatize that system.

Kinsella registered as a lobbyist on behalf of Exel Logistics "To develop a new liquor distribution system for the Province of BC." The registration, pointed out by a commenter on The Tyee, describes the undertaking as to do with "privatization and outsourcing" and covers from April 1, 2010 to April 9, 2013. It lists lobbyists Mark Jiles and Rob Madore as also working on the file.

Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman and Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell were added as targets of the lobbying on Jan. 6, 2012. Previous targets included Coleman in 2010 and Justice Minister Shirley Bond in 2011.

Coleman has held responsibility for liquor off and on over the past decade, and got it back on Feb. 8.

The Feb. 21 budget said the government intends "to sell its liquor distribution warehousing facilities and associated distribution services to the private sector."

Kinsella's company is Progressive Strategies Ltd., which does business as The Progressive Group. The company's clients have included Accenture Business Services, Alcan and Canfor Forest Products. BC Rail paid him as a consultant during the period when the government sold the Crown corporation to CN Rail.

In 2011 Progressive Strategies donated $20,000 to Premier Clark's successful campaign to lead the BC Liberal Party.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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