The man pushing the mega-yacht marina proposed for Victoria's inner harbour is married to the financial agent for one of five third-party advertisers that sprung up to support cabinet minister Gary Lunn in the last federal election.
Robert Evans is the vice-president of Community Marine Concepts, which is seeking a license from the province to occupy 2.63 hectares of Victoria harbour with a marina for 80-foot to 120-foot yachts. The company is working on the proposal with Alberta-based WAM Development Group. Getting the license requires approvals from various provincial and federal agencies.
Evans also shares a phone number and address with one Donna Evans. A real estate agent, Donna Evans was the financial agent for Common Sense Advocacy of Victoria, a group that spent $3,500 advertising in Victoria's daily newspaper in support of Lunn before the October, 2008, federal election.
Common Sense was one of five previously unknown groups to support Lunn during the election. The other four, the Tyee reported, all had the same financial agent, Mark Dickinson, and were registered out of the office of Bruce Hallsor, a federal Conservative with close ties to Lunn.
Hallsor, a provincial Liberal, has registered to lobby on behalf of WAM in Ottawa and has met with at least one provincial cabinet minister regarding the project, the Tyee reported.
Robert Evans declined a full interview, but did say he is married to Donna Evans. Asked about the third-party advertising during the federal election, he said, “That I have nothing to do with.”
Lunn's own campaign spent $89,575 on expenses in the 2008 election, putting him within a couple thousand dollars of the spending limit in the riding. The five groups that advertised to support him spent another $15,671, leading to an Elections Canada investigation.
As recently as 2007 Robert Evans was in charge of fundraising for the Tory's Saanich-Gulf Islands electoral district association, according to a party newsletter. Hallsor was then vice-president of the EDA.
Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.