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New BC newsletter offers news behind the news

The menu options for provincial politicians and their guests at Vancouver's Terminal City Club during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games include “the deal”, “the network”, “the cartel” and “the schmooze”.

Those previously unreported details are included in the second edition of the Brown Envelope by Public Eye Online's Sean Holman. “The names of the club’s working and buffet lunch selections . . . really describe who will be at that establishment during the Games and what they’ll be doing,” he wrote.

The monthly newsletter is available as a thank-you to donors who pledge $10 a month to support Holman's investigative work, he explains on his website.

Holman, an occasional Tyee contributor, broke the story about the $315,000 the province pre-paid to Terminal City last week on his website, leading to questions in the legislature and a round of news coverage. In the Brown Envelope he provides added details and background on how he got the story.

In this month's newsletter Holman also explains how he chose to respect the former commander of the integrated illegal gaming enforcement team Fred Pinnock's privacy by withholding the information that his long-term romantic partner is B.C. Liberal minister of state for intergovernmental relations Naomi Yamamoto, a fact since printed by Victoria's Times-Colonist newspaper, but decided to “invade” Premier Gordon Campbell's privacy by writing about the escalating value of the Campbell family's holiday property at Halfmoon Bay.

“Does fair compensation mean having the means to maintain a million dollar vacation property?” Holman asked in the Brown Envelope. “I think many British Columbians would think not. And it’s that question - among several others - which, I think, gives me the right to 'invade' this man’s privacy.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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