Dix grills Premier Clark over undisclosed post at private firm
"Did the Premier forget that she was the founding chair of this company?" BC NDP Opposition leader Adrian Dix asks Premier Clark why she claimed not to have ties to a company she once served as a chairperson.
Dix said RCI was nevertheless "drumming up business" through Clark's political ties. After becoming premier, Clark promoted RCI Capital Group on B.C. government trade missions to Asia, recently inking memorandum of understanding in 2013 for an investment of up to $1 billion to export BC wood pellets to China. RCI Capital was credited for facilitating the deal. Clark also headlined an October 2013 press conference with BC-based company SST Wireless, also chaired by RCI Capital President John Park.
She also recently appointed RCI Capital's Managing Director, Tenzin Khangsar, to the BC Multicultural Advisory Board.
Premier Clark, centre, and RCI Capital CEO John Park to her right
Also, her former husband and founder of Burrard Communications, Mark Marissen, was also briefly involved in lobbying the provincial government for RCI Capital in 2008, according to registry records. During her break away from politics, Clark also worked for a short time as "partner" of Marissen's firm, though he stated that she had no ownership of the firm and that her involvement was minimal.
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"The Premier has done significant business promoting this company (RCI Capital) since becoming Premier. She was a director of this company as she was Premier. She seems unaware," Dix said."She says she didn't have any relationship with the company during her time when she worked in the media. That is manifestly not true. The Company Act contradicts her."
Clark defended herself, reiterating that she "never did any work for the company" and that she had never been paid by the RCI subsidiary.
"If everything that I did in the private sector now, today, puts me in a conflict, I think it would be unwise for me -- imprudent for me -- to ever speak to the media for which I used to work," she responded.
When Dix asked her why she had never disclosed her position to the public before, she said that she was under no obligation to do so. She also said the disclosure of that information would have had no impact on her election victory last year.
Errors in the records?
RCI Capital CEO John Park told The National Post that Clark was not paid "a single penny" during her time as director for company. He also backed up Clark's statement that she did not do any work relating to RCI's subsidiary.
As for why her name was still listed on the corporate registry in 2011, Park told The National Post that was due to a "mistake" by his legal department, which failed to officially terminate the company back in 2007. However, a letter from April 2, 2008, suggests that the company may have worked with her beyond the time the company was supposed to have been dissolved.
Another alleged error in the records emerged last week with the federal registry of lobbyists. Her former husband said the dates on Burrard Communications' lobbying records for Enbridge in the registry were also inaccurate.
Although the lobbying records show that the company had lobbied for Enbridge until December 22, 2006, he said the contract was in fact terminated in February 2006. He said there were significant errors for dates and addresses for the company within the registry, though the federal Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying said it was the registrant's duty to update records when information is incorrect.
With research files from Matthew Millar