Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Political Donations the Penashue - the inside look

There is just something so blatant, so manipulative, so insulting to the citizens and the law of our country about Peter Penashue's electoral victory in 2011. For me, knowing how corrupted Newfoundland and Labrador politics is, this one drew my attention. Still, I seriously believed that nobody would have the gall to try and play the games they play with politics in this province on the federal level - with all its rules. I have to say I was seriously wrong on that one.

To start with, Penashue's campaign filed an initial return on March 19, 2011. Immediately jumping off the page are the 17 corporate donations, which are illegal, and in particular the Pennecon donation for $5,500.00 - which exceeds the allowable donation by an individual allowed to donate. That was just the initial take. There were 11 individual donations (although 3 were from a "K Williams" which would also violate the law) to go along with the 17 corporate donors. Total donations were $27,850 and $18,710 in non-monetary (read plane rides).

Then there is another list of contributors - all dated after March 19, 2011. There are only 2 corporations on this list, and 63 individuals. Together the two lists paint a picture of deciept, and corporate manipulation of the electoral process - in my opinion. Here are the facts, you be the judge. Don't be afraid to leave me a message on here of what your take is.

To begin with, the first list has three individuals names on it that disappear on the second list - which is odd if you believe Penashue needed all the individual contributions he could get to offset those corporate ones: John Higham, from Nova Scotia based Chignecto Consulting Group (they were the Innu Nation's advisors on the New Dawn Agreement deal); Sheila Montague; and a "K Williams" that made three seperate donations on Mar 30, 2011 (twice) and May 4, 2011. The remainder of the individual donators on the original list show up again on the second list.

This is where it gets tangly folks. This is where the ugly really comes. In this list you are going to find: family of a former provincial leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia (and several people using his address to make donations - FYI he now doubles as President of Grand River Ironsands Inc in Labrador); principles of the Innu Nation's auditors (and family); executives of Pennecon and Penney Group, Law firms for the Innu Nation; Consultants for the Innu Nation; a Quebec construction company; Innu "partnerships" with private corporations; and the list goes on. To get the feel for what is happening economically and politically in Labrador, and Newfoundland for that matter, you need to read this and let it sink in. To make this as readable as possible I've broken down each donor one-by-one. Allowed or Disallowed is to indicate whether or not Elections Canada accepted the donation as legitimate:

Roland Andrews - Clarke's Beach councilor, campaign manager for PC Glen LittleJohn, and employee of NL Hydro-CFLCo. ALLOWED

Michael Barrett - President Academy Canada, Corner Brook. ALLOWED

Larry Barry - actually Lawrence Barry, sole director of Chaisson Construction, director of Innu-Chaisson Construction Ltd (Innu partnership). NOT ALLOWED

Brian Brace - owner Brace's Woodworking. NOT ALLOWED

Rose Branton - wife of Edgar Branton who is director of Innu-Rail Cantech Ltd (Innu Partnership with Quebec company) and financial controller of the Innu Nation. Address used on the return was that of Branton's Enterprises Ltd in Gould's. ALLOWED

Michael Burrell - actually Michael Barrett but entered as a different person. Address used the same as Barrett's. NOT ALLOWED

Gary Callahan - jointly owns Pencal Supplies Ltd with Max Penahue (Peter's brother). Listed on original donation list as Penecal Plasters which doesn't legally exist. NOT ALLOWED

Kathy Capp - listed with an address that does not match a postal code, and the city name spelled wrong, in Nova Scotia. No information is available for her. ALLOWED

Bryan Chafe - actually "Brian Chafe". Chief Operating Officer of Provincial Airlines. ALLOWED

Brad Cole - Vice-President at Pennecon. NOT ALLOWED

Sandy Connors - owner of Switch Electrical Ltd, in partnership with Cahill and Max Penashue (Peter's brother) and Bart Jack (Jr) in a "partnership" called "Iskueteu, A Limited Partnership" which is not incorporated. Fred Cahill appears as contact for Cahill and Sandy Connors for Switch. Cahill head office is listed as the "corporate" address and Switch's address is listed as the "operations" address. Cahill was awarded the ECPM services contract for Muskrat Falls by SNC Lavalin. Eskueteu has been awarded work on the Voisey's Bay project. NOT ALLOWED

Eric Coombs - Chartered Accountant - principle at Gardener Coombs Winsor Coombs Chartered Accountants (GCWC). Auditors for the Innu Nation. ALLOWED

Jane Coombs - wife of Paul Coombs, who is a principle at GCWC. Address listed on return is that of Ranstar HSE Services & Consulting owned by David and Renee Randell. ALLOWED

Lorraine and Robin Cooper - owners of Blizzard Corp, and Minipi Outfitters. ALLOWED

Brad Dalley - General Manager for Newfoundland Multi-Foods Ltd located in Labrador, which is owned by the Warr family. Bob Warr sits on the board of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. ALLOWED

Dove Dyer - address is that of Resource Development Associates Inc., directors David and Rhonda Dyer. No Dove Dyer was found. ALLOWED

Phillip Earl - Sole director, President and CEO of Air Labrador. NOT ALLOWED

Gail Ernest - Unable to locate in Nova Scotia. Incorrect postal code. ALLOWED

Salvatore Furino - Vice-President at H.J. O'Connell, a Quebec construction firm that has/had "partnerships" with Labrador Construction Ltd, SNC Lavalin, Innu-Kiewit and Sons (another partnership), and Innu Nation. H.J. O'Connell has been awarded the bulk excavation work on Muskrat Falls. ALLOWED

Barb Gilles - really Barb Giles, of Hodge Brother's Ltd - Lab City (company address used on return). NOT ALLOWED

Geoffrey Goodyear - director of Universal Helicopters, along with John Steele, Harry R. Steele, and Norm Noseworthy. Innu Mikun Helicopter Service (unincorporated) is in "partnership" with Universal Helicopters, Canadian Helicopters, and the Nunasiavut Government. ALLOWED

Michael Hickey - director of Hickey Construction (forestry). Partner in Kakatshu Limited Partnership - Innu partner is Michel Rich. NOT ALLOWED

Lloyd Hillier - Owner of Hotels North. Partner with Innu in Nika Wood. Innu partners are Michel Rich and Bart Jack (jr). ALLOWED

Steve Hurlburt - V.P. and Secretary Treasurer of H.J. O'Connell Ltd (Quebec). ALLOWED

Larry Innes - Partner at Toronto's Olthius, Kleer Townshend LLP, law firm for the Innu Nation. Resident of Alberta. No personal address in Labrador despite using a Goose Bay address on the donation return. Registered federally as a lobbyist using the address of the Innu Nation office in Happy Valley - Goose Bay. NOT ALLOWED

Innu Mikun Limited Partnership - partnership with Innu Development Limited Partnership (unincorporated) and Provincial Airlines (that supplied Penashue with a writeoff for most of his air travel during the campaign). ALLOWED

Kurt Jacobs - VP at Dexter Construction of NS, subsidiary of Municipal Group of Companies NS. Gray Rock/Municipal Group of companies formed "partnership" with the Innu Development Limited Partnership to create Innu Municipal GP inc/Gray Rock Mining. Jacobs is the General Partners contact in the partnership. ALLOWED

Gerald Kerr - principle at Chignecto Consulting Group Inc. Helped Innu Nation negotiate the Voisey's Bay and Lower Churchill Impact Benefit Agreements. Lists 9 federal departments as clients. NOT ALLOWED

Nancy Kleen - is actually "Nancy Kleer" founding partner of   Olthius, Kleer Townshend LLP, law firm for the Innu Nation. Unlike her partner she used the wrong name instead of the wrong address. ALLOWED

Leonard Knox - Vice President, Major Projects/Eastern Canada Bird Construction, parent company of  H.J. O'Connell Ltd. (Quebec) ALLOWED

Brian Lemessurier - President of H.J. O'Connell (Quebec) ALLOWED

Richard Levert - President of Levert Personnel. (Ontario) ALLOWED

Rich Lewis - owner Lewis Concrete Forming Ltd. Aboriginal business. NOT ALLOWED

Lloyd McDougall - Retired RCMP, owns Mass Consulting Inc (was on the original donors list) in NS (security). Also with CAI Logistics. CAI Logistics has a partnership with CAI Nunatsiavut Marine - a Labrador Ferry service. This person is listed under the same address as Francis MacKenzie, former leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia and President of Grand River Ironsands. NOT ALLOWED

Gladys MacKenzie - wife of Francis MacKenzie, former leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia and President of Grand River Ironsands. She is listed at the same address as Lloyd McDougall and Simeon Osmond. ALLOWED

Charles MacKenzie - relative of Francis MacKenzie, former leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia and President of Grand River Ironsands. ALLOWED

Ed Murphy - Senior VP of Finance, Pennecon Limited. NOT ALLOWED

Donald Noseworthy - Senior VP of the Energy Division, Pennecon Limited. ALLOWED

Geraldine Noseworthy - wife of Donald Noseworthy. ALLOWED

Patrich O'Callahan - should be "Patrick O'Callahan" founder of East Coast Catering. They are in a "partnership" with Innu Development Limited Partnership to operate Labrador Catering Limited Partnership. ALLOWED

Gus Ollerreed - President, Provincial Airlines. ALLOWED

John Olthius - one of the founding partners of  Olthius, Kleer Townshend LLP, law firm for the Innu Nation. ALLOWED

Simeon Osmond - Atlantic Policy Congress for Aboriginal peoples (NS). Address listed under the same address as Francis MacKenzie, former leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia and President of Grand River Ironsands. NOT ALLOWED

Neil Parrott - director N.E. Parrott Surveys Limited. Address used is business address. Involved with surveying Innu lands. Listed as N.E. Parrott Surveys on original donor list. NOT ALLOWED

Geoffrey Pearly - Could not find an individual under this name. The address listed for this person was false, and no such person lives at the address given in the return - personally verified. ALLOWED

Max Penashue - brother of Peter Penashue. Involved in numerous Innu companies. NOT ALLOWED

Ches Penney - Chairman of Pennecon Limited, Chairman of Penney Group holding over 60 companies and employing over 3000 people. NOT ALLOWED

Barney Powers - Father of Tim Powers of SUMA and vocal supporter of the Lower Churchill development. Barney Powers is a director of Labrador Construction (2005) Limited that had partnerships with H.J. O'Connell, Innu Nation, Labrador Inuit and Peter Kiewit and Sons. Apparently Barney has been retired for a few years, but his name remains on the corporate registry. ALLOWED

Carlos Presado - President Labrador Catering Limited Partnership. NOT ALLOWED

Provincial Airlines Ltd - the company that granted a major writeoff of the costs of Peter Penashue's election travel. ALLOWED

Larry Puddister - C.E.O. Pennecon Limited. NOT ALLOWED

Thomas Randell - Data provider - Innu Mikum Airlines. NOT ALLOWED

Edward Reid - Financial Officer, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. ALLOWED

Angela Rich -  ECE Coordinator at Sheshatsui Innu First Nation; and director Innu Nation. NOT ALLOWED 

Paul Rich - Peter Penashue's brother in law. NOT ALLOWED

Ben Rich - director: Atsanik Nitassinan Scaffolding Ltd; Mamu Solutions Inc.; Uapishkut Construction Ltd.; Pishumuss Group of Companies; Shshatshiu Innu First Nation councilor; and Innu Nation. NOT ALLOWED

Charles Roe - unable to confirm any information here other than the address is wrong, but the postal code is right for a C.P. Roe. ALLOWED

Richard Sheppard - General Manager, East Coast Catering Ltd, in partnership with Labrador Catering Limited Partnership. Bidding on the Lower Churchill EPCM contract. NOT ALLOWED

Paul Snelgrove - President, Labrador Sales Ltd. Labrador Sales Ltd was on the first donors list. NOT ALLOWED

Perry Trimper - First VP Stantec Consulting. Involved in two Innu/ Inuit partnerships: Aivek Stantec; and Stassinu Stantec. Involved in the environmental assessment of the Lower Churchill project for Nalcor. ALLOWED

Jerry White - Chief Financial Officer Penecon Limited. NOT ALLOWED

Darryl Winsor - Chartered Accountant, principle at Gardener Coombs Winsor Coombs Chartered Accountants (GCWC). Auditors for the Innu Nation. ALLOWED

Herbert Woodward - President of: Hamilton Store Limited; Hamilton Wholesalers Limited; and Northland Catering Services.

And that is it! You may ask yourself, given the often repeating nature of corporate and innu relationships outlined here how Elections Canada decided to allow some donations and not others? It would be a fair question...The threads of this seem to be replacing obvious corporate donations with private ones. The donations almost all clearly corporate in nature. A number are disguised in an attempt to deflect scrutiny from the donators - that is illegal. There are some curious things happening in the Nova Scotia donations - especially those centered around the home address of the former leader of the Liberal Party there. There are somewhat shocking ones like those of the auditors of the Innu Nation. And so it goes. You be the judge. My conclusion is the RCMP should be first in and last out here, and Peter Penashue should not have the audacity to run in a byelection that was caused by such obvious manipulations. In many ways this election return reflects the nature of politics in Newfoundland and Labrador where anything goes and there is no accountability. That is not how it goes nationally though...Mr. Penashue and company.

One last story for you to digest on while you contemplate what you read here:


No circumvention of limits

405.2 (1) No person or entity shall
  • (a) circumvent, or attempt to circumvent, the prohibition under subsection 404(1) or a limit set out in subsection 405(1) or section 405.31; or
  • (b) act in collusion with another person or entity for that purpose.

No concealing of source of contribution

(2) No person or entity shall
  • (a) conceal, or attempt to conceal, the identity of the source of a contribution governed by this Act; or
  • (b) act in collusion with another person or entity for that purpose.

Prohibition – accepting excessive contributions

(3) No person who is permitted to accept contributions under this Act shall knowingly accept a contribution that exceeds a limit under this Act.

Prohibited agreements

(4) No person or entity shall enter into an agreement for the provision for payment of goods or services to a registered party or a candidate that includes a term that any individual will make a contribution, directly or indirectly, to a registered party, a registered association, a candidate, a leadership contestant or a nomination contestant

1 comment:

  1. The connections to the Island and NS are in need of further investigation. Emera's deal with Williams smelled fishy, as did the SNC connection to offshore work in association with Cahill on the White Rose project.


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