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)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Are Newfoundland Cabinet Ministers Guilty of Influence Peddling?

I'm starting this very serious post with a description on Section 121 of the Criminal Code of Canada. That way, you can judge the transactions of the noted Ministers of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador yourself. It goes like this:

Frauds on the government
(1) Every one commits an offence who
(a) directly or indirectly
(i) gives, offers or agrees to give or offer to an official or to any
member of his family, or to any one for the benefit of an official, or
(ii) being an official, demands, accepts or offers or agrees to accept
from any person for himself or another person,
a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for
cooperation, assistance, exercise of influence or an act or omission in
connection with
(iii) the transaction of business with or any matter of business relating
to the government, or
(iv) a claim against Her Majesty or any benefit that Her Majesty is
authorized or is entitled to bestow,
whether or not, in fact, the official is able to cooperate, render assistance,
exercise influence or do or omit to do what is proposed, as the case may

(b) having dealings of any kind with the government, pays a commission or
reward to or confers an advantage or benefit of any kind on an employee
or official of the government with which he deals, or to any member of his
family, or to any one for the benefit of the employee or official, with
respect to those dealings, unless he has the consent in writing of the head
of the branch of government with which he deals, the proof of which lies
on him;

(c) being an official or employee of the government, demands, accepts or
offers or agrees to accept from a person who has dealings with the
government a commission, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind
directly or indirectly, by himself or through a member of his family or
through any one for his benefit, unless he has the consent in writing of the
head of the branch of government that employs him or of which he is an
official, the proof of which lies on him;

(d) having or pretending to have influence with the government or with a
minister of the government or an official, demands, accepts or offers or
agrees to accept for himself or another person a reward, advantage or
benefit of any kind as consideration for cooperation, assistance, exercise
of influence or an act or omission in connection with
(i) anything mentioned in subparagraph (a)(iii) or (iv), or
(ii) the appointment of any person, including himself, to an office;
(e) gives, offers or agrees to give or offer to a minister of the government or
an official a reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for
cooperation, assistance, exercise of influence or an act or omission in
connection with
(i) anything mentioned in subparagraph (a)(iii) or (iv), or
(ii) the appointment of any person, including himself, to an office; or
(f) having made a tender to obtain a contract with the government

Contractor subscribing to election fund
(2) Every one commits an offence who, in order to obtain or retain a contract with the
government, or as a term of any such contract, whether express or implied,
directly or indirectly subscribes or gives, or agrees to subscribe or give, to any
person any valuable consideration
(a) for the purpose of promoting the election of a candidate or a class or party
of candidates to Parliament or the legislature of a province; or
(b) with intent to influence or affect in any way the result of an election
conducted for the purpose of electing persons to serve in Parliament or the
legislature of a province.

Now, back in 2011, Minister Terry French came on province-wide radio to attack my integrity (for which he is now before the Courts), because I stated  his address to the PC Convention of October 2010, election readiness meeting, was illegal. If you don't know, this is what he said: "Don't be afraid to approach a contractor working on your roads, for a donation. They know where the contracts come from". Now, take a look at Section 2 above (Contractor subscribing to election fraud), and Section 1(a)(ii). Pretty clear is it not? This is against the law.

Then, back in December, 2011, I wrote an article on the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary . The RNC Association, made up of police members, (their web site has as their stated goal to " The goals and objectives of the RNCA are to improve benefits and working conditions for police officers..." To accomplish this mission, in part, the RNCA is spending considerable money buying tickets to PC fundraisers. Since I wrote that story on them in 2011, the RNCA has continued with this practice. In fact, this line appeared on the political finance report of the province for 2012:

"Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association St. John's, NL 2,000.00 PC"

Aside from the provincial RNC Act prohibiting political activity, the Criminal Code of Canada Section 121 clearly prohibits this activity by officials, and people attempting to influence those officials, in this way.

Then there is the issue of political donations made by corporations that have contracts with the provincial government. Political donations by corporations in Newfoundland and Labrador are legal (Section 282 of the Elections Act That being said, it is not a blank cheque. Section 7.1 of the provincial Conflict of Interest Act states:

" Accepting extra benefits

7.(1) A public office holder shall not, directly or indirectly, accept a fee, gift or personal benefit, except compensation authorized by law, that is connected, directly or indirectly, with the performance of his or her duties."

In other words, as a politician, the only funds you can receive for doing your job is your pay cheque for doing your job. That brings us to this: political donations made to ministers of the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The following list is from the official record of political donations made to ministers of this government only. There are many cases where MHAs have also received similar donations. Ministers of the Cabinet have direct influence on the expenditure of public funds, and the establishment of spending priorities by the government - including individual projects as small as road paving, and as large as mega projects. They have direct influence and decision-making roles. The list of corporations, doing business with this government, and the ministers they donated to, in the 2011 general election, are as follows:

Air Labrador                        $2000.00     Patty Pottle;
                                            $  500.00     Derrick Dalley;

Atlantic Audio                     $ 1000.00    Kathy Dunderdale
Visual Inc

Atlantic Engineering             $  300.00     Joan Burke
                                           $5000.00    Tom Marshall
Atlantic Minerals Ltd.          $ 1000.00   Tom Marshall

Avalon Coal Salt Ltd          $ 1000.00    Tom Hedderson

BAE Newplan Group Ltd   $  500.00    Paul Davis
(SNC Lavalin)
                                           $ 500.00    Paul Davis
                                           $ 500.00    Steve Kent
                                           $ 1000.00  Derrick Dalley
                                           $ 1000.00  Terry French
                                           $ 1000.00  Clyde Jackman
                                           $ 1000.00  Jerome Kennedy

Bennett's Construction         $ 1000.00  Darrin King
and Supplies

Bluebird Investments Ltd     $ 1000.00  Susan Sullivan

Brad Roberts                      $ 2500.00  Jerome Kennedy

Brook Construction             $ 5000.00  Tom Marshall

David Bussey                      $ 2000.00  Jerome Kennedy

CBS Bus Lines                   $ 1000.00  Jerome Kennedy

Canada Fluorspar               $ 1000.00  Darrin King
Cold Ocean Salmon            $ 1500.00  Darin King
                                           $ 2500.00 Clyde Jackman
Coleman Management         $7500.00  Tom Marshall

Concord Paving                  $1000.00  Charlene Johnson
                                           $3000.00  Jerome Kennedy

Corner Brook Pulp and       $1000.00  Tom Marshall

Dr. G. E. Drogar PMC Inc  $1000.00 Susan Sullivan

Dr. King Jim PMC Inc        $ 100.00  Susan Sullivan

Dr. MS Boodhurn PMC     $  100.00 Susan Sullivan

Dr. Michael Cohen PMC   $  500.00 Susan Sullivan

Dr. Steven Parsons PMC    $ 1000.00  Susan Sullivan

Eastern Star Group Ltd      $ 3500.00  Derrick Dalley

Phillip J Davis                    $ 3500.00  Derrick Dalley

Emera Inc                          $ 1200.00  Shawn Skinner

Fairview Investments          $ 2800.00  Kathy Dunderale

Farrells Excavating Ltd       $  500.00  Clyde Jackman
                                          $1000.00  Terry French
                                          $2000.00  Tom Hedderson

Freak's Ambulance             $1500.00  Kevin O'Brien
Service                               $1500.00  Susan Sullivan

Fusion BPO Services          $1500.00  Susan Sullivan

Harris and Associates          $  100.00  Charlene Johnson
                                           $1000.00  Jerome Kennedy

Hearne Fougere Architects   $ 500.00  Clyde Jackman
Inc                                       $ 500.00  Joan Burke
                                            $ 500.00  Charlene Johnson                                           
                                            $ 500.00  Darrin King
                                            $1000.00 Jerome Kennedy
                                            $1200.00 Shawn Skinner
                                            $5000.00 Tom Marshall

J-1 Contracting                    $5000.00  Kathy Dunderdale

Johnson's Construction Ltd   $5000.00  Tom Marshall

Land and Sea Wielding         $2000.00  Jerome Kennedy

Malthius Canada Ltd            $1000.00  Paul Davis

Marine Contractors Inc        $5000.00  Tom Marshall

Marystown Shopping           $3049.00  Clyde Jackman
Centre Ltd (PQ)

Mercer's Ambulance            $2500.00  Derrick Dalley

Municipal Construction        $2500.00  Tom Hedderson

Nortech Construction Co    $1000.00  Derrick Dalley
Ltd                                     $1000.00  Clyde Jackman
                                           $1000.00  Darin King

Oram Group Inc                 $2000.00  Charlene Johnson

Pardy's Waste Management  $1000.00  Tom Marshall

Pennecon Limited                 $1000.00  Derrick Dalley
                                            $1000.00  Terry French
                                            $1000.00  Tom Hedderson
                                            $1000.00  Keith Hutchings
                                            $1000.00  Darin King
                                            $1000.00  Shawn Skinner
                                            $2000.00  Kathy Dunderdale

Penney Paving Ltd.               $1000.00  Tom Hedderson
                                            $2500.00  Susan Sullivan

PBH Group Inc (Stantech)   $1000.00  Joan Burke
                                            $5000.00  Darin King

Pinnacle Engineering Ltd      $1000.00  Kathy Dunderdale

Provincial Airlines Limited    $1000.00  Joan Burke
                                           $1000.00  Derrick Dalley
                                           $1000.00  Kathy Dunderdale
                                           $1000.00  Charlene Johnson
                                           $1000.00  Shawn Skinner

Provincial Paving Ltd.          $ 500.00  Keith Hutchings

Pyramid Construction Ltd    $ 300.00  Tom Hedderson
                                           $ 300.00  Keith Hutchings
                                           $ 300.00  Kevin O'Brien
Reliable Ambulance           $1500.00  Tom Marshall

RJG Construction Ltd        $2500.00  Darrin King

Ron Fougere Associates    $2000.00  Kathy Dunderdale

Terra Inns Ltd                   $2000.00  Kathy Dunderdale

The Brigus Production       $1000.00  Terry French

Tiffany Village                   $1000.00  Kathy Dunderdale

Western Petroleum           $1500.00  Jerome Kennedy
Newfoundland Ltd 

Western Star Trucks Ltd   $ 500.00  Susan Sullivan

This list does not include Ross Wiseman who received substantial like donations, but is now the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Having studied the donation lists extensively over the last year, I have some observations:

1.    It appears that the more influence the Cabinet Minister has within the government, the more and the     higher the donations from corporations that have contracts with the government;

2.   There are numerous cases where the Minister responsible for a department is actually receiving direct political donations from a company that deals directly with her or his department, for example - Hedderson in Transportation and Works getting donations from excavation, construction and paving companies - Sullivan in Health Care receiving donations from doctors - etc;

3.  Donation from corporations with live bids on the Muskrat Falls contract - for example Coleman Management Services (owned by current PC Party Leadership candidate Frank Coleman) to current interim Premier Tom Marshall;

4.  Ordinary MHA's of the government receive almost nothing in donations from corporations with government contracts, relative to the Cabinet Ministers - which implies there is an order of donation based upon influence within the government;

5.  Corporate donations to Cabinet ministers of the government is rampant among smaller industries dependent on government money - ambulance services; funeral homes, seniors homes, school bus companies, the aqua culture industry, etc. Most of those donations have not been recorded here as they receive grants from government, but do not necessarily have a contract for supply with the government; and

6.  Almost no members of the Liberal or NDP parties received donations from these companies - although a few, small donations were made.

Total corporate donations from companies, doing business with the government, to Cabinet Ministers in the 2011 general election:

Tom Marshall         $37,000.00
Kathy Dunderdale  $15,000.00
Jerome Kennedy    $14,000.00
Derrick Dalley       $14,000.00
Darin King             $13,000.00
Clyde Jackman      $10,500.00
Susan Sullivan        $ 9,700.00
Tom Hedderson     $ 8,800.00
Shawn Skinner       $ 4,800.00  (subsequently defeated)
Charlene Johnson   $ 4,600.00
Terry French          $ 4,000.00 
Joan Burke            $ 2,800.00
Patty Pottle            $ 2,000.00  (subsequently defeated)
Paul Davis             $ 2,000.00
Kevin O'Brien       $ 1,800.00
Keith Hutchings     $ 1,800.00

This post is written to inform the public on a matter of public interest. It is written to inform those that were unaware. It is written to change what needs to be changed in our province, for the benefit of the people of the province. It is written to uphold the law. As it stands now, these issues need investigating by the Special Branch of the RCMP. Until the issue is investigated, and if people are charged, and if they are convicted, then these observations remain just that.  



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