Pro-HST campaign contracts doled out to firms with Liberal ties -

Pro-HST campaign contracts doled out to firms with Liberal ties

Secret contracts worth more than $250,000


The branch of the B.C. government responsible for orchestrating the province’s pro-HST campaign secretly handed out three contracts worth more than $250,000 as of June 1, according to documents obtained by The Globe and Mail through an access to information request. Campaign Research Ltd. received the highest paying contract for conducting the government’s telephone town hall meetings about the HST. The firm, which previously worked on Liberal cabinet minister George Abbott’s failed leadership campaign, received $167,800. Backbone Technology, Inc., which has worked for the Liberals since 2001, was paid over $50,000 to design the province’s HST information website. And former aide Marc Andrew was paid more than $30,000 to provide “political analysis” to Tom Syer, head of the HST information office. Rules require that government contracts worth more than $25,000 be handed out after an open, competitive process. But in this case, a loophole was used that allows contracts to be awarded without public notice if doing so would “compromise government confidentiality.” Finance Ministry spokesman Matt Gordon told The Globe and Mail that these contracts fit that category because they included strategic information of a “privileged nature.”





The Globe and Mail

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