The NDP made a lot of noise about Patrick Kinsella before the legislature shut down yesterday (March 31). The NDP linked Kinsella to a number of controversial issues in recent years—appearing to borrow heavily from this definitive article by Sean Holman. It's worth reading because it will likely form the basis of the NDP's campaign to throw out the B.C. Liberals on May 12.
Kinsella has been around politics in B.C. since the early 1980s when then-premier Bill Bennett imported him from Ontario. Kinsella was a key member of the Ontario Big Blue Machine, which helped the Conservative premier of the day, Bill Davis, win provincial elections.
Bennett, a Socred, nearly lost the 1979 election, and he needed someone who could create a more modern political marketing machine.
Kinsella portrayed Bennett as a tough guy, according to a very good book of the same name by Allen Garr, which helped Bennett's reelection campaign in 1983.
However, Kinsella's reputation took a beating 10 years later when former Bennett advisor Kim Campbell was trounced in her attempt to get elected as prime minister. Kinsella was the major campaign operative.
In recent years, Kinsella has kept a low profile even as he quarterbacked Gordon Campbell's two successful campaigns to become premier.
That's about to change—thanks in part to Holman's revelations last year on his Web site www.publiceyeonline.com/. He performed a useful public service, and it's too bad that his employer, the commuter paper 24 hours, didn't see fit to keep him on staff.
Pierre-Karl Peladeau, the head of media giant Quebecor, could have afforded to keep Holman working for his company. Perhaps Peladeau didn't want these types of stories surfacing in his newspaper during an election campaign. Generally speaking, businessmen don't like pissing off provincial premiers—though there are some exceptions to that rule.