Pebbles Take

Friday, July 28, 2006

Lexis Background on Dinning and Martin

"Premier Ralph Klein said former provincial treasurer Jim Dinning is probably embarrassed that his private message calling for Paul Martin to replace Prime Minister Jean Chretien has become public.

But Klein's not sure whether it will damage Dinning's chances if he makes a run at Alberta's Conservative leadership one day.

The premier was responding to a new story that Dinning wrote a note calling for Martin, the federal finance minister, to replace Chretien. The note accompanied a $25,000 donation by TransAlta Corp. to Martin's unofficial leadership campaign. Dinning is TransAlta's executive vice-president for sustainable development and external relations.

The note insisted it was time for Chretien to step down and be replaced as prime minister by Martin. "It was urging the replacement of Chretien with Martin -- soon," a Liberal insider said.

Dinning confirmed Tuesday that he wrote the note, but suggested it is TransAlta that wants Martin to replace Chretien.

"Remember, it is TransAlta Corp. that you're talking about, and I am an officer of TransAlta Corp.," he said. "By the very definition of TransAlta making a contribution to the Paul Martin campaign, we were expressing a preference."

Dinning has often been touted as a possible successor to Klein.

On Wednesday, Klein was reluctant to say that Dinning would be embarrassed because he aspires to become involved in provincial politics again. "I can't speak for Jim Dinning, but Jim is sort of a political junkie.

"One assumes that's not his personal donation, it's a donation on the part of TransAlta."

Martin, Klein said, is probably one of the most popular federal ministers in Alberta. But he said he would not vote for the Liberals, even with Martin as leader.

Dinning could not be reached for comment Wednesday."

"TORONTO - A note calling for Paul Martin to replace Jean Chretien that accompanied a controversial $25,000 donation to Martin's leadership campaign was written by one of Alberta's most prominent Conservatives, former provincial finance minister Jim Dinning, the Globe and Mail reported today.

Dinning, who was a key figure in Ralph Klein's Tory government and is touted as his potential successor, had not previously been identified as a backer of efforts to replace the prime minister with Martin, the finance minister.

The $25,000 donation to a trust for Martin's leadership campaign, as yet unofficial, came from TransAlta Corp., an energy distribution company where Dinning is executive vice-president for sustainable development and external affairs.

It was accompanied by a note that insisted it was time for Chretien to go and be replaced as prime minister by Martin. "It was urging the replacement of Chretien with Martin -- soon," a Liberal insider said.

Government sources told the Globe on Tuesday that Dinning wrote and signed the note to fundraiser Jim Palmer.

Dinning confirmed that Tuesday, but suggested that it is TransAlta that wants Martin to replace Chretien.

"Remember, it is TransAlta Corp. that you're talking about, and I am an officer of TransAlta Corp.," he said. "By the very definition of TransAlta making a contribution to the Paul Martin campaign, and chose to do so."

Dinning was treasurer in the Klein government from 1992 to 1997, when it acted dramatically to eliminate the province's deficit.

The hefty donation caused opposition politicians last month to allege Martin had a conflict of interest because Palmer collected it. At the time, Palmer was also being paid to advise the Finance Department on taxation of the resource sector.

One of his law partners, Daryl Fridhandler, who is also a Liberal fundraiser, called this week for a vote to dump Chretien in a leadership review at next February's Liberal convention.

Calgary-based TransAlta, which has assets of $7.8 billion and reported net earnings of $277.7 million in 2001, is a large energy producer and distributor that operates coal, gas, diesel and hydro power plants.

Credit: The Canadian Globe and Mail"

Thanks Lexis Nexis!

1 Comments:

  • Transalta is one of those places where old Conservative pals go to live out there lives on a non-public purse, bought and paid for by Alberta.... but to their credit they ain't alone - there are a few others.

    By Blogger foottothefire, at 7:43 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home