Work Will Be In Official Capacity For The City Of Surrey And Will Be Done With Full Professionalism, Says Vinning!
We asked Federal Liberal Power Broker Prem Vinning, who is also rumoured to be up for a Senate appointment by the Trudeau Liberals, what was the need to accept such a small monetary level contract and his answer is that he is not doing it for the money and that is made sense for him to take the job for a city where he has lived for decades and he wanted to do whatever way he can to help the city grow.
By R. Paul Dhillon
With News Files
The news of federal Liberal power broker Prem Vinning’s company Concise Consulting getting a $28,000 plus contract from the City of Surrey was expected to bring out his critics say he’s just another connected player looking to get on the gravy train but Vinning said it was done out of his love for Surrey and what he hopes the municipality will benefit from the work his company will do.
While Vinning’s company was reported to be hired to lobby senior governments for infrastructure funds but the exact nature of the consulting work is not known as Vinning is quite aware that due to his connections with the federal government and his sons and family employed in the ministry of Defence and Ministry of Infrastructure, that he must tread with the most cautious of ways in the work he plans to do for the City of Surrey.
“My work for the city of Surrey will be in an official capacity and will be done with the utmost integrity and professionalism,” Vinning said.
“I’m aware of the perceived conflicts and I’m not going to lobby the ministries of infrastructure and Defence for obvious reasons but my mandate is something different and I’m looking forward to helping Surrey realize the work that needs to be done,” Vinning said.
DESIBUZZbc asked Vinning, who is also rumoured to be up for a Senate appointment by the Trudeau Liberals, what was the need to accept such a small monetary level contract and his answer is that he is not doing it for the money and that is made sense for him to take the job for a city where he has lived for decades and he wanted to do whatever way he can to help the city grow.
Vinning’s Concise Consulting Ltd. was given a $28,800, six-month no-bid contract to help Surrey’s general manager of investment and intergovernmental relations, Donna Jones, develop a government engagement strategy, reported Business In Vancouver’s Bob Mackin.
Another consulting company Earnscliffe Strategy Group also received a contract worth $21,656 for strategic communications support for the proposed $2.1 billion Surrey light rail transit project. Competitive, public bidding is triggered for Surrey contracts worth $75,000 and up.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to spend $60 billion across the country over the next decade on infrastructure.
Oliver Lum, spokesman for Mayor Linda Hepner, said the scope of Concise’s work includes dedicating eight hours a week from February 1 to August 1 to “generate unique ideas for how Surrey can engage with key government officials” about Surrey’s priority funding needs, reported BIV..
Vinning, a former World Sikh Organization president, was B.C.’s director of Asia-Pacific trade and economic development under Premier Gordon Campbell in 2005, but quit after only three days when it was revealed that he called a talk show under a different name when Campbell was a guest.
Both of Vinning’s sons have found jobs as ministerial aides in Ottawa since the election.
Manjeet Vinning, 28, was named senior special assistant to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.
Gurpreet Vinning, 30, was named policy adviser and special assistant for western and northern Canada for Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, the lead minister responsible for doling out billions in infrastructure spending.
Gurpreet Vinning previously worked under Peter Fassbender, the Surrey-Fleetwood BC Liberal MLA who became minister responsible for TransLink last year.
City of Surrey said in an email to media said that no one with Vinning’s firm will be meeting with any politicians, ministerial staff or senior bureaucrats on behalf of the city, adding Concise Consulting is not "carrying our message to Ottawa."
The hiring doesn’t conflict with Canada’s lobbying rules because Vinning, according to the job description, wouldn’t be meeting with or arranging meetings with politicians, ministerial staff, and senior bureaucrats on behalf of the city, reported the Vancouver Sun.
Conservative MP Dianne Watts told the Sun she’ll leave it to federal authorities to determine if any lines were crossed, but the MP for South Surrey-White Rock said she considers the Vinning family connection problematic.