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Report outlines MLAs' investments

WEST Vancouver-Sea to Sky representative Joan McIntyre was the only North Shore MLA to declare a gift last year on recently released public disclosure statements. McIntyre had her $350 dinner ticket to the B.C.

WEST Vancouver-Sea to Sky representative Joan McIntyre was the only North Shore MLA to declare a gift last year on recently released public disclosure statements.

McIntyre had her $350 dinner ticket to the B.C. Liberal Party leader's fundraising dinner in June donated by the Isle Morris Jade Group.

The West Vancouver MLA, who owns residential property in West Vancouver and Victoria, also had the most detailed list of financial assets among provincial North Shore politicians.

Disclosure statements filed with the clerk's office in the legislature shows McIntyre owns shares in a number of oil and gas and mining companies including Encana, Enbridge, Pembina Pipeline Corp., Inter Pipeline Fund, Husky Energy, Advantage Oil & Gas, Atlantic Power Corp, Just Energy Group, Transalta Corp, Cenovus Energy, Sherritt International, and Goldcorp Inc. She also listed shares in financial institutions, real estate investments and others, including the Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of Nova Scotia, Manulife Financial, Extendicare Real Estate Investment Trust, H&R Real Estate Investment Trust, Canexus Corp and Verizon Communications.

McIntyre also listed investments in six self-directed mutual funds plus bonds in Enbridge, Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust, Bell Canada, CIBC and Brookfield Asset Management.

McIntyre's husband Andrew Pottinger - head of a public relations company that works with real estate developers - has shares in more than 30 companies, including financial companies like JP Morgan Chase, pharmaceutical companies including Merck and Pfizer, tobacco company Philip Morris International and its parent company Altria Group, and oil and gas companies including TransCanada and British Petroleum.

Pottinger also held bonds in Loblaw, Shaw Communications, Atlantic Power, Bell Aliant Regional Communications and Primaris Retail, as well as investments in six mutual funds.

The couple also listed investment funds held in tax-free savings accounts, a registered educational savings plan and guarantee investment certificates or term deposits.

The couple are joint owners of AJ Pottinger & Associates, their public relations company, which itself has interest in a number of companies, mostly real estate and energy companies.

In additional to her $101,000 MLA's salary, McIntyre also drew a dividend from that company.

Her husband's investment holding company, AJP Investments Ltd. also has a one-third interest in a company that hold shares in Mayne Island Resort Development.

McIntyre isn't the only local MLA who is not relying on her salary to pay the bills.

In addition to his MLA's salary, fellow West Vancouver-Capilano MLA Ralph Sultan - whose previous careers included teaching business at Harvard and being chief economist of the Royal Bank of Canada - drew income from five different pensions, including government pensions from both the U.S. and Canada, a private pension from the Royal Bank and from a U.S. mutual funds based retirement fund.

Sultan, also holds a self-directed retirement income fund with the Royal Bank, which holds shares in nine companies, including oil and gas companies Encana, and Canadian Natural Resources, mining companies Goldcorp, Pretium Resources and Silver Wheaton, plus investments in the Royal Bank, Canfor and MacDonald Dettwiler, a B.C.-based aerospace and military technology company.

Sultan owns property in both West Vancouver and Victoria. He also has an interest in Sultan & Co., a legal company in Vermont.

Sultan did not declare any gifts received with a value over $250.

Public disclosure statements for two North Vancouver MLAs were far briefer.

Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour, owns a residential property in North Vancouver and has mutual funds in RRSPs and a registered educational savings plan.

Naomi Yamamoto, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale, also owns property in North Vancouver, and holds several RRSPs including mutual funds at the North Shore Credit Union, and one securities plan held by Credential Securities, administered by the broker without prior discussion with her.

In additional to her MLA's salary, Yamamoto earns additional pay for her work as Minister of Advanced Education.

Disclosure forms are important, said Royce Koop, assistant professor in Simon Fraser University's school of public policy, because they show any possible conflicts of interest between a politician's private financial dealings and their public responsibilities.

Most politicians are extremely careful, and will request an opinion from the Conflict of Interest Commissioner if there's any question about what they should be doing, said Koop.

"They're terrified of stepping on a land mine," he said. "They're likely to be cautious."

Members of the public can also ask the commissioner to look into a situation if they feel there is a possible conflict.