Tuesday, June 24, 2008

 
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Hansard continued from March 3, 2004:


J. MacPhail: What action did the cabinet take on the CP Rail letter regarding the B.C. Rail sell-off?

Hon. G. Collins: The fairness commissioner has already taken all those issues into consideration and reported on them.

J. MacPhail: Oh, I can just see it, if he were in opposition. They set up their own commission to examine how well they're doing. They limit the parameters of the fairness review, and then they say: "Oh my God, that stamp of approval. We created the stamp. The size of the stamp and the ink the stamp is going to use justifies everything we did." Wow, aren't those high standards?

Is it the minister's point, then, that the fairness commissioner looked at the CP Rail letter?

Hon. G. Collins: I believe so.

J. MacPhail: Did cabinet decide that the fairness commissioner was able to deal with CP Rail's allegations?

Hon. G. Collins: No, I believe the fairness commissioner did.

J. MacPhail: Well, the fairness commissioner said that they didn't deal with the allegations and that it was not part of their review. The fairness commissioner, in its report, said: "We did not have the right to review those kinds of allegations." Did anyone else deal with them?

Hon. G. Collins: That's why the member should be asking the Minister of Transportation these questions.

J. MacPhail: If I want to know who made the decision to cut a $750 million deal with B.C. Rail, with CN …. It ain't one billion, Mr. Chair ... It's $745 million, actually, and the taxpayers are on the hook for the other $255 million in indemnity — $745 million. I'm to ask the Minister of Transportation what went on at Treasury Board, what went on at cabinet. Did the Minister of Transportation sit on Treasury Board at that time? ...

Hon. G. Collins: The current Minister of Transportation did at the time. I don't know whether he attended all the meetings. In fact, I know he probably hasn't attended all the Treasury Board meetings. I've already described for the member, to the best of my knowledge, how this transaction took place. If she wants to pursue it further, she should take it up with the Minister of Transportation. I've also said that the ultimate decision-maker was cabinet. It's always cabinet.

[1600]

J. MacPhail: Yeah. Well, I assert that cabinet didn't make any decision about this deal before the deal was announced — none whatsoever. I also assert that cabinet didn't deal with CP Rail's accusations and neither did the fairness commissioner.

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Note: G West said...

Mary, the gain on the transaction was 199 million dollars.

The details are in note 33 of this pdf:
http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/ocg/pa/04_05/PA_2005_Summ.pdf

Look at page 44 of the pdf version.

Selling this as a billion dollar gain is nonsense.

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Comments:
Dear Mary,
I believe these excerpts are from March 3. A small quibble.
 
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Anonymous 9:29,

Your correction is welcomed. Many thanks.

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