Monday, October 24, 2011
Michael Smyth says: "I didn’t think anything could stink worse than the B.C. Rail plea bargain ..."
BC Mary comment: Before he left B.C., Gordo established a mega-ministry to issue faster, easier permitting of natural resources. His "visionary" Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations might work to the advantage of foreign corporations ... or ... their expedited permits might simply collapse, leaving the foreign corporations like Boss Power with the option, clearly exposed here, of suing the BC taxpayers for their pain. The foreign corporations can't lose. Today, Michael Smyth smells an old, familiar stench ...
$30 million keeps Liberal mine deal out of court
By Michael Smyth
The Province - October 24, 2011
To hear Energy Minister Rich Coleman describe it, paying a $30-million settlement to a mining company for blocking the company’s claim to a uranium deposit is no big deal.
But the opposition NDP has a different view of the astonishing deal with Boss Power that burned B.C. taxpayers to a crisp: It’s hush money, they say, to protect Liberal politicians.
Now the NDP are demanding answers — and an apology.
“Saying, ‘I’m sorry, we broke the law, and it cost taxpayers $30 million’ — that would be a start,” said NDP energy critic John Horgan.
But an apology wasn’t coming Monday — and answers were in short supply during a raucous session of the legislature.
The government’s costly battle with Boss Power began in April 2008, when the ruling Liberals announced a ban on uranium mining.
Just three days earlier, Boss Power filed an application to proceed with exploratory drilling of a uranium deposit they claimed near the Big White ski resort, south of Kelowna.
During the subsequent legal tussle between the company and the government, it emerged that the province’s chief inspector of mines had been told to ignore the company’s drilling application.
That was despite the fact that the government had an internal legal opinion that said ignoring the application would be a “breach of statutory duty” — or “breaking the law” as the New Democrats prefer to put it.
Now the company had the Liberals over a barrel. They sued to the hilt. And the government settled out of court last week for $30 million.
Did the government buy an end to a politically embarrassing trial? Who knows how many cabinet ministers and top bureaucrats would have been called to testify in court? And this is the same bunch that cut a $6-million plea-bargain deal to bring an end to the politically toxic B.C. Rail corruption trial.
“This is a case of, ‘I’ll see your $6 million, and raise you $30 million,’” said Horgan, who demanded to know why such a vast amount of money was forked over to the company.
Now the government is refusing to release internal legal documents showing how the $30-million figure was arrived at.
I didn’t think anything could stink worse than the B.C. Rail plea bargain. This one comes close. And the stench is still rising.
Read more HERE:
Don't miss the best-ever, most concise and irrefutable summary of how this bit of legalized corruption went down ... while remembering BC Rail:
by Paul Willcocks
Click HERE for Paul's full explanation
The bigger problem is too many of the voters are still being bamboozled by these masters of lies and deception.
this reminds me of the "compensation" paid forestry and mining companies for timber leases they were given that they never used, or agreed not to use, even though the paperwork signing those claims over to them didn't cost them a damn thing other than campaign contributions.
This $30 million payout is the tip of a much bigger iceberg....all a company has to do is say they want to do a mine they will not get approved, have a contract with the gov over it with certain clauses, then get shut out and threaten to go to court, then take a settlement from their friendly government, etc.
This is racketeering, plain and simple.
Can ANYONE get such clauses in government contracts? No, only certain people/investors...and HOW would you come to be such a person/investor? Oh, yeah, campaign contributions and a few cocktail parties, maybe a barbeque on Savary Island.... Maybe some game tickets in Denver aren't such a "bribe" at all, relative to this kind of thing.
Do you think there are lawyers who care so much about British Columbia and about the graceful beauty of the law itself ...
that they'd go through the recent BC legislation and begin laying charges?
This $30Million suit contains enough evidence to convict the Campbell/ChristyClark government ...
but must we sit through the torture of watching Learned Robes miss the point time after time, as with BC Rail?
If criminal charges aren't laid as a result of this $30Million Uranium caper, there's no longer any doubt about BC's situation.
begs the question:
how can it be legal to write a virtual pardon into a contract?
Doesn't this reveal criminal intent?
Coleman has no extensive administrative background. Yet he soon found himself Solicitor General. He packed that ministry with ex-cops. That continued until Gordo felt leveraged - which is what the cop lobby does - after Coleman approved the BVB raid. Cops have been given a blank cheque in this province since same. As did Ontario cops get same after the cop-lobby targeted Judy Sgro (Toronto Councillor and later Federal Liberal MP).
I have wanted Coleman put under the microscope since he suppressed the Frank Paul inquiry, on cop "morale" grounds.
Maybe Coleman can bear scrutiny, but there should be no blank spots in the background of Cabinet Ministers.
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