Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BC Liberal Iceberg payouts: $30million to stave off Uranium mining backlash; $6 million stopped Justice being seen to be done in the BC Rail Case

I just had the feeling this morning that as I was reading the concluding paragraphs to Vaughn Palmer's column, he intentionally left the reader to think the next:  BC Rail Trial

..... All very welcome to public servants fearful of being ambushed by their own government.
But hardly sufficient to satisfy public concerns about a case where the government admitted to significant abuse of power on the part of its officials, then paid $30 million to ensure the details would not be aired in open court.  - Vaughn Palmer   Vancouver Sun     "Opinion: B.C. Liberals in a state of denial about $30-million Boss Power payout"

I then turned my attention to two of Michael Smyth's paragraphs in the Vancouver Province:
......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. - "$30 million keeps Liberal mine deal out of court"

From the  Hansard Blues of Monday, October 24, 2011     Do a search for:

L. Krog: A very specific question to the Attorney General about the amount of the settlement: $30 million. We know Boss Power raised the stakes on their claim when they learned of the government's misfeasance, admitted to in court documents. So the question is very simple. Can the Attorney General tell us, of the $30 million, how much was going to compensate Boss for the uranium mine, and how much was going to pay for the government's wrongdoing?
Hon. R. Coleman: It was all with regards to a negotiation that started long before the issues the member mentioned. With regards to the tenure, it started with parties a long way apart in dollars coming together, over a period of time, to some middle ground to where the two parties, prior to going to trial, came to the conclusion and recommended the lawyers of the Attorney General settle the claim, and that's what we did.
Mr. Speaker: The member has a supplemental.
L. Krog: You didn't pull $30 million out of thin air. Proper process would have been to have proper, independent evaluations done. What I want to know is exactly what that evaluation was. When was it given? Who gave it? Then we'll know the real cost of this government's mishandling.
The question is to the Attorney General: will she table the documents, the evaluations, that led the government to settle for $30 million of taxpayers' money?
Hon. R. Coleman: It was done through negotiations. The valuation
HSE - 20111024 PM 011/llm/1420
$30 million of taxpayers' money?
Hon. R. Coleman: It was done through negotiations. The valuation of subsurface minerals is a complicated process which requires considerable time, and the parties did not agree initially on the amount that the claim was worth. That's where we started. Then there's a negotiation. Through this agreement we delivered on our original commitment to Boss by buying back its claim to the uranium deposits that we made when we made the decision in 2008 that we were not going to do uranium mining.
I don't know what the members opposite want to say, but I think they want to say: "By George, you don't want to have uranium mining in British Columbia, but by George, we don't want to pay anybody that might have a tenure on the ground because we want to ignore their rights." That's what I hear, Mr. Speaker.

From the  Hansard Blues of Monday, October 24, 2011     Do another search, this time for:

Oral Questions

Other ways of seeing our MLAs in action is to click on this link:

House Video  this Link takes you to Hansard .... you might have to click on House Video again OR  Question Period  

Its up to you to draw your own conclusions from the "facts", both as stated in the Hansard Blues, or the columnists.   What one has to keep in mind is this:

"This is a DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY of debate in one sitting of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia."


Paying attention

Paul Willcocks on B.C. politics and life.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cover-up fears as taxpayers pay $30 million to mining company

And Paul added this:

Footnote: The government issued a news release on the settlement late on Oct. 19, the day the shipbuilding contracts were dominating the news. If it was an attempt to hide the news, it failed miserably.
The other interesting question is whether this would be an issue, or if there would be ban, if the deposits were in the north, not the Okanagan.

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