Tainted love?

A "tainted deal" and a "tainted report about the deal" - that's what the New Democrats were talking about in the legislature today, following their release of a government document relating to the privatization of British Columbia Railway Co. assets. That document shows Charles River Associates Inc. - the firm commissioned by the government to independently assess the fairness of that privatization deal - submitted a draft copy of their report to Crown agencies secretariat executive director Yvette Wells 15 days prior to its release.

Writing to Ms. Wells, the firm advised her "we appreciate any feedback from you and other involved individuals," noting Charles River would "continue to revise and edit the report as appropriate." But the New Democrats have no documentation suggesting any such revision or editing actually took place.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Wally Oppal continued to respond to questions about those documents - which were first obtained by legislature raid trial defense lawyers - with answers that New Democrat energy, mines and petroleum resources critic John Horgan described as "always brief and irrelevant."

"We are lawmakers. We do not infringe upon the independence of the courts. So in those circumstances, we do not make comments on those matters that are before the courts," said Attorney General Oppal.

The following is an edited copy of the aforementioned document.

***

From: Smith, Peter J TRAN:EX
Sent: December 5, 2003 3:51 PM
To: 'Matsude, Ammon'
Cc: 'Shughart, Larry; 'Munro, Ian'; 'Foster, Harry'; 'Miller, Brad'; 'Trumpy, Chris REV:EX; 'Bob Shouldice (E-mail)'; mhny@shaw.ca'
Subject: RE: DRAFT-Final Report

hello all. much too late in your day to deal with comments now. will call you monday morning. i realize you are missing two key components of info to finish anyway (transaction documents and the chronology of events). these should be to you monday also. there has been some talk about a release next wednesday (dec. 10). we will try and make that possible if you are agreement. otherwise, the concern is that it will be too close to holiday season. more monday. yvette.

----Original Message----

From: Matsuda, Ammon [mailto:AMatsuda@crai.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 3:43 PM
To: Wells, Yvette FIN:EX
Cc: Shughart, Larry; Munro, Ian; Foster, Harry; Miller, Brad; Matsuda, Ammon
Subject: DRAFT-Final Report

Yvette:

Please find attached out latest draft of the final report, along with two confidential appendices for the Province's eyes only. You will notice that there are highlighted areas - these are currently being addressed by our team. We will continue to revise and edit the report as appropriate, and we appreciate any feedback from you and other involved individuals. Please let me know if you have any trouble receiving the two files (the main report is almost 2MB). You can reach me tonight if you need me to resend the files. Thanks very much.

Regards,

Ammon

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Ammon W. Matsuda
Charles River Associates
200 Clarendon Street, T-33
Boston, WA 02116-5092

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