NEWS

NDP accuses Liberals of paying off uranium company

04/25/2012 04:10 EDT | Updated 06/25/2012 05:12 EDT

The provincial government is denying allegations by the NDP that it overpaid Boss Energy to abandon plans for a uranium mine, in order to cover up wrongdoing.

Boss Energy received a $30 million settlement last October but an internal government evaluation obtained by the NDP under Access to Information shows staff suggested a much lower payout of $8 million.

Shane Simpson, the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Hastings says that shows the provincial government had ulterior motives.

"Will the minister admit that they didn't want to go into court and be open? Instead, they'll use taxpayer money to bury the truth," said Simpson.

“British Columbians deserve to hear the Liberal government explain why they handed over an extra $21 million on the courthouse steps to avoid testifying in court," said New Democrat energy and mines critic John Horgan in a statement released Wednesday.

$30 million deal not cut by politicans

But the Liberal government is defending the amount paid; Premier Christy Clark said the deal wasn't cut by politicians.

"The criminal justice branch decided that was fair compensation," said Clark.

The Liberal government put a ban on uranium mining 2008, shortly after Boss Energy filed permits to develop its Blizzard deposit east of Kelowna, B.C.

Boss Energy sued, but before the case went to trial the provincial government settled, paying the company $30 million to abandon its claim.

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