After approximately two and a half years of investigation, no charges will be laid as a result of GTH land transactions, RCMP announced Wednesday.
A series of events led to the provincial government paying significantly higher prices for land near the Global Transportation Hub than the Ministry of Highways appraised value. The landowners who profited had connections to former MLA Bill Boyd.
Last year, Conflict of Interest Commissioner Rob Barclay found Boyd violated the provincial Conflict of Interest Act resulting from a business trip to China. Boyd is no longer in government.
According to an RCMP press release, disclosing investigation results without charges is unusual.
“In order to protect the privacy and the reputations of those we investigate, the RCMP generally does not disclose the results of our investigations until and unless they result in charges.”
The RCMP investigation regarding GTH land transactions began in February 2016. The investigation team was assembled based on their experience and background, Superintendent Paul Saganski of the Federal Criminal Operations Office said.
Thousands of documents were examined, which take a long time to investigate. According to an RCMP press release, more than 40 people were interviewed and some re-interviewed.
According to RCMP, all documents were “freely provided to investigators by the holding parties.” Police executed no search warrants, Saganski said.
Saganski said investigators performed an investigation to the extent that they “felt comfortable understanding how the transactions took place.”
As with many RCMP press conferences, the range of topics RCMP discussed was mostly limited to the immediately relevant topic.
As stated in the release, “the investigative team consisted of as many as 10 members at times, as required. All of them are experienced in commercial crime and fraud-related investigations.”
RCMP estimate the investigation took approximately 7,500 hours, or 1,000 working days.