What is the difference currently between the Government of Canada and the Canada Port Authority/Oshawa Port Authority?
In August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the cheque for a $4.5 billion purchase of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline project. In Nov. 2016, the Oshawa Port Authority incurred an extraordinary non-operational debt of $4.2 million imposed by an arbitrator’s decision in favour of FarmTech Energy.
The similarities are quite remarkable. Each level of government, the senior one and the local harbour authority, neglected the most common of due diligence procedures of anybody’s business model: asking the right questions.
The PM did not ask and nobody in all the ranks of the civil service thought to tell him that the Harper rules of environment assessment were flawed. The decision of the federal Court of Appeal that the project should never have been given approval was not a surprise.
In a fit of impatience with FarmTech over insurance coverage, Mr. Valcour and his Board improperly terminated the lease of lands, the Gifford Hill, on which the ethanol refinery was to be built and operated. Without regard of consequences.
One more truly bewildering difference between the two levels of government. The taxpayers of Canada, without a doubt, know that they will be called on to fund the addition to the federal deficit triggered by the Kinder Morgan purchase.
As of Dec. 11’s annual general meeting, however, we still don’t know from the Port Authority how its $4.2 million debt is being carried or when it will be paid off! Tune in, folks, this time next year.