A leaked copy of the BC Rail contract between CN and the British Columbia government has sparked controversy, raising questions about a possible government cover-up. The Campbell government has been telling the public the deal is a 60-year lease with a 30-year renewal option. But the leaked document shows the contract contains 15 additional 60-year renewal clauses, giving CN control for up to 990 years for $1 billion.
The contract also allows the government to transfer all of its right, title and interest in the land to CN for $1 if services were discontinued for more than five years.
The deal will be completed once cleared by the federal competition bureau, expected within weeks. Meanwhile, the Campbell government continues to keep contract details under wraps. Not only will details of the transaction not be released until after the deal is completed, information that is commercially sensitive will be exempted from public access.