Saskatchewan

Sask. conflict of interest commissioner won't look into Bill Boyd's role in GTH land deals

Ron Barclay, Saskatchewan's conflict of interest commissioner, will not investigate whether Bill Boyd was in a conflict of interest over a Global Transportation Hub land deal.

NDP request lacked enough reasonable or probable grounds, says Ron Barclay

Conflict of Interest Commissioner Ron Barclay says there are not enough probable or reasonable grounds to produce an opinion on whether or not Bill Boyd violated the conflict of interest act in regard to the 204-acre Global Transportation Hub land deal. (CBC)

Ron Barclay, Saskatchewan's conflict of interest commissioner, will not investigate whether former Minister of Economy Bill Boyd was in a conflict of interest over a Global Transportation Hub land deal.

Nicole Sarauer, interim leader of the Opposition NDP, asked Barclay to look into the matter on Aug. 30, two days before Boyd retired as the Saskatchewan Party MLA for Kindersley.

He announced his retirement, effective Sept. 1, on Aug. 15.

Barclay said the NDP did not provide him with enough probable or reasonable grounds to believe that Boyd had violated the province's conflict of interest act.

"Your letter does not allege that Mr. Boyd personally benefited from the GTH transaction, that the GTH transaction benefited Mr. Boyd's family, or that the GTH transaction benefit any associate of Mr. Boyd." 

Barclay noted that although the NDP had not provided sufficient grounds for him to launch an inquiry, it did not mean Boyd had complied with the act. 

Land deal

Sarauer had requested Barclay look into Boyd's role in a series of land transactions related to the Global Transportation Hub.

The province bought 204 acres of land for a price of about $21 million. The land had been appraised by the Ministry of Highways at about $30,000 to $35,000 an acre in October 2013.

Confused about the GTH land deal? Here's a short explainer video

6 years ago
Duration 8:40
In 2015, CBC Saskatchewan's iTeam started looking into a transaction between the Global Transportation Hub and a Regina developer. This video is a summary of what CBC has learned since then.

Anthony Marquart, a Regina-based businessman, made $5 million from the GTH's purchase of the land. A year before Marquart sold the land to the GTH, he purchased it from businessman Robert Tappauf.

Tappauf's family, through a company, had donated to Boyd's political campaign in 2011. Boyd had also rented land from a company which is connected to Tappauf. 

Boyd maintains that he and Tappauf have never met. 

Boyd denies conflict of interest

Boyd has always maintained he was not in a conflict of interest regarding the GTH and the land deal. 

"Boyd has no knowledge of this transaction and was not aware that Robert Tappauf ever had any involvement with this parcel of land," a government official said in 2016.

In January 2016, as CBC was researching the GTH land deal story, Boyd asked the commissioner to review the landlord/renter relationship between Boyd and the Tappauf family.

Barclay looked at the business arrangement, and ruled it did not create a conflict of interest. 

With files from Geoff Leo

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