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Clark cleared of conflict in connection to sale of BC Rail

Premier Christy Clark has been cleared of conflict of interest in connection to the Liberal government's decision to privatize BC Rail in 2003.

Independent MLA John van Dongen alleged Clark was in a conflict as a cabinet minister a decade ago when the government decided to sell off the Crown-owned railway.

Shortly after the allegation was made, provincial Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser stepped aside from the inquiry saying he too might be considered in conflict because his son worked for the Liberal government, and he referred the investigation to an independent review.

In a decision released today, lawyer Gerald Gerrand says he has no hesitation in concluding that there was no conflict.

The allegation involved a pair of tickets bought by a communications firm to a party fundraiser, but Gerrand said that if ministers disqualified themselves from issues any time a lobbyist attended such a dinner, the result would be democratic paralysis.

He ruled there was no reasonable grounds to believe Clark traded the purchase of $2,400 worth of tickets to the Liberal fundraiser for influence on a cabinet decision.

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