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Saskatchewan RCMP say no charges are being laid after an investigation into a controversial provincial government land deal.

Crown corporation Global Transportation Hub purchased a chunk of land west of Regina in 2015 for what critics say was three times the appraised value. The corporation then sold some of the land for half the purchase price.

The RCMP started investigating the purchase in February 2016 after complaints.

“This was a highly complex and multi-layered investigation spanning two years of financial transactions and land dealings involving multiple parties,” RCMP Supt. Paul Saganski, federal criminal operations officer, said Wednesday.

“The evidence does not support the laying of charges. As a result, the RCMP is no longer investigating this matter.”

The RCMP would not discuss specific evidence or identify people in the case.

The Mounties said they examined thousands of documents and spent about 7,500 hours on the investigation. More than 40 people were interviewed, including former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall.

Don Morgan, minister responsible for the Global Transportation Hub, said the government made mistakes with the file. The land deal was “probably not a business that government should have been involved in,” he said.

“We did a poor job in assembling the land. We moved too slowly,” Morgan said in Saskatoon. “That allowed speculators to move in, buy the land and resell it at a much higher cost to taxpayers than we would have paid had we acted sooner.”

Morgan said it’s time to move on.

Opposition NDP critic Trent Wotherspoon said a judicial inquiry is needed.

“Clearly Saskatchewan people deserve answers,” Wotherspoon said. “Millions of dollars have been wasted. Taxpayers have been ripped off ... government has been anything but forthright.

“In fact, they’ve been dishonest along the way.”

Morgan dismissed the need for an inquiry. He pointed out that details of the deal are already public.

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