It was nice to take a break from both Saskatchewan’s weather and its political environment. The problem is that neither has gotten any better. Saskatchewan is going to go through several months of winter, and the Wall government refuses to own up to their mistakes.
It is absolutely unconscionable that the Legislative Assembly has been shut down without providing the answers that taxpayers need on the GTH Land scandal. I fully understand the necessity of shutting down the Legislative Assembly for a couple of days to honour the passing of MLA Roger Parent and allow members the opportunity to attend his funeral. But to not have any more question periods or the ability to call witnesses to the Public Accounts Committee until the spring session for the Legislature opens is totally unacceptable.
The PC Party of Saskatchewan is demanding the Sask Party government release the names of the members who sat on Cabinet’s Land Purchase Committee during the time of the land deal in question regarding the Global Transportation Hub (GTH).
PC Party Leader, Rick Swenson says “This committee was formed after the first sale to the mystery caller fell through, and was put in place to ensure due diligence for future land purchases. If there was due diligence, how could the committee allow the GTH to pay even more for the land than would have been paid in the botched attempt. I think the taxpayers of Saskatchewan have the right to know which members of the cabinet served on this committee and allowed the government to waste millions of taxpayers’ dollars.”
Today's commentary is written by Party President, Grant Schmidt.
P.C. President’s Commentary
Debt: Good, Bad and Ugly
This morning, the President is ranting about debt. The first thing we need to know about debt is the majority of Canadians don’t care about government debt. All the statistics and polls can’t be wrong.
In the April election, Brad Wall would not reveal his budget and the voters didn’t care. That does not mean the P.C. Party shouldn’t care. Our purpose is to lead the people to a better future. Our motto is “For the Right Reasons.”
Why is good debt good? Good debt is when you borrow to grow your assets, the profits of which pay off the debt.
SASK PARTY LETS LIQUOR MONEY FLOW OUT OF PROVINCE
“With the economy faltering and the budget deficit growing, the Sask Party government let its ideology overrule common sense and allows more of our money to leave Saskatchewan.” That is the opinion of PC Party Leader Rick Swenson.
“Every new liquor store awarded in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Yorkton, Melville and the Battlefords were given to companies that are not based in Saskatchewan. Instead, the money from those stores will go to the Maritimes, British Columbia and Alberta. Saskatchewan entrepreneurs have been selling liquor for decades in conjunction with the government run SLGA stores. Those profits both private and public stayed in Saskatchewan. The Sask Party is now ensuring that tens of millions will leave this province.”
P.C. President’s Commentary
Our leader, Rick Swenson is away on two weeks of earned vacation. My first Monday morning commentary of the year will be a President’s report.
At our Annual General Meeting in early November, Rick announced he would step down as Leader when we elect a new leader. Rick will continue to act as interim leader until we get the Party already to elect a new leader.
Rick has taken us to credibility and an alternative to the two rich and powerful parties of the left and far right.
One of the responsibilities that I had as an MLA was the position of Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. It is the only committee in the Legislature chaired by a member of the opposition. The governing party always has the majority on the committee. It was a tremendous learning experience and taught me a lot about government. I wished I had the experience before becoming a Cabinet Minister.
It can be a fine balancing act to get the answers necessary to protect the taxpayer of the province and at the same time, allow the government of the day to proceed with its agenda. The Provincial Auditor is part and parcel of the committee and is the greatest resource available to the committee.
My situation was very similar to what we have today. There was a very large NDP government of over 50 members and a PC opposition of 10 members. The balance is basically the same today between the Sask Party and the NDP opposition.
In a news release dated October 17, 2016, the PC Party of Saskatchewan called on Premier Wall to refer the GTH case to Alberta Justice as has been the past procedure in cases of potential conflict of interest by members of a Saskatchewan government.
Yesterday, Sask Party MLAs on the Public Accounts Committee voted to defeat a motion to invite former GTH CEO John Law, interim CEO Chris Dekker and current Deputy Minister Laurie Pushor to speak before the Public Accounts Committee to answer questions surrounding the GTH land deal. These individuals must be questioned under oath to see what they know about the over $21 million of taxpayer's money spent on this deal. Over $11 million of that went to two individuals who have business relationships or political relationships with the former Minister and are Sask Party donors.