“The Tower Road Junction should never have been built and is a complete waste of $200 million of taxpayers’ money” stated P.C. Party Leader Rick Swenson.
For over nine months the P.C. Opposition has been investigating the Wall Government’s Regina Bypass project. Swenson said he is disgusted with what the P.C. Party and its volunteers have found out about all parts of this bypass project. Saskatchewan’s biggest construction project has now become Saskatchewan’s biggest scandal and the biggest mismanagement of Saskatchewan taxpayers’ money in the 111 year history of the Province.
Today the P.C. Opposition is lifting the veil on more of the Wall Government’s secrets about the moving of Tower Road Junction 400 meters to the East to please the developer friends of the government.
At a conference in Montreal on November 25th and 26th of 2013, the MMM group of consultants gave a presentation entitled “VA Success Supporting Decision Making and Improving Stakeholder Input on Regina Bypass.” The presentation by the MMM Group of consultants who were hired by the Wall government clearly shows that the Tower Road location is not a bypass. The consultants showed a true bypass route but were not hired to do anything other than find a way to justify the Tower Road Junction.
The consultants wrote the previous plans, which were undertaken in 2006 are not relevant because the circumstances have changed.
The changes included: Two of the top ten businesses in the province were objecting to the plan. There was significant political clout being exercised. SHI was unsure on how to proceed because of this. Regina and developers also did not support the plan. The P3 initiative is planned for 2014 so there is significant pressure to find a solution to proceed.
The consultants had several closed meetings with 7 consultants, 7 highway employees, 2 City of Regina managers, 1 R.M. of Sherwood rep., 2 major developers, 1 major business owner, and a major property owner. To Brandt Industries credit they boycotted the meetings.
The documents show the Wall Government was organizing a cover for what they had already decided to do. The consultants provided a cover report for a $127 million dollar junction. Land costs are stilling rising because people are not ready to accept the government’s offers and have now passed $22 million dollars. Expropriations are in the courts. It appears certain developers were happy with the report because through land speculation made a $9 million dollar gross profit and received free service roads.
Swenson said, “The Wall Government was not satisfied with over $150 million dollars of waste. They did not follow the Plan. There were more developers to the east who needed a favour from the taxpayers. So now the Wall Government has built a service road through six quarters of land to the east of the bypass when many other affected landowners along the route have been told no to access. It is absolutely essential that a public inquiry be called because I believe it will reveal approximately $50 million dollars of additional expenses when the consulting fees, land costs and construction costs are all added up on the current location.”
Homeowners, small business stakeholders and the public were not invited to these closed door meetings. Instead, they are being bullied to settle. Have their land and buildings expropriated, and in some cases bulldozed.
We have documents that clearly show that land developers like Long Lake Investments are very happy with this project. Long Lake for instance purchased SW 12-17-19-W2 and NW 12-17-19-W2 from a local farmer on February 21, 2012 for $12,163 per acre. The government in turn offered Long Lake’s investors $76,586 per acre for approximately 110 acres. Long Lake Investments also received a free service road courtesy of the taxpayer.
Long Lake Investments now have subdivided lots from Highway 1 to Highway 33 worth many more millions of dollars than farmland all because of the bypass moving. The taxpayers of Saskatchewan who will be paying for this project for the next 30 years need all of these facts revealed before the election campaign. The misspending on the West side of this project alone demands an inquiry. When the entire project is examined we find hundreds of millions of dollars misspent along with a flawed design that will not build Saskatchewan’s economy.
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