Changes needed to make government accountable: NDP

Today, the NDP called on the Sask. Party government to strengthen legislation to prevent conflicts of interest and backroom deals, after Conflict of Interest Commissioner Ronald Barclay’s 2019 annual report noted that the government has yet to implement any recommendations from his previous report.

“The people of Saskatchewan deserve a government they can trust, and that means an open and transparent government,” said NDP Ethics and Democracy Critic David Forbes. “People are rightly concerned about the effect that the Sask. Party’s wealthy donors and insiders have on their government.”

The Conflict of Interest Commissioner reissued many of his previous recommendations, including eliminating the 100-hour threshold that allows in-house lobbyists to avoid registering as lobbyists.

The Sask. Party has repeatedly opposed measures to increase transparency, including voting down a bill to get big money out of politics and not supporting another NDP bill that would have addressed the commissioner’s concerns

Meanwhile, the Sask. Party pushed through a sweetheart deal for their largest corporate donor to build in Wascana Park and orchestrated sketchy land deals at the GTH. Bill Boyd was found to have breached existing conflict-of-interest laws, using his office for financial gain while in China. Donna Harpauer accepted paid accommodations from a Northern Village council, while government was asked to investigate issues with the council.  

“The Sask. Party has a long history of skirting the rules and falling short of what people expect,” said Forbes. “By failing to implement these long-overdue changes, the Sask. Party government is letting people down again.”