The NDP is seeking answers as to why the Sask. Party for standing up for the French conglomerate that built the Regina Bypass instead of the Saskatchewan workers who were trying to get paid for their work on the project.

“Anytime Saskatchewan people have raised an issue with the Regina Bypass, whether it was local farmers who took exception to their land being expropriated or Balgonie citizens concerned with semi trucks being diverted to a dead-end on Main Street, the Sask. Party has always sided with the large French conglomerate over local voices,” said NDP Regina Bypass Critic Cathy Sproule. “Here is yet another case where the Sask. Party is putting their wealthy and well-connected friends before Saskatchewan people.”

Supreme Steel, a company based in Saskatoon, was subcontracted by the Bypass Builders to construct steel girders for bridges on the Bypass. In fall of 2018, the Steel company issued a lien to the Bypass Builders, seeking to get paid for their work. However, the French conglomerate instead took the subcontractor to court, claiming the Builders’ Lien Act didn’t apply to the bypass bridges.

Instead of standing up for the local company, the Ministry of Highways joined the conglomerate and took the company to court. The Bypass Builders’ and the Ministry of Highway’s application was dismissed, with the Justice presiding over the case calling it “extremely unreasonable.”

Sproule questioned how many other liens have been put on the bypass and how many other small companies have been squeezed.

Sproule also pointed to the NDP’s commitment to a Sask First procurement plan, which would prioritize local companies and local workers in building public infrastructure.

“The government should be putting local businesses and workers first, not letting them down,” Sproule said.