NDP calls for Crowns committee to meet on carbon capture; Sask. Party refuses, insists on secrecy

The Sask. Party opposed a motion Thursday to allow a committee of the legislature to examine its carbon capture project – insisting the details stay secret even as millions of dollars in penalties and losses pile up.

The NDP’s Cathy Sproule pushed for an emergency motion Thursday for the legislature’s Crown and Central Agencies committee to meet urgently. Prompting the motion was a week of disturbing revelations. The Sask. Party’s carbon capture experiment is performing at only about 40 per cent capacity; a $12-million penalty has already been paid to an Alberta oil company as a result of a failure to deliver enough CO2; and Brad Wall and his inner circle knew of major problems and design failures, but hid them while falsely claiming the experiment was a complete success.

“The Sask. Party hasn’t been honest with people on this project, and they got caught,” said Sproule. “It’s time to come clean, put all the facts on the table, and start working urgently on a go-forward plan to salvage as much as we can.

“It’s shocking to me that the Sask. Party refused to do that. Billions in costs and millions in penalties are piling up and this thing still isn’t working properly. I remind Mr. Wall that the money being lost here isn’t his – it’s the money of taxpayers and every one of us who pays SaskPower bills.”

Sproule said the Sask. Party is focusing on short-term politics instead of what’s best for Saskatchewan by defending its actions and continuing to hide facts instead of coming clean.

The Crown and Central Agencies committee is a bipartisan standing committee of the legislature. It has the authority to investigate all matters related to Saskatchewan’s Crown corporations, including problems and potential solutions. But it only meets at the call of the government, or if the legislature votes in favour of calling a meeting.