Sask. Party blocks transparency on GTH land deal before election

Members of the Sask. Party blocked a motion to thoroughly investigate a highly troubling Sask. Party land purchase at the Global Transportation Hub, and provide an update on that investigation before the provincial election. 

“Voting against a public report on the actions of the premier and his cabinet is beyond weak and nothing short of disgusting,” said NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon. “This Global Transportation Hub land deal and the millions wasted by the Sask. Party is incredibly disturbing, and no one can suggest otherwise.”

The motion, presented in an amended form by Wotherspoon at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Wednesday, was blocked with a ‘no’ vote by every Sask. Party member of the committee.

“When it comes to transparency, it’s about right and wrong. For the Sask. Party to actually show up at a committee of the legislature and vote against a full examination and a call for information being given to voters and taxpayers before the election is just plain wrong.”

The land deal in question relates to land being bought by the government for the Global Transportation Hub and nearby roads. Brad Wall personally signed an agreement to pay $103,000 per acre for a 204-acre stretch of land – which was three times the appraised value. All other landowners were paid between $9,000 and $23,000 per acre, and threatened with expropriation. The auditor has said this “looks like it's not a normal transaction.”

The motion which the Sask. Party voted against called on the Provincial Auditor to investigate thoroughly the actions of the Wall and his cabinet ministers, and requested that her office provide a status report on that investigation to the public prior to the legislature being dissolved, about one month prior to the election.

The NDP holds only the chair and one seat on the PAC. The Sask. Party currently holds five seats