NDP Leader Cam Broten is ramping up the pressure on Brad Wall to come clean about the questionable land deal he signed, in which he paid two businessmen $103,000 per acre for land worth just a fraction of that.
Other landowners in the area were paid between $11,000 and $23,000 per acre, and were threatened with expropriation.
Since Wall has refused to respond to Broten's request to recall the legislature to deal with the land scandal and other pressing matters, Broten is now calling for the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly to intervene in order to ensure the Sask. Party government faces proper scrutiny.
“What’s so special about this particular piece of land? It looks exactly the same as the land across the road. The only difference is the price which the Sask. Party paid, and who cashed the cheque,” said Broten, standing on the edge of the land in question.
“Mr. Wall personally signed the order to hand over $21 million of taxpayers’ money for this piece of land, even though it was appraised at just $30,000 per acre. He needs to explain why he did that – because this has an awful stench to it.”
Broten wrote to Wall on Feb. 2, demanding that Wall reconvene the Legislative Assembly to face questions about how deep the Sask. Party’s deficit is, what they’re cutting, and why Wall personally signed off on a highly questionable and expensive land deal. Wall has refused to respond to Broten’s letter.
Last week, the Sask. Party majority on the Legislature’s Public Accounts Committee voted against an NDP motion which asked the Provincial Auditor to fully examine this controversial land deal and publicly report on the investigation’s progress prior to the election. The Rural Municipality of Sherwood says the treatment its residents got from the Sask. Party was very different from the $103,000-per-acre handover, warranting a judicial inquiry.
“Just weeks before an election, Mr. Wall is ducking questions about his massive deficit, the nasty cuts he’s making, and the sketchy land deals he’s signing,” said Broten. “No wonder more and more Saskatchewan people are starting to say that he’s changed. He’s not the guy they voted for. Regular people aren’t his priority anymore.”
The auditor has already said this particular land deal “looks like it’s not a normal transaction.”
Broten wrote to Wall again on Wednesday, repeating his call for a special legislative session. He also wrote to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, noting the premier’s refusal to respond to the initial recall request, and asking him to attempt to seek a date from the Sask. Party government to call Members of the Legislative Assembly back to the legislature.