REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Critic for Ethics and Democracy Meara Conway responded to the release of some of the requested information on the Sunrise Scandal. The newly released documents show that the Sask. Party government misled the public in relation to details surrounding hotel spending and MLA disclosures, raising more questions than answers with the clear need for further transparency.
“The people of Saskatchewan rightly deserve answers on this scandal from this government. What these newly released documents show is that the Minister ran interference for one of his colleagues,” said Conway. “The Minister said hotel usage was down but these documents clearly show we’re spending increasing amounts on hotels and it’s trending upwards each year.”
During question period on November 21, 2023, the Minister told Saskatchewan taxpayers that his Ministry spent $2.2 million on hotels in 2023-23. But the documents that were provided late yesterday afternoon show otherwise. They show that the Ministry’s total expenditures for hotel usage was over $3 million. That's a difference of nearly $1 million.
These newly released documents show that there was no standard policy on hotel procurement, no policy on damage deposits and the Minister can’t seem to keep accurate records of how much money his Ministry is spending.
It is also worth noting that these documents show that prior to Gary Grewal becoming a Sask. Party MLA, the Sunrise Hotel only received $282 in business from the Sask. Party government. In 2022/2023, the Sunrise Motel received over $220,000 and the documents released today show that the motel is on track yet again for a similar year in 2023/2024.
“Saskatchewan people deserve a government that is transparent and accountable. It is obvious from the months of deflecting that this government is neither” said Conway.
The Official Opposition has received two responses to Freedom of Information Requests submitted in December 2023 on this matter. We will have further comment next week following a review of the documents provided.