With the Premier ducking questions, will the Minister responsible provide any answers?
Following the Provincial Auditor’s report on the Global Transportation Hub scandal, the Premier and his Sask. Party government have failed to answer a number of important questions.
With Minister Bill Boyd making a rare appearance and being made available to media today, the Official Opposition Saskatchewan New Democrats are calling on him to finally come clean about this growing scandal.
“This GTH scandal is troubling on a number of fronts. We know that it wasted millions of taxpayers’ dollars, and the government won’t say why,” said Official Opposition Leader Trent Wotherspoon. “A number of questions have been ducked by the Premier and the Minister – the people of Saskatchewan deserve answers and full accountability.”
Some of the questions that Saskatchewan people deserve answers on include:
- Why did the Minister apparently support the hiring of a third party to negotiate with a party that didn't even own the land?
- Is the alleged business relationship between one of the businessmen who profited from flipping the land and the Minister real? If so, is that the party/business interest with whom the third party initially negotiated on behalf of the GTH, despite the fact that party/business interest did not yet own the land?
- Why did the Premier claim to have an appraisal that validated the excessive purchase price, when that clearly wasn't the case? Why was the supposed appraisal never even reviewed by government before negotiations and settling on price?
- What relationship does the purchase of land at the GTH by SaskPower – for which Boyd is also the Minister - just prior to the land scandal purchase for the sum of $24 million, have in facilitating this deal (i.e. ensuring the GTH had the necessary cash)?
- What justification is there for Boyd being so active in overriding the land purchase process, the direction of the board, and the Ministry of Highways?
- Why, after saying the GTH didn’t have a clear land acquisition strategy, did Boyd ask an official who wasn’t employed by the GTH to determine if one of the landowners would be interested in selling?
- What possible justification remains for the Premier to allow Boyd to continue to sit in the provincial cabinet?
- Why, if he truly wants to be as transparent as he claims on this file, won't the Premier support a judicial inquiry to get to the bottom of this land scandal that has wasted millions of public dollars?
“With so many questions still lingering and so many public dollars wasted, the Sask. Party government needs to be held accountable and needs to come clean with the remaining facts," said Wotherspoon. "It's clear a full investigation is required."