NDP calls for truly independent investigation into $47M smart meter fiasco

Saskatchewan's NDP wants a truly independent investigation into the government's $47 million failed smart meter program.

Yesterday, the premier said the government's own Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) would investigate what went wrong. CIC is the government’s holding company for Crown corporations.

"This is literally the government saying it will investigate itself,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten. “It’s ridiculous that the premier calls that an independent investigation – and it appears to be nothing more than a sham meant to distance the premier from this fiasco."

Broten said a better alternative is to call on the independent provincial auditor to uncover answers to the many so-far unanswered questions about the government's smart meter program.

In particular, Broten said Saskatchewan people deserve to know why proper testing of the meters reportedly didn't occur beforehand and why the government provided the private contractor an exception to the law that would have required installers to be journeymen electricians or supervised apprentices. He said people also deserve to know the details of the purchase agreement for the devices as well as the details of the contract with the American company the government contracted this project out to.

“Above all, people need to know what this is actually going to cost,” said Broten. “The government now pegs the price tag at $47 million, but how much of the nearly $200 million contract with the American company has been paid, and how much of that will be recovered for Saskatchewan families?

“It's frustrating that this government hasn't been forthcoming with these answers. A truly independent investigation into this $47-million mess is a necessary first step to getting some real answers, and holding this government to account for its complete lack of due diligence."