NDP demands government explain SaskPower statement

The NDP is demanding that the government’s silence on its smart meter fiasco end after a statement released by SaskPower seemed to indicate the Crown will be paying to fix the $47 million mistake.

“We will work within our budget to correct the issue,” read the SaskPower statement, in part, released late Tuesday.

NDP Leader Cam Broten said Saskatchewan families want to know what that means.

“Mr. Wall needs to speak up and be upfront with ratepayers and taxpayers,” said Broten. “Will SaskPower be paying $47 million to remove the smart meters, contrary to Mr. Wall’s one and only statement on this mess?”

Broten added that Saskatchewan families know what it means for SaskPower to pick up the $47 million tab. "Unless the government can recover every dollar spent on this smart meter fiasco, Saskatchewan people pay for it. It is misleading to suggest otherwise."

Broten said the government should have protected Saskatchewan families through its contracts with the private American company to which it contracted out the smart meter project, and the smart meter manufacturer. However, the government has failed to come clean on the contract terms it agreed to, leaving families unsure if they’ll be on the hook for the multi-million-dollar failed program and cost to go back to the old-style meters.

“Saskatchewan families have questions, but it seems like the government is on summer vacation,” said Broten. “It’s time for some transparency, honesty and answers from this government.”

Some of the questions the NDP has posed that the government has still failed to respond to include:

  • Why did the government not use qualified electrical workers for these installations and will the government cancel its special exemption and ensure that only qualified electrical workers are involved in uninstalling these dangerous meters?

  • In addition to the fires associated with already-installed smart meters, how many fires were started during the process of removing the original meters and installing the smart meters?

  • Why does it need to take six to nine months to uninstall these dangerous meters?

  • What are the details of the government's contract with the Pennsylvania-based company that installed these meters?

  • What are the details of the government's purchase agreement with the American supplier of these meters?

  • When were the premier and minister responsible for SaskPower informed of potential problems with these meters and why did they choose not to act sooner?