New Democratic Leader Ryan Meili promised today to introduce several measures to increase government transparency and accountability. Years of Sask Party corruption, collusion and shady backroom deals have eroded the public’s trust in government and seen millions of taxpayer dollars mismanaged and wasted.
A New Democrat government will:
- Call a public inquiry into the Global Transportation Hub and Regina Bypass scandals
- Introduce stronger conflict of interest rules for MLAs
- Close the lobbyist registry loophole and require all lobbying to be made public.
- End the influence of big money in Saskatchewan politics by banning corporate and union donations and bringing in a cap on individual donations
“Saskatchewan people continue to struggle as jobs and contracts are sent out of province. Meanwhile, the Sask. Party’s friends and insiders get ahead,” said Meili. “The Sask. Party refuses to provide answers or accept responsibility for their actions. The only people the Sask. Party has been accountable to is their old boys’ club.”
In the 2007 election, the Sask. Party promised to be the most accountable and transparent government in Saskatchewan’s history.
Since then, the Sask. Party has taken in over $19 million in corporate donations - many of them from out of province - and have been embroiled in numerous scandals.
This includes the GTH bypass scandal that saw Sask. Party donors make millions of dollars in a backroom deal that was the subject of an RCMP investigation. Details continue to be shrouded in secrecy after the Sask. Party refused to release documents related to the deal, despite being ordered to do so by the privacy commissioner.
The central figure of the GTH deal, Bill Boyd, was later found in violation of conflict of interest rules for an unrelated irrigation-immigration scheme to promote his own private business interests.
It was also revealed in March 2019 that Brandt Developments was given a sweetheart deal in Wascana Park to build their commercial office building after donating thousands of dollars to the Sask. Party.
“It’s time for the Sask. Party to quit taking the people of Saskatchewan for granted. It’s time for an open and honest government that puts people first,” said Meili.