Saskatchewan politics

PART 2 – Sask Party Leadership Race Candidates & the GTH: Here’s What You Need to Know

Check out Part 1 here for what you need to know about each candidate’s campaign. 

The nomination deadline for the Saskatchewan Party to select the successor to Brad Wall—and by extension, the next premier of Saskatchewan—has passed. Ballots have been mailed out to party members and now we await the results, which will play out on January 28, 2018.

If you want to read more of my thoughts on the overall implications of this race, you can check out a recent piece I wrote for Maclean’s magazine here.

The race has been sorely and glaringly lacking in policy for indigenous residents of Saskatchewan. I’m not wasting words on the carbon tax, because you what their position on that is already.

However, no matter how far the Sask Party brass shove their heads in the sand, the Global Transportation Hub (GTH) is the single biggest issue determining the future of this party, regardless of what happens with the RCMP investigation.

(In case you’re new to Saskatchewan or have been living under a rock, here is CBC Saskatchewan’s Geoff Leo’s comprehensive coverage – two years worth, almost – of the GTH scandal.)

Here’s what you need to know about each candidate’s position on this boondoggle:

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Ken Cheveldayoff said in a September 12, 2017 news release that he’d sell the GTH, but wouldn’t make an individual or personal commitment to an inquiry, in part placing the decision back on SaskParty MLAs.

  • “…would not rule out an inquiry after the police investigation; this decision lies with the new Premier, Cabinet and Caucus.”
  • “Mistakes the government made should be acknowledged along with admittance that government should not have been involved in this business venture from the onset.”
  • “…if I become Leader of the Saskatchewan Party and Premier, I would immediately begin action to sell the GTH to the private sector”

Gord Wyant said on September 5, 2017 and October 10, 2017 that the GTH issue is significant, he will hold an immediate public inquiry and patch up Saskatchewan’s weak Conflict of Interest apparatus.

  • “appoint public inquiry at the earliest possible date”
  • “…broaden the powers of Saskatchewan’s Conflict of Interest Act to ensure the province’s Conflict of Interest Commissioner has all the legal tools necessary to investigate matters such as the GTH.”
  • “There is a cloud over our government, and that needs to be cleared… The issue with the Global Transportation Hub is probably the most significant issue our party has had to deal with.”

Scott Moe channelled his inner Captain Obvious on September 1, 2017 and October 10, 2017 when he said stuff, but made no commitment to reviewing the GTH’s viability or integrity.

  • “The people of Saskatchewan have an expectation, an expectation of their public figures in the province”
  • “We’ve had processes in place to protect that in this province, and those continue to be in place.”
  • “The fact of the matter is that, as we move forward, this team here that we have today will be having discussions on all sorts of public policy.”
  • “We need to ask the questions as well is that the appropriate amount of energies to look at this and start to accept what the findings have been if they start to line up”

Alanna Koch told CBC’s Blue Sky radio talk show on December 12, 2017 that everything is totally FINE and public inquiries are really expensive you guys.

  • “I’ve indicated that I want to see the results of the RCMP investigation”
  • “…the challenge with public inquiry is that it takes quite a bit of time to unfold, it’s actually pretty huge investment on the taxpayer’s part to investment into a public inquiry”
  • “…it’s a lot of money and I’m not confident that a public inquiry is the way to go”
  • “I think the GTH is a pretty phenomenal investment for the people of Saskatchewan”
  • “…provincial auditor did a very full review and all changes have been implemented”
  • “….concerned with spending a lot of money and a lot of time”

Tina Beaudry-Mellor tries, and fails, to walk the fence in her September 6, 2017 statement.

  • “I support the call for a judicial inquiry into the Global Transportation Hub (GTH) land transactions.”
  • “I believe it is important the RCMP investigation that is currently underway be allowed to complete its work before an inquiry is launched.”
  • “…questions remain about issues and individuals surrounding the GTH. This has been amplified by recent revelations and it has eroded public trust and confidence. This trust and confidence must be restored.”

Check out Part 1 here for what you need to know about each candidate’s campaign. 

Like what you’re reading? I’d love to keep doing it for free, but I have to feed my kids, and these posts take forever to write. By clicking the Donate button below, your generous contribution makes sure I can keep doing both.

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For those of you who care, I’m Tammy Robert. I’m a writer, but pay the bills consulting in media and public relations. Feel free to email me anytime about either at tammyrobert@live.ca.

 

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