Wednesday, February 27, 2013 

Premier Brad Wall Attempts To Deflect Responsibility For IPAC Conflict Of Interest Allegations



 This is a government that is more engaged in butt coverage and damage control then they are in providing real answers and accountability. In fact I see them deflecting some of the responsibility that they need to be taking.
Trent Wotherspoon, MLA
Sask NDP Leadership Candidate

A Saskatchewan science project that developed what was hailed as the first guidelines in the world for safe carbon capture and storage is on the verge of shutting down.
Funding is running out for the University of Regina-based International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of CO2, known as IPAC-CO2.
And Premier Brad Wall said Tuesday that it could be "wound up."
"They've done some great work," Wall said at the legislature. "We wanted to lead in terms of the standards of CO2 storage and because of the work that's been done, we have those standards today."
"There might be some wind-up dollars required," he added. "I think we'll look at that in terms of the budget, but I don't think there's a need to continue because the work's been completed."
IPAC-CO2 was created in 2008 when the province and Royal Dutch Shell each put up $5 million over a five-year period. The federal government also contributed $4 million.
Carbon capture and storage involves gathering CO2 (or carbon dioxide) from power plants and refineries and injecting it deep into porous rock.
The goal is to prevent the gas from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.
Jurisdictions such as Saskatchewan that rely heavily on coal-fired power plants need carbon capture and storage to work. But the technology has been panned as unproven and critics say not enough is known about the consequences.
Last November, the centre released guidelines on the best way to store carbon dioxide underground so it doesn't get back out.
IPAC also investigated claims from a Saskatchewan couple that CO2 from an oil company's carbon capture operation was leaking on their family farm near Weyburn. The centre determined that the company was not the source of gas found on Cameron and Jane Kerr's farm.
But the organization has been under scrutiny over concerns surrounding a contract for IT services that wasn't tendered.
When it was starting up, the centre, under management by employees of the University of Regina, got into a sole-sourced IT deal with Climate Ventures Inc.
Following a forensic investigation by Myers Norris Penny, the president of the university — Vianne Timmons — said some employees had not reported a conflict of interest.
CBC Saskatchewan

More .....
-Woes Take The Wind Out Of Wall's Sails: Regina LP
 
Progressive Bloggers

Monday, February 25, 2013 

"Saskatchewan NDP Leadership - Part 3 - Taking Stock" - Guest Post By Dan Tan


Saskatchewan NDP Leadership - Part 3 - Taking Stock

Before reading, see Part 1 & Part 2

There are no "losers" here. Those not familiar with the NDP or its values will interpret that as some annoying & misguided insistence on political correctness. In fact, it is merely a utilitarian observation.

Our opponents leadership contests are correctly described as "exciting" & "dramatic". This is to be expected, when a party's declared values consist of nothing but broad platitudes in service of the obvious or inconsequential (ie. the rejection of "discrimination" or the promotion of an undefined form of "liberty"). The result is nothing short of a "Monster Truck Jam", where diametrically opposed ideologies & special-interests collide. The winner takes all, while the loser submits or disappears altogether.

Clearly, NDP leadership contests lack such theatrics & blood-letting. This is a result of the design of the party, which forces candidates & members to agree upon relatively clear economic values. Of course, such adherence to values must be enforced by a vigilant membership. Recently, the membership have done their work...and as a result, there are no dramatic policy divergences. Instead, candidates distinguish themselves through differing areas of emphasis & differing manners of presentation. Essentially, they offer differing marketting approaches.

The Saskatchewan NDP leadership candidates should be credited for presenting unique marketing approaches. Though these approaches carried much risk, in the current context.

Erin Weir*  entered the contest as a wildcard. In any other context, his lack of legislative/leadership experience would have disqualified him from serious contention. But Saskatchewan's economic context (previously described) increased the relevancy of Weir's background as an economist & media personality. True to his skill-set, he kept platitudes & ideology to a minimum. In a matter-of-fact manner, he unapologetically delivered a strong economic message - and most importantly, dared the other candidates to do the same. Surprisingly, it also turned out that Weir was the primary source of humour during these often dire & weighty debates. Alas, this was not enough - because to leap-frog the other established candidates - Weir had to expose his rivals as incompetent on the matter of his bread & butter: economics. He did not accomplish this, and instead, found himself cornered - as rivals painted him as an insensitive bully of small business. Here, it seems his background failed him. While he responded effectively on the basis of policy (explaining the dire implications of his rival's critique)…he left the political wound untreated, allowing negative impressions to fester in the popular imagination. The political solution required Weir to both deflect AND re-assert himself as a champion of the offended group (in this case, small business). Such an over-sight hints at a momentary lack of political acumen. He may well develop such an acumen in time...but certainly not "in time" for the requirements of immediate leadership. *(Erin Weir has now withdrawn from the race).

Cam Broten, IMO, was the best "performer" in the debates. He was comfortable and folksy in his manner. Given the precedents set by George Bush Jr. & Joe Biden, one would expect such "charms" to result in a steady stream of gaffes & feigned ignorance. Proving Canada is truly another nation, Broten carried himself with the utmost sincerity & intelligence. Another interesting aspect of his campaign was the occasional resort to "the killer instinct". Rather than allow his rivals their policy or presentation over-sights, Broten exploited those weaknesses to devastating effect. By doing this unseemly work of generalizing & re-framing...he gave some of the more "innocent" candidates a small taste of what the government has in store. Unfortunately, this killer-instinct did not seem to be effectively applied towards the NDP's true rivals: Brad Wall & his Sask. Party. Such a clever application would have distinguished Broten from the rest of the field..especially his superior competitor in the visceral-appeal-game, Trent Wotherspoon. After all, the next NDP leader will have to contend with rivals who will take credit for every positive aspect of people's lives...while deflecting the negative onto the NDP. So as it stands, Broten may well personally succeed on the "barbeque circuit", but fail to grow the NDP politically.

Ryan Meili is an inspiration to the engaged. There is a hint of the Biblical in his appeal. He manages to convey himself as both meek & wise. He is able to take technical policy and re-purpose it into something philosophical & consequential. Most importantly, he speaks to the deep fears & concerns of the membership. Whether it is their concern about a disconnect with voters, or a resentment of the internal structure...Meili offers clear (though sometimes complicated) reassurance. This all results from the fact that he is a genuinely sensitive man. If he wishes to serve and guide the flock, then the NDP should proudly put him to such a task. The problem is, the NDP cannot count the wider voting public as "engaged" members of "the flock". Incited by the propaganda machine of the Sask. Party, the mass of casual & uninformed voters could easily be "programmed" into perceiving Meili as a metropolitan, ivory-tower, dilettante. His meekness & sensitivity would be interpreted as weakness & indecision. His quiet and philosophical nature would be twisted into appearing odd & cult-like. The innovative & wide-ranging nature of his policies would be described as dangerous & risky social experimentation. Sadly, I believe the Sask. Party would succeed in such an endeavour. Meili has displayed little ability to defend himself from such ruthless political attacks (appeals to our better nature is not enough, as the recent federal Liberal leaders proved). The NDP cannot afford to direct precious resources towards the defense of such a vulnerable leader.

The ideal outcome for the Saskatchewan NDP would be a synthesis of these various approaches. And that is an additional, important, reason to select Trent Wotherspoon as leader. Despite the obvious risk to his own image & ego, Wotherspoon unreservedly complimented - and even adopted - the innovations of his rivals. In doing such a thing, he was not being opportunistic or feigning agreement. It is clear to me that Wotherspoon is humble enough to recognize his own deficiencies, and wise enough to accept the valuable input of others.

The result of such leadership will be the promotion of a safe & confident process of policy formation. The province's brightest social-democrat innovators will focus on the technical refinement of policy...knowing that Trent Wotherspoon is capable of making the "sell". With any other leader, such popular innovation would suffer under the uncertainty of a leader's patience - or - his ability to "sell" and resist the manipulative & ruthless attacks of the Sask. Party.

The result of Trent Wotherspoon's leadership will be social-democratic innovation & the NDP's growth in Saskatchewan.


 Progressive Bloggers

 

The Roman Catholic Church Created Its Own Mess ....


Imagine being a young gay man growing up in the Roman Catholic Church of the 1950's, 60's or 70's. Upon graduation from high school, there was generally a family and church expectation that you would promptly marry, get a job and start pumping out as many babies as was humanly possible due to religious prohibitions on any kind of birth control or family planning.

"Are you married yet"? - "Are you married yet"? - "When are you getting married"? - "Why aren't you married yet"? - "Why aren't you getting married"? - "Are you married yet"?

That was the refrain that assaulted them from both family and community. Being single was not acceptable. Worse, being gay was condemned and was generally sufficient reason to be kicked out of both your family and your church.

A young Roman Catholic man was provided with only 2 possible life choices:
-bow to family/Church pressure to wed asap
-go into the priesthood

Over the decades (perhaps centuries) many, many young Catholic men chose the priesthood simply to end and avoid the relentless pressure to neither be single nor (gasp!) gay.

As a result, some priests were ordained who had no 'spiritual' calling but could retain family and church connection by entering the clergy. They had no intention of actually fulfilling their Church required vows of celibacy and chastity. They simply needed a way to end the religious pressure to not live a single or gay lifestyle.

 Roman Catholic intolerance to any type of lifestyle other than 'one man married to one woman for life without any birth control' is the cause of the problem that plagues the modern  Catholic Church. Gay men were forced into hiding ... unfortunately, many of them chose to hide in the ranks of the Roman Catholic priesthood where there is no expectation or pressure to get married .

The Roman Catholic Church did this to itself.  I don't have a lot of sympathy for the Church's plight.

More .....
-'Homosexuality is a ticking timebomb for the Catholic Church': Explosive claim of former friar who says half of recruits are gay 


Progressive Bloggers

Friday, February 22, 2013 

Premier Brad Wall's Government Seems To Be Repeating The Same Scandals That Plagued Premier Grant Devine In the '80's

(Brad Wall served as a Ministerial Assistant in the Grant Devine Conservative Administration)

Grant Devine's Giga Text Scandal - 1989
In 1989 the Saskatchewan government was required to have certain provincial laws printed in French and English, which promised to be an enormous undertaking. The Devine Conservative government contracted with Guy Montpetit, a business associate of Michael Cogger, who was a close friend and campaign chairman for, Brian Mulroney. (Cogger would later be appointed to the senate).

Cogger sought the services of Ken Waschuk, a Conservative party pollster in Saskatchewan, who introduced Montpetit to Deputy Premier Eric Berntson. Montpetit assured him that he could provide the government with computer equipment and software that would do all the translations for them.

The Devine government quickly invested $4 million in GigaText for 25 percent of the shares. Montpetit and his business partner, Douglas Young, a Winnipeg university professor, invested no money, but received 75 percent of the shares. GigaText used the money to purchase twenty computers from another Montpetit-owned company, Lisp, which in turn had obtained the computers from GigaMos Systems,Inc., yet another Montpetit company. GigaMos had obtained the computers from a bankrupt U.S. computer company a few months earlier. They were part of the U.S. company's inventory and, according to an independent court-appointed auditor, had a value of $39,000. " However, GigaMos billed Lisp $1.5 million for the computers; an invoice was sent, but no money changed hands.

In other words, Lisp didn't pay anything for the computers. For these same computers, GigaText (that is, the government of Saskatchewan, the sole financial
backer of GigaText) paid $2.9 million.
In other words, Saskatchewan's Conservative government paid almost three million dollars for thirty-nine thousand dollars worth of computers!

When (Senator Eric) Bernston, who struck the deal was asked about this, he shrugged it off, claiming they got value for the money spent. They would fork over another million dollars, while Montpetit lived the high life, though he did share the wealth:

He also flew Eric Berntson, Berntson's chief political aide Terry Leier, and Ken Waschuk to various destinations. Leier, as a GigaText board member, received a $5,000 cash advance, while Waschuk was given a $150,000 interest-free loan. (4)
And despite the four million dollar expenditure, the computers never worked. The first time they tried to do a demonstration, they coughed and died. All of this is a matter of public record.

Brad Wall's IPAC Scandal - 2013
A report on the Sask. Party’s IPAC-CO2 project has revealed a conflict of interest scandal that appears to have cost taxpayers millions of dollars -- despite the Sask. Party’s false claims that money was well spent.

A forensic investigation by Myers Norris Penny revealed the conflict of interest originated because two individuals held seats on both the IPAC and Climate Ventures Inc. (CVI) boards. Through a “handshake” agreement, IPAC gave CVI $2.9 million over a year and a half for computer hardware, software and IT services that were worth considerably less.

According to the report, “Through review of invoices and comparison with other vendors, it was noted that CVI’s business practice was to mark up invoices it received for services rendered by third parties for IPAC’s business purposes by significant amounts.” The report describes a web of conflicts in which managers were able to transfer public money to their own companies through a sole-sourced agreement with no contract.
(Trent Wotherspoon is Finance Critic for the Saskatchewan New Democratic Caucus)

NDP finance critic Trent Wotherspoon has repeatedly asked the Sask. Party to reveal the Myers Norris Penny report over the last year. Sask. Party Minister Donna Harpauer and the government defended the costs, claimed there was a written contract where none ever existed and claimed the report showed taxpayers were getting a fair deal.

Harpauer told a legislative committee on June 19, 2012, “I can look at the eyes of anyone in Saskatchewan and say I am very, very comfortable that the public dollars that were spent, they received goods and services that they were spent on.” Reported on CBC Thursday, IPAC board chair Dennis Fitzpatrick said, “It found that the money was well spent, everything was accounted for and there was no impropriety.”

Wotherspoon said those claims don’t match up with the actual report, revealed by an investigative reporter. The report notes that as a result of the conflict and mismanagement, IPAC may have been “paying for goods/services that are inadequate and/or not received.”

“The Sask. Party’s responsibility to come clean is long overdue,” said Wotherspoon who, on Wednesday, asked the independent provincial auditor to investigate. “Saskatchewan people deserve better than a slow leak of disturbing information through the media that exposes unacceptable conflicts, misleading statements and allegations of taxpayer money wasted. They deserve straight answers and protection of public money.”

Wotherspoon added that the Sask. Party has no right to claim ignorance on the file. The government paid $100,000 to start CVI and has held three of IPAC’s seven board of director seats since IPAC’s inception. “The minister should have known what was going on and stopped it. Instead, it looks like the Sask. Party’s focus was on sweeping the whole affair under the rug.”

 Progressive Bloggers

Thursday, February 21, 2013 

Forensic Audit Reveals Sask Party Gov't Carbon Sequestration Project Flawed And Potentially Fraudulent


A report on the Sask. Party’s IPAC-CO2 project has revealed a conflict of interest scandal that appears to have cost taxpayers millions of dollars -- despite the Sask. Party’s false claims that money was well spent. Here is CBC Saskatchewan's Report:


A forensic investigation into a high-profile Saskatchewan scientific venture has raised concerns about conflict of interest, millions paid without contracts and a dispute over who owns assets paid for with tax dollars. 

CBC News has obtained a copy of the report written by the accounting firm Meyers Norris Penny that says rules at the University of Regina were breached and changes are needed to prevent it from happening again. 

The report was ordered in 2011 by the board of the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of CO2 (IPAC-CO2).

Based at the University of Regina, IPAC was a new non-profit company, announced in November 2008, that was going to help set industry rules for the underground storage of carbon dioxide. 

The provincial government and Royal Dutch Shell each contributed $5 million. Ottawa kicked in $4 million.So there was money, and it started to flow.Later, the IPAC board became concerned about payments that had been made to a private company, Climate Ventures Inc. (CVI), for computer services. 

At one point, more than 60 per cent of all the money IPAC was spending was going to CVI, a vendor that had IPAC as its only Saskatchewan customer. By June 2010, IPAC had paid $2.6 million to CVI for IT and other services.

The conflict-of-interest angle, according to the report, was that two university officials — Ian Bailey and Malcolm Wilson — were for a while directors of CVI and also involved in running IPAC in its startup phase, the report said.

"Dr. Malcolm Wilson and Mr. Ian Bailey were both employees of the University of Regina during the period where they acted as IPAC management," the report said.
"The conflict of interest whereby they were directors of CVI, a significant vendor to IPAC, should have been disclosed to either an official at the university or to the IPAC board."
The report goes on to note that Meyers Norris Penny has "no evidence that Dr. Wilson or Mr. Bailey monetarily benefited from their relationship with CVI."

It notes corporate records originally said Wilson and Bailey were directors of CVI as of Aug. 27, 2008. On April 3, 2009, new records were filed that removed them as directors, backdating that removal to Aug. 29, 2008.
The report details some unusual aspects of the relationship between IPAC and CVI, including the fact that CVI was hired without a tender or a written contract being signed. Instead there was an "unexecuted contract" and a "handshake" agreement, the report said.
 
The "sole source justification" — why CVI was the only company for the job — was provided by the remaining owner of CVI, Henry Jaffe.
"It appears Mr. Jaffe was in an opportunistic position to consult on the creation of a company, and then create the company himself," the report says.
By June 2010, IPAC had paid $2.6 million to CVI for IT and other services.

Bailey and Wilson later departed as acting management. When new managers arrived at IPAC, they found that CVI claimed it owned the computers and other assets it had purchased with IPAC dollars. IPAC disagreed, and eventually got the assets back.



CBC Saskatchewan

 Progressive Bloggers

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 

"Saskatchewan NDP Leadership - Part 2 - Trent Wotherspoon" - Guest Post By Dan Tan


(Buckdog is covering the 2013 Saskatchewan New Democratic Party Leadership race - today a 2nd guest post by Dan Tan):

There is nothing like a near-death experience to clarify things. A great benefit of the Lingenfelter wipe-out was that it ensured the candidacies of only the most dedicated & focused leadership contenders. Unlike the federal NDP leadership contest, the Saskatchewan contest hosted no sacrificial lambs, self-promoters, or carpet-baggers.

In a more favourable context, where the distance between the government & its opposition was more narrow, any of these men would have made fine leaders. Alas, the current context offers no such luxury. As the distance is so great, the Saskatchewan NDP requires a leader who can impress & engage in an instant & consistent manner.


The Saskatchewan NDP requires an appealing, professional, and considerate leader - like Trent Wotherspoon.


The federal Liberal Party will soon offer Canada: Justin Trudeau, an intellectually embarrassing - but viscerally appealing political force (akin to Sarah Palin). By contrast, the provincial NDP could offer Saskatchewan the "total package" in Trent Wotherspoon: a leader who combines raw visceral appeal with a substantive handling of policy.


To be honest, that was not the contrast I expected to draw early on. My superficial inclination was to dismiss Wotherspoon as a slick & packaged "product" whose expiry date would be made obvious soon enough. But as the debates progressed, he kept answering questions - and kept defying expectations. A bit frustrated, I looked for fatal flaws...some unappealing manner of presentation, some incompatibility with popular sentiment or core NDP values. I remained frustrated.


In my assessment, Trent Wotherspoon will cause Brad Wall & the Saskatchewan Party a similar amount of frustration. They have relied on voter fatigue to dismiss the NDP. That "time out" will effectively come to an end, as the public - desiring some semblance of balance - will re-evaluate the NDP through its new leader. They have relied on caricature to dismiss the NDP leader. Put it this way, it will be hard for Wall to play the "Alpha" when he faces an opponent far stronger in appearance and more confident in manner. When all that has failed, they have merely relied on a Saskatchewan NDP leaders propensity towards "self-sabotage". They cannot expect such a thing from Trent Wotherspoon, who executes a professional & purposely uncontroversial manner of presentation...especially when he delivers substantive reviews or proposals. Essentially, a Brad Wall vs. Trent Wotherspoon "fight"...would be a fair fight. 

 Saskatchewan has not seen one of those in a long time.

This is the sort of relatively "bullet-proof" leadership that the Saskatchewan NDP must provide, if they wish to convince the province that they are competent & safe administrators. Of course, the implication here is that Wotherspoon's noble rivals posses potentially fatal chinks in their armour.  

dan tan

Progressive Bloggers

 

Economist Erin Weir Withdraws From Sask NDP Leadership Race

Erin Weir announced this morning that he is withdrawing his candidacy from the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party leadership race. 

I have been supporting Mr. Weir and am quite sad to see him leave the race. Erin brought a very strong voice on economic issues, specifically Saskatchewan economic issues and has clearly demonstrated where Premier Brad Wall is deliberately enriching the coffers of the corporate natural resources sector, while he nickels and dimes Saskatchewan citizens.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013 

"Saskatchewan NDP Leadership - Part 1 - Context" - Guest Post By Dan Tan


(Buckdog is covering the 2013 Saskatchewan New Democratic Party Leadership race - today a guest post by Dan Tan):

NDP members in Saskatchewan will be tasked with choosing the next social-democratic leader of that province. That leader will be tasked with challenging the misguided, misleading, & merciless governing Saskatchewan Party - and their leader Brad Wall. In service of this internal process, the following series of posts are offered to take stock of both the context of the province…and those men who have pledged to lead it on behalf of the NDP.

Before we evaluate the candidates, we should set out a clear context for reference. Saskatchewan is currently experiencing a resource boom. Brad Wall & his Saskatchewan Party have shamelessly taken credit for that which they do not control - namely, a favourable swing in global resource prices. And for that which they do control - namely, the composition & distribution of the inevitable economic rewards - they have lazily abdicated responsibility. The public, lacking a firm & focused NDP analysis, have settled for what little is on offer & what little they can reap from their non-renewable resources.

Covered by the - poorly negotiated & short-term - economic spoils of the resource boom, Wall & his Sask. Party have also cleverly begun the process of leading Saskatchewan towards mediocrity & serfdom. Inspired by the economic anarchists who currently rule the United States, the government casually hammers away at the secure foundations & institutions of the province. Ironically presented as "free market" reform, these petulant acts of destruction only ensure the establishment of a rigged, uncompetitive, & unstable economic system.

Of course, the government would dispute such an evaluation. They insist that they are merely fostering the conditions for innovation & competition - citing selective aspects of the United States model for example. And therein lies the tragedy. Wall & his Sask. Party adherents do not realize that the United States achieved its superiority through massive state intervention, trade protectionism, and union generated growth of an educated & dynamic middle class. This all resulted in the unparalleled military superiority & reserve currency status that the U.S. now enjoys. It is from this comfortable perch that the U.S. has carried out its reckless social & economic experimentation.Such experimentation is progressively undoing them - and has already undone weaker imitators.

The foundations & institutions of Saskatchewan - so resented by Wall & the Sask. Party - were built over decades by (small "c") conservative NDP administrations who wisely rejected the proselytization of deluded foreign economists. They rejected the Soviet Union's insistence on utopia through oppressive & invasive totalitarianism. They rejected the United States' insistence on utopia through wild & selective applications of Darwinian savagery. Instead, they fostered the creation of a capitalist system that insured stability (crown ownership), the safety of risk-takers (public insurance), and a tolerable standard of living (social programs).

Saskatchewan needs a professional & focused NDP more than ever. You stand in-defense of what your forefathers so wisely built. You stand in-between carpet-bagging charlatans and the local population they would hustle. You stand against the juvenile anarchists who traded hoodies & explosives for sharp suits & destructive legislation.


Next: The one who should lead your stand.
bydantan

Progressive Bloggers

Sunday, February 17, 2013 

Sask NDP Leadership Race (#Skndpldr)Profiled On Pundits' Guide


(A nice article on the #skndpldr race by national website 'Pundits Guide':

Meanwhile in Saskatoon, far from the radar of the national media, four leadership candidates completed the fourteenth and final debate in a six-month race to pick the next provincial leader of the NDP opposition, and likely the next premier of Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan NDP Leadership Candidates Face Off, Saturday February 16, 2013; credit: Greg Pender, Saskatoon Star Phoenix
[Photo credit: Greg Pender, Saskatoon Star Phoenix]
Like the federal Liberal Party, the Saskatchewan NDP had used its glory days as a crutch for one leadership campaign too many in 2009, when its old boys network engineered the installation of former deputy premier Dwain Lingenfelter as "the only one who could win". But a series of clumsy attack ads against the province's popular premier Brad Wall, coupled with Lingenfelter being the wrong leader to sell a decidedly left-wing opposition platform in the fall 2011 campaign, led to predictable results, and the party is now having the wide-open race it needed four years ago.
Featuring two MLAs with backgrounds in teaching (Trent Wotherspoon) and the provincial public service (Cam Broten), along with a medical doctor whose 2009 leadership run nearly caught Lingenfelter (Ryan Meili), and a nationally known labour economist (Erin Weir), the competitive race has featured a detailed and for the most part gentlemanly contest of ideas about resource royalty rates, the provincial tax system, rural farm ownership, the determinants of health, uranium mining, the emerging role of first nations youth in the province's economy and society, and lengthy discussion of how to rebuild and reinvent the party from the ground up.
While fundraising totals and social media counts give some indication of how active the various campaigns are on the ground relative to each other, in fact it possible to see a path to victory for nearly every candidate in the race, as two different recent polls suggest.
[Click on image to open full-sized version]
Leadership Contestant Fundraising, Expenses and Cumulative Balance, Sask NDP Race, Sept 2012 - March 2013 (reporting to end of January, 2013)
The amounts being raised and spent are small by national standards – although it's fair to say that some of the provincial NDP candidates will have raised more than some of the federal Liberal candidates to date – but they're being reported on every month. And the number of eligible voters stands at 11,000 – not large, but likely greater than the number of federal Liberals enrolled in the province, and showing a large increase in the number of youth members. On the other hand, the lack of diversity in the Saskatchewan race – four white male candidates in their thirties – stands out starkly against the range of candidates seeking the federal Liberal helm, and is the all-too-predictable result of years wasted not recruiting sufficient numbers of women and diverse candidates in that section of the party, who would then be ready to step forward.
All four candidates are using NationBuilder as their website and online-organizing platform, by the way; a fortuitous coincidence that should assist the party in integrating the data from all four campaigns afterwards to help the rebuilding process.
It will be interesting to look back in five years, and see which of the two leadership races produced the greater change in their party's rebuilding and growth prospects.
 Pundits' Guide

 Progressive Bloggers

Friday, February 15, 2013 

Canada Gets New Flag - February 15th, 1965


Here's your political history lesson for the day:
 "From the Tory benches the prime minister (Pearson) was greeted by jeers and hoots and shouts of derision. 'Vote with pride', "All right," exclaimed Mr. Pearson, "they have turned it down with jeers and insults, but we will vote with pride."

Shouts, screams, desk-banging - even obscene gestures - marked the final phase of the Conservative fight against the red Maple Leaf Flag.

Introduced in senate today, and even with the last vote they declared that they would not quit and that the fight would go on in the senate, where a similar flag resolution was being introduced today.

The early-morning victory for the new flag had been heralded much earlier Monday when the government had won a vote on its closure motion to limit debate. The count was 152 to 85.

At midnight Monday the result was plain to see when the last Conservative amendment calling for substitution of the Red Ensign for the Maple Leaf flag, was defeated by 162 to 80."

Ottawa Citizen
December 15, 1964



Following Canada's great contribution to the First World War, King George V granted Canada a coat of arms with red and white as the official colours. In 1925 Prime Minister Mackenzie King appointed a parliamentary committee to investigate possible designs for a flag, but it failed to make a formal report. Almost yearly, there would be a debate in the House of Commons on the issue and invariably the debate bogged down on whether or not Canada's flag should be free of colonial symbolism.

Immediately after the end of the Second World War, Prime Minister Mackenzie King again appointed a parliamentary committee to consider the matter. English-speaking MPs demanded that the Union Jack form part of the flag, while French-speaking MPs wanted it eliminated. The committee hoped that its compromise which reduced the size of the Union Jack and added a gold maple leaf on a white background would satisfy everyone. It did not. In fact, the government of Maurice Duplessis passed a motion in the Quebec Legislature demanding that all 'foreign symbols' be excluded from any Canadian flag. When some Quebec Liberal MPs, including Jean Lesage (later premier of Quebec), threatened to vote against the government if it moved to adopt the recommendation, King quietly allowed the matter to drop. The matter remained unsolved largely because some Canadians wanted Canada's symbols to reflect its British heritage while others wanted them to be Canadian.

When he became prime minister in 1963, Lester B. Pearson, the Nobel-prize winning diplomat for his peacekeeping initiatives, wanted a distinctively Canadian flag. He had promised in the Liberal party platform in 1961 that a Liberal government would 'establish a distinctive Canadian flag within two years of taking office.' Unlike previous prime ministers, Pearson was committed to a new flag and, despite the political risks to his government, he ask heraldry experts to work on the flag. He favoured a flag with 3 maple leafs on a white background with a blue bar on each side. When Pearson introduced this flag at a Canadian Legion in Winnipeg on 17 May 1963, he was jeered and howled down by a angry group of veterans and created a storm of protest in parliament and across the country.

The Progressive Conservatives under former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker wanted a flag that honoured the French and British heritage; the New Democratic Party wanted a single maple leaf. The views varied across the country. A columnist in Toronto wrote that Pearson's design is 'a rag of appeasement, thrust upon us by a dictator who has split the country.' A letter to the Toronto Star said 'If all Canadians will fight as vigorously under the new flag as they have over it, there is still hope for us as a great nation.'

Pearson appointed Liberal MP John Matheson to chair a special parliamentary committee to bring a proposal to parliament. It proposed the current flag of a single maple leaf on a white background with two red banners on either side, but that, of course, did not settle the matter. After a lengthy parliamentary debate that tied up government for nearly six months, the government invoked closure to end debate and forced the members of parliament to vote. In the end, the 163 Liberals voted for the current flag; the 73 Conservatives were opposed.

On 15 February, 1965, the red maple leaf was flown for the first time as Canada's official flag and, despite some lingering opposition, an issue that had plagued governments for generations had been finally resolved. The Maple Leaf quickly became a powerful Canadian symbol, showing how much Canada had changed in a single generation.

From 'The Flag Debate'

  Progressive Bloggers

 

When I Say 'Senate' ....


You say .. 'ABOLISH' ....

(well unless you are a Liberal or a Conservative in which case you will likely say something like 'reform' or 'hands off') .... 

 Progressive Bloggers

Thursday, February 14, 2013 

UPDATED: Conservatives pledge to release results of senators’ expense audits ... NO WAIT... Audit of Senator Pamela Wallin’s expenses to stay secret, says David Tkachuk


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Update:
Reversal - After a very confusing day of messages coming from the Senate and the HoC .. the Conservatives now say that audit results of Senator Pamela Wallin's expenditures WILL be made public. (.. see how easy that was boys?) ...
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Oh those whacky Federal Conservatives .... miscommunicating all over the place today!! 

The Globe & Mail 

 The Star

...and perhaps here is why the Conservatives are crapping their pants over Senator Wallin ....

NDP says Wallin's Senate travel bill suggests 2011 campaign work on public dime!!

The Winnipeg Free Press

Senator Wallin travels far and wide to speak at Conservative fundrasiers ... did her lucrative Senate travel account get billed for the travel???
http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/art...
https://www.facebook.com/event...
http://www.yorktoncommunity.or...
http://www.picatic.com/event95...
http://o.canada.com/2011/04/14...
http://calendar.insidehalton.c...
http://www.fundher.ca/index.ph...
http://whitehorsestar.com/arch...

  Progressive Bloggers

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 

Turns Out That My Posts From 2008 Re Senator Pamela Wallin Were Slightly Prophetic ...


-December 31, 2008: Academic Says Pamela Wallin Does NOT Meet Residency Requirements - Should NOT Be Appointed Senator 'From Saskatchewan'!  


-December 22, 2008: Pamela Wallin says she'll run in Sask. Senate election campaign! HUH? She hasn't lived in Saskatchewan for 29 years!!!!


 Progressive Bloggers

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 

Justin Trudeau's Defence Of The Existing Senate Structure Is NOT What You Could Call 'Democracy'


Trudeau says appoint better senators, forget reforming upper chamber

 Imagine! The man who wants to lead the Liberal Party of Canada believes in APPOINTED Senators. My question to Trudeau is this ... 'in what version of 'democracy' do you appoint the legislators? I thought 'democracy' was about the People ELECTING their law makers!

This is so typical of the old old old style Liberal Party of Canada. Nothing new here folks .... move along

"ORLEANS, Ont. - Liberal leadership front-runner Justin Trudeau says there's nothing wrong with Canada's scandal-plagued Senate that couldn't be fixed by appointing higher calibre senators. 

The Montreal MP favours limiting senators to 12-year terms but, other than that, sees no need to overhaul the much-maligned chamber. He rules out the election of senators as a "terrible idea"[...] Rather, Trudeau says the obvious fix is to "demand better" of those appointed to the Senate.
Winnipeg Free Press


 Progressive Bloggers

Monday, February 11, 2013 

When It Comes To The Unelected, Undemocratic Senate ... It's Still 'Liberal/Tory' .. Same Old Story



Tories, Liberals unite in bid to salvage Senate's tarnished reputation

OTTAWA - Conservative and Liberal leaders in the much-maligned Senate are joining forces to salvage the upper chamber's tarnished reputation.
They are demanding a swift — and public — resolution to allegations that some senators are abusing a housing allowance meant to compensate those who keep a secondary residence in Ottawa.
Winnipeg Free Press

Here we go again. Canada's two Right Wing parties are in 'panic mode' to salvage the appointed, unelected Senate. 

There is only one fix for this disgraceful institution .... a quick and decisive end to this partisan old folks home for Conservative and Liberal Party hacks and flacks.

Abolish the Senate!! 

Progressive Bloggers

Friday, February 08, 2013 

Erin Weir Is The BEST Candidate To Deal With Saskatchewan's 'Incoherent' Potash Fiscal Regime

 
Saskatchewan's New Democrats are in the process of picking a new provincial leader. To date, Economist Erin Weir has articulated the most pragmatic, visionary policy for the province's potash industy, its growth and direction.

Today, The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary added their voice to those who understand that Premier Brad Wall is allowing the economic benefits of a key natural resource to slip away because of an  'incoherent' fiscal regime.

"CALGARY, Feb. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - A report published today by The School of Public Policy concludes that Saskatchewan's potash fiscal regime is a mess and is hurting the province's economy. Authors Jack Mintz and Duanjie Chen analyze the current regime and find it to be a hodgepodge of tax and royalty rates. 

"Under the current royalty and tax regime for potash producers, the tangled thicket of royalties, taxes and credits can differ between commencement dates for production, projects of different sizes, or even projects of similar size but with different profitability; it also has potash producers generally enjoying a much lighter tax burden on marginal investments than that borne by the oil and gas industry and most other non-resource industries," the authors write. "The result is distortions and inefficiencies, resulting in subpar investment activity, which can only stand in the way of Saskatchewan reaching its full economic potential." 


Mintz and Chen argue that revamping the potash fiscal regime should be done with a focus on "simplicity" and "efficiency." 

-Globe & Mail has more ...

 

"Push polls better suited for thugs" - Murray Mandryk - Political Columnist Regina Leader-Post


There is at least one noticeable difference between the justifications for push polling that you're now hearing from law-and-order federal Conservatives and what you would hear from the criminals the Tories rightly aim to lock up. Most criminals at least go through the pretense of remorse - if for no other reason than to get more lenient sentences.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper et. al. apparently feel no such compulsion - or so we have learned in the wake of last week's push poll, which seemed designed to mislead the Saskatchewan public on the proposed new federal electoral boundaries. But there again, why would one be remorseful? Isn't it just easier to point to the Liberals and NDP and note that they have used push polls, too?

Remorse? Why bother when the risks of being caught "miscommunicating" the truth are virtually non-existent? What's the point of remorse when the reward is so great for manipulating the public/commission into keeping the current inequitable boundary map with eight split urban/rural seats?

Keeping the current Saskatchewan federal boundary map may give the Conservatives two more seats they may not otherwise win under the new map with six urban-based seats. A couple of seats may be the difference between a Conservative minority and majority. So what's the value of that compared with the non-existent consequences of smearing the reputations of boundary commissioners Justice Ron Mills or professor John Courtney by implying in the robocalls that they are deliberately not representing "Saskatchewan values"? 

Herein lies the problem.

It is one thing for the Conservatives to justify their wrong-doing in a way that sounds suspiciously similar to what one might hear in the hoosegow. But there's something broken in the system when every justification of their action becomes a further attempt to deceive the public for political gain. Even crooks don't get away with that.

Perhaps some will accept the Tories' explanation that "there is nothing illegal here". That said, the fine work of the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News in securing a forensic voice analysis that may link the Chase Research voice message on the Saskatchewan robocalls to those automated messages directing Guelph voters to the wrong polling station in the 2011 election is very interesting. This may now make last week's robocalls a matter for Elections Canada.

Perhaps some will buy into the notion that there's nothing wrong with such push polls - the unethical practice of telephone polling aimed at swaying public opinion with biased or downright misleading information, rather than soliciting public opinion. That some countries and U.S. states are trying to get them banned tells us much about how welcome push polls should be in our country.

Perhaps some might even buy into the nonsense from Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre MP Tom Lukiwski that local Conservatives knew nothing of these deceptive acts and he believed they were the responsibility of Conservative political director Jenni Byrne.

That the Conservatives denied involvement in the anonymous robocalls until being caught, red-handed, by the PostMedia voice analysis makes this explanation a dubious one. But that they have kept repeating the deceit at every available opportunity pretty much shows how disingenuous their denials really are. At every available opportunity, the Conservatives have attempted to manipulate the federal boundaries commission process. And perhaps to their credit, the Tories proved to be simply better at it than either the NDP or the Liberals.

They offered nonsense briefs to the commission arguing Saskatchewan hadn't grown much in the past 10 years and rural and urban voters had identical interests anyway. They stacked the meetings with friendlies spewing similar nonsense. They exaggerated how many of their friend-lies actually attended the meetings or presented briefs and then they claimed these meetings represented 75-per-cent provincewide opposition to the new boundaries
.
And even when caught with their little "miscommunication" of the truth - even when the Conservatives had to own up to the fact that they were the ones responsible for the phoney and misleading push polling - they remorselessly did it in a way in which they simply repeated every one of the above falsehoods all over again.

Remorse? You've got a better chance of finding it in most federal prisons.

Mandryk is the political columnist for the Leader-Post.
Regina Leader-Post

Tuesday, February 05, 2013 

Conservative Party Of Canada Admits To Mysterious Push Poll Robocalls Into Saskatchewan


Conservatives behind mysterious Sask. robocall campaign



Earlier this afternoon, Conservative spokesperson Fred DeLorey admitted that his party was, in fact, behind the recent rash of anti-redistribution robocalls that have been reported throughout Saskatchewan over the last few days. 

According to DeLorey, the calls "should have been identified" as coming from the party, but, due to an "internal miscommunication," were placed under the name of Chase Research. 

DeLorey was quizzed about the calls by Postmedia reporter Glen McGregor last week, but refused to admit to the calls, instead insisting that the party was "not polling" -- a position that he maintains even now, claiming that the campaign is just another part of the "host of things" that the party is doing to "communicate with voters and get their feedback." 

His full statement: 

In regards to the calls last week that went into Saskatchewan concerning redistribution, the calls came from the Conservative Party.
There was an internal miscommunication on the matter, and the calls should have been identified as coming from the Conservative Party.
As I said in the past, we are not polling on this issue, we already know where people stand - 75% of people who attended the public hearings and submitted written submissions opposed these drastic changes to the boundaries. 
But we are doing a host of things to communicate with voters and get their feedback.
Not only were these changes opposed by 75% of the public, but an actual member of the commission also opposed these changes, which led to an unprecedented Dissenting Report by the boundary commission.
We agree with the Dissenting Report of Commissioner David Marit on the basis that:
o   These drastic changes were opposed by 75% of the public who presented at the Commission's public hearings;
o   There will be fewer MPs representing urban areas than under the previous maps, a fact pointed out by the residents, city-councillors, and business leaders in Regina and Saskatoon;
o   Because of population growth, the next boundary commission will have to change the ridings back to rural-urban blends; and
Rural Saskatchewan plays a vital role in supporting the urban population centres and it only makes sense to have MPs that represent both rural and urban areas to reflect that important characteristic of the province.
CBC.ca


Conservatives admit they were behind “push poll,” following analysis of phone message:

OTTAWA – A forensic voice-analysis expert has matched a voice recording from a mysterious company that sent out a robocall “push poll” about Saskatchewan riding boundaries to the firm that was used to send out the infamous “Pierre Poutine” calls in the last election.
After initially denying any involvement, the Conservatives said Tuesday that they had failed to identify themselves as the source of the voice-broadcast to Saskatchewan residents last week.
The party blamed an “internal miscommunication” for the failure to identify itself and the origin of the call.
Liberal MP Ralph Goodale filed a complaint with the CRTC Tuesday morning, alleging the failure to name the source broke telemarketing rules — the same offence for which Liberal MP Frank Valeriote’s riding association was fined last year.
The pre-recorded message sent to some Saskatchewan residents last Thursday told recipients that proposed changes to the province’s riding boundaries would pit urban areas against rural ones, and offend “Saskatchewan values.”
The robocall was presented as an interactive public-opinion survey – an American tactic called “push polling” – but appeared designed to rally opposition to changes to the ridings that would help opposition parties at the expense of Conservatives.
The originating number of the call, shown on recipients’ call displays, was answered by a generic voice recording saying no one was available to answer.
But on Monday, a recorded male voice on the outgoing message identified the line as belonging to “Chase Research,” a company that does not seem to exist in Saskatchewan.
The voice sounded similar to the voice of Matt Meier, owner of Edmonton-based RackNine Inc., the company whose equipment was used to launch more than 7,000 misleading calls directing voters in Guelph to the wrong polling station in the 2011 federal election.
The same voice and company name, Chase Research, was also heard on another number affiliated with a “push poll” sent out to Alberta residents during last year’s provincial election.  That call offered a highly prejudicial poll asking recipients voters which kinds of tax increases proposed by Progressive Conservative Premier Alison Redford they favoured.
 Canada.com

 

Erin Weir: PotashCorp Royalties Remain at Rock Bottom


"... Erin Weir continues to ask the hardest questions of any candidate in the Saskatchewan New Democrat leadership campaign. The governing Saskatchewan Party is led by Premier Brad Wall and boosted (to the point of embarrassment) by the province's major daily papers and other MSM outlets. Weir holds Wall's fiscal and natural resource policy under the microscope and it's not as rosy as the government or the press try to tell you it is"
Buckdog Politics
 
 The following comments are by Erin Weir concerning the release of PotashCorp's Fourth Quarter 2012 Report:

"PotashCorp reported today that, in the fourth quarter of 2012, it paid only $18 million of “provincial mining and other taxes” on potash sales of over half a billion dollars ($554 million). Throughout 2012, it paid $180 million on potash sales of $3.3 billion - a nickel for every dollar of potash extracted.

“Provincial mining and other taxes” consists of Saskatchewan’s potash production tax and resource surcharge. It does not include the basic Crown royalty, which increases the provincial return to about eight cents on the dollar.
 
Saskatchewan's potash production tax has been depressed by inflated writeoffs of 120 per cent of investment. PotashCorp’s press release (page 5) notes, “With reduced capital spending anticipated in potash, which impacts the calculation of the Saskatchewan potash production tax, we expect provincial mining and other taxes to be higher than 2012 levels and approximate 11-13 percent of total potash gross margin.

So, potash revenues should improve as investment tapers off, but will still be inadequate. Gross margin is the profit left after subtracting mining and transport costs from sales. The people who own the resource should collect more than 13 per cent of this value.

I have put forward specific proposals to close loopholes in the potash production tax that would collect a substantially better return for the people of Saskatchewan:
http://www.erinweir.ca/closing_potash_loopholes

In their January 31, 2013 report, “provincial mining and other taxes” is on page 9 while potash sales and gross margin are on page 13:"
http://www.potashcorp.com/media/PotashCorp_Q4_2012_Earnings.pdf

Monday, February 04, 2013 

Saskatchewan's Provincial Auditor Is Owed Sask Party MLAs Respect - Saskatoon Star Phoenix Editorial


Saskatoon Star Phoenix
February 4, 2013
The government might not like the fact that provincial auditor Bonnie Lysyk is going beyond what her predecessors have done in stressing the need for one set of books in reporting the province's finances, but that doesn't excuse her treatment by Saskatchewan Party MLAs on the public accounts committee on Friday.
Starting with a question by Herb Cox as to whether the auditor had considered a cut in pay for herself, the proceedings eventually degenerated into an aggressively partisan line of questioning that went well beyond the business of reviewing Ms. Lysyk's business and financial plan for her office.
Members of a government that has adopted the Lean process as its guide to improving the operations of its ministries and health regions turned their guns on the auditor, seemingly for her decision to stress performance audits and report them in a way that makes them more prominent in public reports.
Apparently, what the auditor sees as delivering value to the citizens of Saskatchewan by doing more performance audits, following a practice used widely elsewhere in Canada and around the world, the Saskatchewan Party government MLAs on the committee somehow consider to be Ms. Lysyk going beyond her mandate. MLA Jennifer Campeau went so far as to question whether these performance audits were "supported by legislation."
Even after assurances by the auditor that her business plan, which seeks to increase to 20 per cent the proportion of performance audits, is still committed to do the same financial audits of government agencies that are the responsibility of her office, Ms. Campeau wondered, "Should your office be doing them, or should another entity be doing them?"
Ms. Lysyk responded by saying that her office had received positive feedback from the ministries about the performance audit reports.
"What I have heard through the grapevine is that perhaps there are people in the government that have concerns that the auditors are doing performance audits because we were identifying in the last report significant recommendations that we think are important, that we think the citizens should think are important, for the government to address."
She noted her office "did take a bit of a harder stand on the general revenue fund and the summary financial statement issue," and went on to put her concern bluntly:
"I just hope the discussion around here - and with all due respect - is not a message to me and to my staff that we should not be operating independently and performing the work that we think is appropriate in this province."
That the four Saskatchewan Party members of the committee chose to delay by one week the approval process of the auditor's budget - a rare move done for highly questionable reasons - only reinforces the concerns Ms. Lysyk raised about being sent an unwelcome and intimidating message.
Kudos to Ms. Lysyk for standing her ground as an independent officer of the legislature in the face of this ugly partisanship. Premier Brad Wall, who in opposition supported summary financial reporting and performance assessments (then known as value for money audits), needs to instruct MLAs on respecting legislative officers even if former principles are abandoned.
(The editorials that appear in this space represent the opinion of The StarPhoenix. They are unsigned because they do not necessarily represent the personal views of the writers. The positions taken in the editorials are arrived at through discussion among the members of the newspaper's editorial board, which operates independently from the news departments of the paper).


-Premier Brad Wall's MLAs Interfere With Provincial Auditor - Buckdog

 

With NO Quebec Referendum Looming Or Even Likely Why Does The Liberal Party Continue To Rehash The Clarity Act Over And Over And Over And Over ?


It is obvious that the Liberal Party of Canada is so completely void of anything new or relevant that they continue to rehash two of their more idiotic old pet issues:
-Cannabis Reform
-The Clarity Act

I have already identified how phony the Liberal Party has been and continues to be on the issue of Cannabis reform

As for the Clarity Act .... yes, ... Quebec does have a minority provincial government headed by the Parti Quebecois. But with minority status, it is highly unlikely that a referendum on separation will be brought forward by the current administration. That being so .. why the hell are Canada's Federal Libs running around with their hair on fire over the Clarity Act ... or more specifically .. where New Democrats stand on the issue?

The Liberal Party of Canada is completely bankrupt of relevant issues for the nation. Their decline demonstrates this in spades.

Meanwhile, former failed LPC leader, Stephane Dion, continues to sound like Canada's equivalent of a Serbian nationalist. His ongoing, humourless threats towards Quebec nationalists always leaves me wondering what his end game would have been. 

In hindsight, it's a good thing that Mr. Dion no longer leads a national political party in Canada because I fear he would have no difficulty in using military force to keep Quebec in Canada no matter what the results of any potential referendum might be.

Globe & Mail

Sunday, February 03, 2013 

New Democrats Have The Best And Only Viable Policy Solution For The Corrupt, Undemocratic (Lib & Con Perpetuated) Canadian Senate


 Abolish the gawdamned thing!!

 #PeopleAreFedUpWithRightWingCrap

 

You Know That The National Rifle Association Is On The Run When Even Fox News Network Is Attacking Them!



Here is NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre under attack from Chris Wallace. The NRA is at terrorist organization and should be outlawed.

#PeopleAreFedUpWithRightWingCrap

Saturday, February 02, 2013 

NDP & LPC Leadership Candidates Erin Weir & Justin Trudeau Trade Good Natured Tweets

(Click on image to enlarge ... )

#skndpldr candidate Erin Weir had some fun with #LPCldr candidate Justin Trudeau in the twittersphere the other day. It seems that the Yorkton Legion Hall had been booked by some Federal Libs for a Justin Trudeau event, right before the four Sask NDP leadership candidates held their Yorkton debate.

Weir thanked Trudeau for being the 'opening act' to the Sask NDP debate. Trudeau responded with a nice, diplomatic democratic reply!

 

Premier Brad Wall's MLAs Interfere With And Obstruct Saskatchewan's Provincial Auditor In The Performance Of Her Duties ...


"I just hope the discussion around here, and with all due respect, is not a message to me and to my staff that we should not be operating independently and performing the work we think is appropriate," 
Bonnie Lysyk 
Provincial Auditor
Province of Saskatchewan

"I just hope that in terms of looking at our financial plan . . . that this is not a message being put before me that we want you not to do performance work and we want you not to question the general revenue fund and summary financial reporting for the province," Lysyk told the committee, reiterating that Saskatchewan is the only province that communicates budget information based on general revenue fund data instead of financial summaries.

Trent Wotherspoon, the only NDP MLA on the committee, said he perceived "strong partisan intervention" with no clear questions for the auditor. At best, the Sask. Party committee members didn't understand their roles and were being actively "obstructionist," he said. "I found members ill-prepared for the meeting, disrespectful and damaging towards an institution and a relationship that we need to maintain here in Saskatchewan," he said.
Regina Leader-Post

Premier Brad Wall needs to come clean on why members of his government caucus threatened, intimidated and obstructed Saskatchewan's Provincial Auditor at a recent meeting of the province's Public Accounts Committee.

One of two things is happening here:
1) Wall's appointees to the Committee are acting like rank amateurs and are grossly unaware of their role AND the role of the province's auditor general (or)

2) Wall has strategically decided to have his MLA's reprimand and attempt to scare the Provincial Auditor from inspecting the books of the Provincial government AND for pointing out that Saskatchewan actually operates with two separate sets of 'books' to keep track of the provincial government's finances. 

Which one is it Premier?? 

-CBC Sask has more .... 
... so does the Official Opposition Caucus ...



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