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Friday, September 10, 2010 

Saskatchewan Liquor And Gaming Minister In Conflict Of Interest - Forced To Step Down

"Justice Minister Don Morgan has been removed as the Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority after realizing he was in breach of the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation Act. According to the Act, no board members or employees of SLGA can have ownership shares in businesses which sell alcohol or have VLTs. Morgan has a 1.5 per cent ownership share in two Saskatoon hotels with alcohol and VLTs."
Global News

Premier Brad Wall is trying to minimize the resignation of Saskatchewan's Liquor and Gaming Minister for conflict of interest. Mr. Wall wondered out loud to reporters how any process could have caught the fact that the Minister was also a part owner in two hotels that have major liquor and gaming revenues. DUH!? Has Premier Wall no idea of what a 'Cabinet Secretary' is required to do as part of his/her duties? Is there NO vetting of ministerial candidates before they are selected?

I will give Wall credit for having referred the matter of the conflict to an outside province's justice officials for opinion. In this case the matter was referred to Alberta Justice. That was appropriate and kudos to Wall for that.

However, some Sask Party hack working with the Cabinet is drawing a large salary and you have to wonder what that person is doing in light of this fiasco.

The matter should now be referred to Saskatchewan's Conflict of Interest Commissioner for recommendations on how Mr. Wall can fine tune the role of his Cabinet Secretariat in the matter of vetting and investigating possible conflicts of ministerial candidates.

-New Democrats Question Competence of Wall Government

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