GTH: Sask. Party needs to explain where the money went

GTH: Sask. Party needs to explain where the money went

Postby Oscar » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:19 pm

Sask. Party needs to explain where the money went

[ https://leaderpost.com/opinion/columnis ... mIP74A7khc ]

This Sask. Party government has no interest in helping everyday people of this province get ahead, writes SGEU president Bob Bymoen

Bob Bymoen Updated: October 24, 2018

(PHOTO: SGEU holding a rally at the Legislative Building to protest against the cuts made and taxes added in the 2017-18 provincial budget. TROY FLEECE / Regina Leader-Post )

​Many people have likely seen our billboards asking the Sask. Party government “Where did the money go?”. It’s an important question we will continue to ask, as many of this government’s failed policies, incessant waste, questionable ties and shady land purchases have resulted in major repercussions for the province as a whole. On Oct. 25, we will be asking that same question during our Rally for Accountability at the legislature.

As many of our proud union members, their families, friends, neighbours and communities are bearing the brunt of the Sask. Party’s squandering of taxpayers’ dollars, it has become increasingly obvious the whole truth is hard to come by when anyone from the Sask. Party government responds. It’s time to demand real answers.

We’ve heard the same excuse from the Sask. Party government, claiming the money was spent on Saskatchewan residents, but they fail to mention all the billions that were wasted, or that went to out-of-province consultants and large multinational corporations.

So where did the money go? When the Sask. Party took office, there was a “rainy day fund” of $1.53 billion in place to “stabilize the fiscal position of the Government to facilitate long-term planning.” Fast forward 10 years, that fund has been spent, and the province is $17.75 billion in debt. We are happy to break down just where some of the money went and where it didn’t go.

Let’s start with the Global Transportation Hub (GTH) land scam. The Sask. Party government paid three times more than the appraised value for land near the GTH, wasting millions of dollars. Somewhere along the line, millions also ended up in the pockets of Sask. Party business associates. The GTH is $40 million (and growing) in debt; interest charges on its loan exceed $500,000 a year.

Or how about the $2-billion Regina Bypass? At an initial projected cost of $400 million, this albatross awarded to a French company has ballooned in cost year after year with no end to construction in sight.

Of course, there’s also the $1.5-billion Boundary Dam carbon capture and storage plant, an experiment that cost taxpayers another $20 million in penalties to Cenovus Energy because the plant failed to capture enough carbon for the company.

Then there is Lean. More than $40 million was handed to a U.S. consultant to improve efficiency in health care. That ended up costing taxpayers $1,511 for every dollar saved under this disastrous brainchild.

Or how about the faulty SaskPower smart meters, which have a current tab of $52 million? Or the 228-per-cent increase in spending on private consultants between 2009 and 2014? Or the $5.6 million paid to unsuccessful bidders on P3 projects? Or the recent disclosure that at least one Crown corporation executive receive a raise of over $100,000? The list goes on and on.

We do know where the money didn’t go. The 2017-18 provincial budget was one of the worst in the province’s history and the 2018-19 budget offered band-aid solutions. Many of the cuts hurt the most vulnerable in this province and they continue to suffer today. Some examples include the axing of the rental housing supplement; massive cuts to elementary and post-secondary education; the elimination of STC bus service; cuts to hearing aid subsidies; increased fees to seniors in long-term care; cuts to wildfire management; and cuts to families on assistance. Again, the list goes on and on.

This Sask. Party government has no interest in helping everyday people of this province get ahead, but is happy to see tax dollars go to multinational corporations, failed projects, party friendly executives and tax breaks for the rich. It’s time to hold this government to account and demand that the focus of this new sitting of the legislature is helping the working class, not rich out-of-province corporations or Sask. Party donors.

We encourage everyone who has an interest in accountability to join us at the provincial legislature on Oct. 25 at noon and make your voice heard. Together we are strong. Let’s remind this Sask Party government who they actually work for: the great people of Saskatchewan.

~ ~

Bob Bymoen is president of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union.

Oscar
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Re: Sask. Party needs to explain where the money went

Postby Oscar » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:11 am

Transition At The Global Transportation Hub

[ http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/n ... ion-at-gth ]

Released on January 4, 2019 - Firm To Be Retained To Help Identify New Private Sector Management Structure

Minister Responsible for the Global Transportation Hub (GTH) Don Morgan confirmed today the Government of Saskatchewan’s intention to move forward with the divestment of the GTH.

Morgan announced that the GTH’s board of directors are in the process of hiring a third party consultant to lead that transition and define a new governance structure for the GTH.

While the transition proceeds, the GTH’s current clients and future prospects will remain a priority. Key staff members working in operations, business development, marketing, and investment attraction will remain in place to ensure there is no disruption in business operations.

“We believe the GTH plays a vital role in Saskatchewan’s export oriented economy and will for many years to come,” Morgan said. “However, the GTH will be in a better position to reach its full potential operated by the private sector. This process will be handled professionally and responsibly to ensure the GTH can continue to help drive economic growth in Saskatchewan.”

GTH President and Chief Executive Officer Bryan Richards will not be a part of the transition. Matt Schroeder, the organization’s current Vice President of Finance will serve as Acting CEO.

The Global Transportation Hub Authority Act, the provincial legislation governing the GTH, will remain in place.

"I want to thank Bryan for his work and vision over the past five and a half years,” GTH Board Chair Terry Baker said. “We wish Bryan all the best with his future endeavours and we will work closely with Matt and the remaining staff as the divestment proceeds.” -30-

For more information, contact:

James Parker
Executive Council
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0232
Email: james.parker@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-529-0270
Oscar
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