Saskatchewan Party leadership hopeful Gord Wyant says he intends to find out more about the Global Transportation Hub land transaction.
During his Sask. Party leadership announcement at the end of August, Wyant had said he will hold a public inquiry into the province’s role in the multi-million dollar land deal.
In a news release Tuesday morning, Wyant committed to a public inquiry which is expected to examine the establishment of the GTH if he’s elected party leader, adding he’s heard many concerns regarding the deal.
He also intends to broaden the powers of the Conflict of Interest Act to ensure the Commissioner has all the tools needed to investigate matters such as the GTH.
“I quickly came to the conclusion that the only way we’re going to clear the air with respect to the GTH and the issues the people of Saskatchewan have is to have a full public inquiry, Wyant told 620 CKRM News. “Investigate all the matters, give the commissioner the power of subpeona, to compel witnesses, to compel testimony, to compel documents.”
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Wyant also says he will further investigate connections between landowners and former economy minister Bill Boyd saying there has to be more clarity surrounding the deal.
Last year, Provincial Auditor Judy Ferguson found there was no evidence of conflicts of interest, or indications of fraud or wrongdoing by the GTH management or Board of Directors.
Rather, she found a series of situations and events contributed to delays in buying land the GTH viewed as key to its commercial success during a time of rapidly escalating land prices.
“I don’t think the people of Saskatchewan are as comfortable with that particular piece of work,” Wyant said. “There are other questions that the public want answered. Was there conflict of interest, how did the value of the land get to where was, what was the processes and procedures involved in getting access to the land?”
Wyant says it’s “unacceptable” to the people of Saskatchewan there are still more questions than answers when it comes to the GTH.
“I think we need to be unequivocal,” Wyant said. “That no matter what the results of that police investigation are, I don’t believe that it’s going to answer all the questions. I don’t believe that it’s going to clear the air or lift the cloud that’s on this issue. So that’s why I called for the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to do some work with respect to the legislation.”
There are five candidates running for leadership of the party. The leadership election will be held January 27, 2018.