NDP Leader Ryan Meili committed Wednesday, that if elected Premier next month, he would stop allowing corporations to make political donations.
Meili says the Saskatchewan Party has accepted more than $19 million in corporate donations from companies out of province since 2007.
He adds that allowing big corporate donations leads to government corruption.
“With this big money, comes influence, comes a government that manages to make sure that money finds it way back to those donors in contracts and laws that favour them, that don’t work for the people of Saskatchewan,” said Meili. “Every other province has recognized that is crooked, it’s not the right way to go.”
One example Meili pointed to is the increased amount of money donated to the Sask. Party by the Buffalo Project, a group pushing for western separation. According to Meili, the group donated over $5,000 in 2018 and nearly $60,000 in 2019.
Meili says that by accepting that money, Premier Scott Moe is entertaining the idea of western separation.
“With those dollars coming in, we see the influence that is on Scott Moe,” said Meili. “We see why he won’t do what any decent Premier of Saskatchewan would do, which is stand up for Saskatchewan and stand up for a strong Canada. He’s faring to do that and you can see why, because these dollars are coming in.”
When asked if his party could make due without the help of corporate donations, Meili said that it’s not about the party, it’s about doing the right thing.
“We are absolutely fine to remove all donations except individuals,” said Meili. “It’s about doing things right and fair.”
The Buffalo Project has denied giving any money to the Saskatchewan Party.
The official call for the 2020 Saskatchewan Election is expected to come in the next few days.