NDP: Makowsky Running Defense In Hotel Pricing Scandal

Saskatchewan’s Minister of Social Services and former Saskatchewan Roughrider, Gene Makowsky, is under scrutiny as allegations of political favoritism emerge. The criticism comes from the opposition, led by Saskatchewan NDP MLA Meara Conway, accusing the Saskatchewan Party of running football routes rather than the government, with Makowsky playing defense in a manner reminiscent of his time as a lineman.

The controversy revolves around the eviction of Evelyn Harper from a government care home, leading her to temporarily reside at the Sunrise Motel owned by Sask. Party MLA Gary Grewal. Conway alleges that Grewal’s motel raised rates twice during Harper’s stay, coincidentally after Minister Makowsky offered to cover the expenses.

Conway invited Harper to share her story at the legislature in late October, prompting her to submit two freedom of information requests to Makowsky’s office. The requests sought information on the hotels used by Social Services and the Ministry’s policy on hotel stays. Both requests were denied, raising suspicions about potential misconduct.

Conway contends that Makowsky might be utilizing his government influence to benefit the private businesses of fellow politicians. She calls for transparency and insists that if Makowsky has nothing to hide, he should deliver the requested information before the upcoming provincial election.

Despite promises made months ago, Makowsky has yet to respond to the freedom of information requests. Conway emphasizes the need for accountability and urges Makowsky to address the allegations promptly.

Makowsky says ministry officials have been working diligently to compile the information the NDP asked for in a Freedom of Information request, and it will be released to the opposition as soon as its ready. He suspects this will be in the coming days.

The NDP had requested two things; the Ministry’s policy on hotel stays, and a list of which hotels are used by the Ministry. The NDP claimed that both requests were refused and put off for months, however Makowsky says the information is difficult to gather.

“It’s a lot of information that isn’t just at your fingertips. It’s a very large ministry and there are certainly a lot of things going on.” Said Makowsky.

As the political game unfolds, the Saskatchewan Party faces questions about its defensive play and the fairness of its moves on and off the field.

With Files Provided by Keira Miller of CJWW News

More from 620 CKRM