Documents reveal Sask Party MLA has interest in two Regina Hotels

More information has been released on hotel use by the ministry of Social Services.

It was learned last year that some clients of the ministry would stay at the Sunrise Hotel in Regina, but at a rate far higher than the “rack rate”, or normal rate for a night.

That hotel is owned by Sask Party MLA Gary Grewal. That hotel was charging the ministry $185 dollars per night, when the normal rate is about 99 dollars a night.

These newly released documents show Grewal has a financial interest in the Thriftlodge Regina.  The documents from the provincial government show the ministry paid $185 dollars per night, but the average cost is 90 dollars per night.

Back in December Grewal says he doesn’t run the hotels, and “live in” managers run the business.

Official Opposition Critic for Ethics and Democracy Meara Conway responded to the newly released documents.

“I think the people of Saskatchewan deserve answers on why two out of the three hotels the Ministry of Social Services uses in Regina are financially linked to a Sask. Party MLA,” said Conway. “Minister Makowsky said this government only uses three hotels in Regina. They’ve been sitting on these records for months. At this point, they’re clearly trying to cover up another scandal.”  

The documents can be seen here:

The Ministry of Social Services says it has to pay more to motels and hotels because some will not accept income assistance clients because of past interactions including damage and disruption.

The Ministry released this statement, Tuesday afternoon.

Last week, the Ministry of Social Services provided the Opposition and members of the media with a detailed package of data regarding ministry policy and its use of hotels.

The ministry uses hotels to provide immediate help for individuals and families in emergency situations, and for longer-term support for families and children in crisis.

Unfortunately, there are hotels that will not accept income assistance clients due to past interactions and challenges, including disruption and damage.

The number of hotels willing to work with the ministry to provide rooms for income assistance clients in Regina has decreased since 2021. Payments to each hotel continuing to work with the ministry have increased as a result.

When securing hotels for individuals, the ministry balances cost effectiveness, safety and availability. To strengthen our approach, as announced last week, we are updating our procedures for securing hotels for individuals and families.

The procedure updates we are implementing will add more formality and transparency to the process of securing and procuring hotels. It will also allow us to determine if a pilot project that involves damage deposit guarantees and procuring a block of rooms is more cost effective.

-Editors Note-This story was updated with new information- ad

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