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Legislative Report (22 March 2006)

Legislative Report

22 March 2006

Calvert NDP Refuses to Tell the Truth Until Publicly Embarrassed
Earlier this week the Official Opposition learned a lot about what transparent and accountable means in NDP-speak: dont tell until you get caught.

Last fall, the Saskatchewan Party submitted more than 500 questions to the government about fraud cases and fraud prevention practices in all government departments and five Crown Corporations. These questions were spurred on by fraud cases in the departments of Community Resources and the Environment totaling close to $1.5 million. These questions also should have been relatively easy to answer.

The Calvert government, however, used every option available to them to stall and delay answering these questions for as long as possible. Now we know why. Finally, after months of pressure from the Saskatchewan Party, the NDP government came clean this week and announced that since 2003, there have been 43 incidents of fraud totaling some $2 million.

As one newspaper columnist put it this week, The problem appears to be an NDP government that, until now, was more interested in avoiding political embarrassment than in being transparent.

The fact that it took 500 written questions from the Official Opposition Saskatchewan Party before the government came clean about 42 fraud cases in government is a perfect example of that. So was SPUDCO where the NDP government misled the people of Saskatchewan for six years until they got caught.

After SPUDCO, the Premier promised a new era of accountability and transparency, but those words appear to have rung hollow for years. Now it is clear that rather than a culture of transparency, a culture of secrecy exists in the NDP government.

Among the 42 cases of fraud within the NDP government that surfaced this week was the theft of $100,000 from SGI. This incident happened in 2003 and was never made public. The fact this incident was never made public should cause you great concern. If the NDP didnt tell you about something that significant in 2003, what are we to think about the time since the Premier took office in 2001? And if 43 cases of fraud were uncovered from 2003 to today, how many exist since the NDP took power in 1991? What isnt the NDP telling you?

Given the NDPs track record of secrecy and refusing to tell the truth until publicly embarrassed, the NDP at least owe the people of Saskatchewan a full accounting of all incidents since 2001. Only then can we be confident that the government is being truly transparent and accountable to you the taxpayer.

If you have a question about this report, or any other matter, just Contact Glen.

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