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Legislative Report (7 December 2005)

Legislative Report

7 December 2005
Auditor Says NDP Financial Statements Not Reliable

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between ones real and ones declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like cuttlefish squirting out ink.
-George Orwell, 1950

While some politicians may turn to long words and confusing language to hide the truth, the Calvert NDP turns to accounting. The evidence for this is found in Volume 3 of the 2005 Provincial Auditors Report, released a few days back.

In what amounts to a truly staggering statement, the Auditor said the financial statements produced by the Calvert NDP are not reliable. Those with longer memories will remember when the NDP used the Fiscal Stabilization Fund to hide a deficit. Now, its being used to hide a surplus. Why would you want to hide money? Well, Lorne Calvert has made it clear he doesnt want to go to the polls until 2007, and his finance minister is not in election mode.

So instead of providing tax cuts to spur on business and job creation as recommended in the recent Vicq report, the Calvert NDP is building-up an election slush fund to buy your vote later on. Its just another example of the NDP putting their own political interests ahead of the best interests of Saskatchewan taxpayers.

Provincial Auditor Fred Wendel calls the NDPs accounting practices worrisome because the government uses the General Revenue Funds annual surplus or deficit as one of its key performance indicators. Most voters in Saskatchewan would be less polite than Mr. Wendel. They would call this the same old tired games from the same old tired government.

Volume 3 of the 2005 Auditors Report also slams the NDPs management of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority. Mr. Wendel warned the Calvert government more than a year ago that proper bank reconciliations were not being done in a timely way. When the reconciliations were finally done, there was nearly $1 million described in a phrase that George Orwell would have appreciated as outstanding deposits.

The Provincial Auditor also highlighted the investigation into money that went missing from liquor stores in La Loche and Biggar. Losses totaled almost $250,000. Two store managers were fired in July and August. An investigation into the missing money continues.

If you combine this with money that has gone missing from the Departments of Environment and Community Resources and Employment a clear picture beings to emerge. The Calvert NDP has serious problems with fraud prevention and basic management of money it gets from the hardworking people of Saskatchewan.

During the Fall Session of the Legislature the Saskatchewan Party asked written questions about fraud prevention measures in each department, and what was being done to enforce them. The Calvert NDP delayed, saying it needed half a year to answer those questions.

Does the NDP need the extra time because they cant use some of George Orwells clear language? Well have to wait six months to find out.

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