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Quill Plains chapter questions Premier Wall’s holding of shares in oil companies

Chapter activist Elaine Hughes

The Council of Canadians Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter is raising their concern about Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall owning shares in Whitecap Resources and other oil companies.

The Regina Leader Post reports, “Wall has personally invested in three of the oil companies he is trying to lure to Saskatchewan. His public disclosure statements show he has investments in Whitecap Resources and five other oil companies. …Combined, Wall and his wife Tami have 1,826 shares in Whitecap worth $18,842 as of March 30. That represents 37.3 per cent of their total $50,466 in energy holdings, primarily in a registered retirement savings plan and a locked-in retirement plan. Saskatchewan’s Conflict of Interest Commissioner Ron Barclay [says], ‘[Wall is] not in breach of the Members’ Conflict of Interest Act’.”

This is also in the context of Saskatchewan already being the highest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita in Canada. It emits about 67.2 tonnes of carbon emissions per year per person. Greenhouse gas emissions have grown about eight per cent in the province since 2005. Wall became premier in 2007.

In a letter to the editor published in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on April 13, chapter activist Elaine Hughes writes, “In his recent letter of invitation to Whitecap Resources to move their offices from Calgary to Regina, Premier Wall offers to: ‘subsidize relocation costs, trim taxes and royalties, and help find space in unused government buildings if the oil and gas firm moves to Saskatchewan’. Now, we learn that he has asked at least two more Alberta big oil companies to ‘come on over — we’ll make it worth your while’.”

She highlights, “Here’s the kicker: Mr. Wall owns shares in Whitecap Resources and Saskatchewan’s Conflict of Interest Commissioner says that’s OK. Really?”

Hughes adds, “Obsessive about his government’s $1 billion deficit — due in large part to an appalling lack of management skills — Premier Wall’s March 22 budget hacked and trashed its way through public transportation, public libraries, education and health programs in all directions, plus other easy targets, leaving behind a trail of shocked and worried residents. I suggest that we are finally seeing this government’s true colours: power and money is all — to hell with the people and the province’s (sometimes critical) social programs. Unfortunately, three more years of this debacle will set Saskatchewan back 50 years or more.”

The full letter to the editor by Hughes can be read here.

The Star Phoenix has a daily readership of about 51,000 people.