Submitted by Team, January 10, 2019

At this time of year many people tend to look back on the previous year to assess what they managed to accomplish, as well as what they weren’t able to accomplish.

Our partners feel we managed to significantly raise awareness of so many of the Regina Bypass’s deeply troubling associations and circumstances; and we were also quite satisfied with our networking achievements and advancements during 2018. However, there was one expected get-together (which just never happened) that made it to the top of our “Not Accomplished in 2018” list. And that no-go get-together was a promised private meeting with a prominent member of the Sask. Party.

So now, our #1 unanswered question of 2018 is: Who reeled in and reprogrammed Gordon Wyant – Saskatchewan’s current Deputy Premier and Minister of Education – during the early weeks of 2018? Mr. Wyant, the one-time straight talking legislator who confidently entered the Sask. Party leadership race in late summer 2017, routinely told his campaign rally audiences that he “…would hold a public inquiry on the GTH land deals no matter what the RCMP investigation concluded [because] there are unanswered questions for me.” And, during an early September 2017 interview with CBC Saskatchewan, he emphatically stated: “I’m a citizen of this province whether I’m a member of government or not. There are some troubling things about this and at the end of the day we need to clear the air so that people are made comfortable with what happened. If charges aren’t preferred then there’s going to be a report that’s tendered to the director of public prosecutions which isn’t going to be made public and that doesn’t do anything to clear the air. We need to shine a very, very bright light on this and the only way to do that is to give the commissioner the power that he needs not only to compel witnesses and to compel documents and testimony but to make some findings so that we can put this whole thing behind us as a party.

Then, on November 17 of 2017, Mr. Wyant reconfirmed to the crowd gathered in Regina’s Ramada Plaza Hotel that he would most definitely push for a comprehensive public inquiry because there was such “…a cloud of suspicion over the government and the party.” And near the end of that rally he quietly approached myself and one of my colleagues and promised that he would schedule a private meeting early in the New Year to further discuss his plans for a future public inquiry. Two days later, on November 19, we received an email from “Gord Wyant” That email contained Mr. Wyant’s leadership campaign form letter; and it effectively introduced the candidate and his political platform, positions and perspectives. We were especially impressed by the below subheading and its three ambitious points:

Increased transparency:

• A public inquiry into the Global Transportation Hub will be initiated once the RCMP investigation has concluded.

• The powers within the Conflict of Interest Act will be strengthened to ensure the Conflict of Interest Commissioner can investigate potential issues more thoroughly and resolve them more quickly.

• Independent officers of the Legislature will be asked for recommendations on ways to strengthen legislation, enhance disclosure mechanisms, and create a Regina Bypass Report By Highway Robbery the Regina Bypass Land Scandal Inc. more open and accountable government.

Regrettably, our follow-up emails and letters to Mr. Wyant were never answered or acknowledged. His broken promise to us regarding a private meeting in early 2018 was disappointing; but we believed his own disappointment at not winning the leadership of the Sask. Party may have contributed to his forgetfulness. Then, on February 2 of last year he was appointed Deputy Premier and Minister of Education; and we knew his expanded political portfolio meant our window of opportunity to reconnect with Mr. Wyant had been virtually closed. However, last summer he did reconnect with a national award-winning journalist. In his July 26, 2018 CBC Saskatchewan News story titled Deputy Premier Backs Away From Campaign Call for GTH Inquiry Following RCMP Probe, Geoff Leo reported, “Gord Wyant says he supports the government’s position to move on, despite what he promised during the leadership bid. He would not repeat that strident call for a detailed public review of the controversial deals, instead saying he’s satisfied with the RCMP investigation.” Is there any chance our missing-in-action MLA was taken aside by the Sask. Party’s damage control specialists and sternly told that he needed to fall into line and to start marching to their protectionist orders because his propensity to freely speak his own mind and to freely express his own opinions could lead to a breach in their Wall-of-Silenceand-Secrets? And, is there any chance whatsoever that his Deputy Premier and Minister of Education appointments were granted in exchange for his promise to perform as just another line-fed and well-rehearsed political player? In another paragraph within his abovementioned July 26, 2018 article Mr. Leo wrote, “In an email CBC asked Wyant if he still believed an inquiry was necessary in order to clear the air. Wyant’s emailed statement, provided by the Premier’s Office, didn’t directly answer that question. Instead it referenced the lengthy RCMP investigation which ‘concluded that there was no illegal activity related to the GHT.’” Was that email channeled through the Premier’s Office because Mr. Wyant was too busy marching and falling into line and therefore couldn’t find time to personally fire off that email from his Deputy Premier’s Office or maybe from his Ministry of Education Office? And, before the Premier’s Office provided that email to CBC Saskatchewan, was it perhaps subjected to a bit of proofreading, editing and censoring by the party’s damage control specialists? And just how long do the party’s overextended damage controllers feel they can hold up the Wall-of-Silence-and-Secrets that’s keeping their cowering employers hidden away from truly objective and proficient criminal inspectors?

In our opinion, one of the only political bright points of 2018 occurred this past December when our provincial government finally received the safety review report which presented them with a number of specific safety upgrade recommendations for the infamous Highway 35 and Highway 335 intersection – the scene of last April’s catastrophic Humboldt Broncos bus crash. We applaud the Sask. Party’s statement that “…all the recommendations will be implemented.” However, as we have previously written, this extremely dangerous crossing has witnessed other deadly and injurious accidents over the past two decades, so condemning fingers must be pointed at both political parties that have governed Saskatchewan over the last 20 years. We hope both of these parties are, at the very least, doing a little soul searching as to why even a series of rumble strips (a timetested and relatively inexpensive safety upgrade) were never installed on Highway 335 many years ago.

Anyway, since our current provincial rulers are nearly finished shoveling $2 billion dollars into the highly suspicious and controversial Regina Bypass sinkhole, here’s hoping that at some point in 2019 they’ll finally manage to wriggle out from under the thumbs of their most influential private sector benefactors. After all, were they not elected to equally serve all of the people of Saskatchewan?

The Team