A PARADE OF QUESTIONS
As promised, here are some questions that we have been trying to get answered for the last few years. Perhaps more people should be asking them. Maybe if enough of us show an interest in these issues, we might be able to persuade our elected officials to do their duty and provide some credible answersÖ
OUR 20 QUESTIONS:
- Why did the cost of the Regina Bypass balloon from $400 million to now over $2 billion dollars?
- Why did the government hire Vinci, a scandal ridden company from Europe to build the Regina Bypass?
- Why did very few Saskatchewan road and bridge builders get work from the Regina Bypass?
- Why doesn't the Regina Bypass go north around the city to the commercial industrial business district that would have been fully functional in rerouting truck traffic which was the original goal of the Regina Bypass?
- Why did the RCMP not fully investigate the GTH Land Scandal where developers made $11 million dollars flipping land?
- The RCMP said that they spent 7500 hours investigating, stating that the information freely provided to them did not meet the threshold to subpoena evidence and closed the file on the entire Regina Bypass Land Scandal. Were they not given a mandate to investigate other things? (such asÖ )
- Why didn't the RCMP subpoena the farming records from Bill Boyd who rents land from Robert Taupauff who made $6 million dollars flipping land without going through land titles at the GTH?
- Why did Premier Brad Wall sign and order in council to pay $21 million dollars for 204 acres of land, four times more land than was needed for the Regina Bypass at 20 times the rate that everyone else in the area is getting for their land?
- The government could have purchased the 54 acres needed for the Regina Bypass directly from the Order of Nun's using the same formula that had dictated what everyone else in the area was getting which was between 5,000- 6,000 an acre for a total of $315,000. Instead, an investor and developer who had close ties to a former elected official was able to purchase this land from the Order of Nuns just in time to flip it prior to the government having to purchase it for the GTH and Bypass projects. The government could have expropriated the land if they wished as they did with many other land owners. Instead Brad Wall signed an order in council to pay $21 million for it, which enriched well connected speculators using taxpayer's funds in the process. We need to know...WHY?
- Why didn't the Regina Bypass go out to Gravel Pit Road just outside the city? Does a Sask. Party MLA's family own land along Gravel Pit Road and have plans for a commercial development that would have been impacted?
- In 2011the government sold 7.4 acres to a developer (Maurie Gwyn) off Highway No. 48 and No.1. It was needed to put up a fence and a berm and was sold at the time by our government for $20,000 an acre. Three years later our government bought back a portion of the same land (2.4 acres) and paid $400,000 an acre. This was an extreme contrast to what others in the area were getting which was only between $15,000 and $27,000 an acre. What is the explanation for this?
- It is on record that some developers were paid up to 80 times more for their land than long term land, home, and business owners along the Regina Bypass route. By what reasoning are such discrepancies in value justified?
- Why did former Premier Brad Wall abruptly retire from political life just as the GTH Land Scandal was beginning to come to light?
- Why did former MLA's Bill Boyd and Kevin Doherty also choose to retire around the same time?
- 25-years ago we witnessed the Grant Devine million dollar scandal that resulted in 13 government MLA's being criminally indicted for their abuse of public trust and funds. We are reminded that Brad Wall, Bill Boyd and Kevin Doherty were all members of the Grant Devine government at the time, but were not implicated in these proceedings. Nevertheless, each played a critical role in the execution of plans and approval of funding for the New Regina Bypass and each one has also removed themselves from the public stage before the project has been completed. We have inherited a $2 billion dollar debt to pay for a project that fails to meet many of its objectives and appears to have cost much more than it should have. Are we alone in seeing these things as suspicious and possibly connected?†
- Why is the government ignoring our repeated requests for explanations or for a public enquiry?
- Why after three years of calling attention to these matters, has no one come forward with an explanation or correction to the information we been placing before the general public?
- Why isn't conventional media showing any interest in these facts and asking some of the same questions?
- Do our media sources know something we don't? ..If so, why not share it with all of us?)
- Lastly, the opposition parties should be pushing hard to get some clarity around these highly controversial issues and the possible misuse of taxpayer's funds. It would serve all of our interests if they would. Who else can we turn to?
Once more, we were kicked out of a public parade on a public street. It becomes increasingly difficult not to wonder at times if we are being deliberately targeted. We realize that for many people this type of confrontation of authority is stressful. It is not a typical experience for most of us, especially at a time normally intended to focus on upbeat and celebratory events. However, to stifle our message in any sort of public arena is arguably a violation of our rights to freedom of speech. The fact that our message is potentially jarring to many is we admit unfortunate, but we feel is also necessary. This is an important issue and should not be ignored.
It would appear to us that our government hopes that by ignoring us we will go away. This feeling persists when we are virtually stonewalled in any attempt to get real answers or explanations to any of our questions. We are left to conclude that those in charge in the present government have muzzled any attempt to shed light on this controversy.
Sadly many tend to accept that politicians and their ilk are simply disingenuous by nature. We begin to wonder if the information we seek would demand accountability of our legislators which would make them extremely uncomfortable. Their behaviour as they continue to ignore us and attempt to discredit us without providing real answers to our questions only fuels the fires of suspicion. The democratic process will be hijacked if this is allowed to continue. I is up to all of us to hold our elected officials accountable.
We will gladly go on record as stating that once we get proper answers to our questions, we will be happy to retire our initiatives. Included in those answers should be restitution offers made to those who have been treated unfairly, we will be happy to close the book on this fiasco of mismanagement and malfeasance on the part of our elected officials should that happen. In the meantime we will continue to press for answers and call attention to these matters in as many public forums as we can find.
Our upcoming book; ìHighway Robbery: the Regina Bypass Land Scandal: will tell the detailed history of what we have learned over the last 6 years and how we have been fighting for our lives. It has left our company a shell of what it could have been. The health of the principals in our business has been impacted. We mourn the loss of the potential employment of the hundreds of local workers and the many more who would have benefited nationally and internationally from the products our proprietary manufacturing process would have supplied to the construction industry.
It is sad to see how government waste can be play such a large part in the current economic recession. The PST tax that was imposed on the construction and service industries has left many businesses fighting for their lives. The myopia of our government agencies has prevented them from recognizing opportunity when it comes to supporting real value-added activity in the form of primary industries that bring in revenue from additional outside sources. That what diversification is intended to do. We need to expand our abilities to generate wealth outside the resource sector.
In retrospect, we should have offered our business to Brad Wall before he cut and ran. He could have helped to rebuild our business to the point where our technology would be producing products which could be sold across North America and putting Saskatchewan on the map. We had a product unique in North America and still have all the requisite components to produce it. Unfortunately thanks to the way in which the New Regina Bypass project has been mismanaged, This opportunity may never be realized.
Is anyone listening or are the marching bands drowning us out?