Fired GTH chief executive got $242k severance

The Star Phoenix article by Alex MacPherson sums up how everyone in government got a piece of the pie.

Land baron Robert Tappauf who rents land to Bill Boyd, then minister of the GTH made $6 million dollars virtually overnight and didn’t even go through land titles. Then Anthony Marquart bought 4 times as much land that was needed and then Premier Brad Wall signed an order in council on February 27, 2014, to pay $21.1 million dollars for 4 times as much land that was needed at 20 times the rate everyone else in the area was getting. The 54 acres of land that was needed for the Regina Bypass at the GTH was only worth about $315,000. Why did the government waste $21 million dollars?

Then, instead of doing a forensic audit, the provincial auditor conducted a procedural audit that was a waste of time, money, and resources. The audit found that the government paid too much for the land and after increased public pressure, the file was sent to the Manitoba Attorney General. When the file came back, the RCMP announced that they had spent two and a half years and 7500 hours investigating the GTH land deals and no charges would be laid. It was also disclosed to the public that all of the information they reviewed was freely handed over by the parties being investigated and they did not meet the threshold to subpoena any evidence. Bryan Richards was appointed to the post in 2013 and then fired in 2018. Was Bryan Richards interviewed by the RCMP before they closed the file because they did not meet the threshold to subpoena evidence? Why didn’t the RCMP subpoena the farming records of Bill Boyd and Robert Tappauf to show that there were possible transactions paid by Robert Tappauf for farm materials that could be traced back to kickbacks by Bill Boyd. What role did Bryan Richards play in the cover-up? Why would he get a $242k severance package for doing a bad job? Was he a part of the cover-up?

Here we have the GTH with a debt of $40 million and an operating budget of $7.4 million/year and now the government wants to sell this off to try and cover up this entire matter. All of the taxpayers who are informed about the GTH Land Scandal say that there is something absolutely wrong with how government friendly developers can flip land and make $11 million overnight while long term land, home, and business owners who are losing their life’s work have been paid a fraction of what developers are receiving.

So why won’t the government open up the books like Gord Wyant said he would when he ran for premier? Why did he change his tune after Brad Wall, Bill Boyd, and Kevin Doherty cut and ran out on Saskatchewan after driving us into a recession from government waste and over $2 billion dollars on the Regina Bypass?

To make matters worse, the Regina Bypass was built in the wrong place for all of the wrong reasons by a company from France that is deeply rooted in scandals across Europe including human rights issues, money laundering, and bribery. It is one scandal after another in politics today and the media needs to bring out more of the facts so we can hold the government accountable.

Bryan Richards should have reported what he knew about the GTH land scandal. Instead, he is rewarded with a $242k bonus. Was this to keep him quiet?