LETTER TO MP RALPH GOODALE
We note that Erin Weir recently brought forward a request to Parliament to investigate the Regina Bypass project and the related controversy over the costs and related transactions which continue to remain unresolved. In the accompanying article we also see that Mr. Marc Mendicino (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.) responded to Mr. Weir saying that they would investigate and look into this matter. The premise that Federal funds were also invested in this project and needed to be accurately accounted for is a necessary and reasonable request in light of the many controversies that continue to surround this undertaking.
We are contacting you to request assurance that the investigation promised by Mr. Mendicino will proceed. We are in a position to offer volumes of critical information which we have collected over the last few years that we believe would be of interest to investigators. This information points to probable collusion and the resulting misuse of taxpayer revenues throughout the construction of the new Regina Bypass.
Our evidence would suggest that, at the very least, ethical and moral standards of conduct by those whose responsibility is to preserve public trust have been abandoned in favor of personal financial benefit received either directly or indirectly by these individuals and/or their associates. Our evidence would also suggest that critical information was deliberately withheld from the public as last minute revisions to the plans appear to have been orchestrated to benefit only those who had privileged access to this information. Others like ourselves whose circumstances would be drastically affected by these changes, were given little if any warning as to the impact these changes would have on their livelihoods.
A number of transactions have taken place which point directly to covert arrangements designed to create extraordinarily large financial benefits for those investors, speculators and land owners who had privileged access to this information. In some cases municipal employees and elected officials were or continue to be in private partnerships or associations with these entrepreneurs. Those who were responsible for the planning and implementation of this project need to accountable to the taxpayers of this province as several appear to have personally profited significantly from the information at their disposal long before it was made public.
During the last six years, our team has logged over 20,000 hours in an attempt to expose the “whole pile of wrongs” (a recent quote from a widely respected elected member of the provincial legislature) which we and others firmly believe needs to be addressed. We have amassed, sorted and chronologically ordered thousands of examples of questionable activities and have documented them for the record.
We contend that this information has been used to manipulate land values and the corresponding offers made to existing land owners. These same officials authorized demands for concealment of this information in the form of non-disclosure agreements demanded from existing land owners whose properties were about to be annexed as a condition of settlement. We further contend that such requests on the part of civic or provincial representatives are inappropriate at best and should be illegal. When public sector funding is being used, the records need to remain transparent.
Our group, Highway Robbery.org was actually started in your constituency here in Regina. We believe that the time has come for some elected official to recognize that our pleas for accountability and investigation are credible and demand investigation. In light of present economic conditions in this province, we can ill afford a continuation of a culture of profiteering at the expense of taxpayers. This issue goes well beyond political dynamics and threatens the very concept of democratic governance.
Our provincial economy has been severely impacted by what could actually be criminal manipulations of the most expensive public works infrastructure project ever undertaken in Saskatchewan. Many people continue to see this as badly mismanaged and wasteful of our financial resources. Others also see unjust enrichment of political donors as a major contributor to our provincial debt. To be clear, we have never discounted the need for a properly designed Bypass around Regina, we do however wonder why it should cost disproportionately more than many other projects, some of which are far larger in scope and yet still carry smaller costs.
We also wish to point out that while the RCMP investigation into the related land transactions is characterized as finding “no Smoking Gun”, we cannot help but wonder what was their mandate for the investigation? Simply reviewing records of land transactions which were freely provided by those involved does not necessarily shed light on the events leading up to those transactions. When the result is costing Saskatchewan taxpayers more to build a bypass around the city than the province of British Columbia spent building the Coquihalla Highway which is over three times as long and incorporates many more engineering challenges in much more difficult terrain, something is missing in the explanation.
This letter presents only a very brief synopsis of just a handful of suspected (and potentially indictable) cases of collusion, conspiracy and conflict of interest which appear to have been directed (and dictated) by a closed-door circle of provincial and municipal government officials and their private sector ‘partners’ who seemed to feel they were entitled to the Regina Bypass into their own enormous, long-running economic opportunity.
However, our social media sites contain more extensive information that we believe will help to shine a bright light on what appears to be a very convoluted and secretive process which lead to building an outdated, dysfunctional, potentially unsafe, costly, developer influenced 40-kilometer jumble of roadways, roundabouts, diverging diamonds, high speed curves, interchanges and overpasses which are partly constructed within city limits. It is our hope you will examine our information to better understand:
- How the projected spending (of taxpayer funds) on this overly ambitious and misguided infrastructure project could exponentially increase from $400 million to now over $2 billion in just a few years and the government still maintains that the project is "on budget."
- Who caused the Bypass’s once-approved routing plans to be suddenly altered.
- Which major corporate power brokers tremendously benefited from the altered routing plans.
- Which former landowners who were living and working alongside the Bypass were horribly impacted by the altered routing plans.
- Why our provincial Premier gathered with delegates behind the guarded gates of the June 2013 Bilderberg Conference.
- Why our provincial political leaders decided to hire Paris-based Vinci (a scandal-ridden general construction company) to direct the building of the highly contentious re-routed Regina Bypass.
• Why our RCMP Economic Crimes inspectors, after more than two years of “devoted investigations,” found no evidence to convince them to charge our provincial Economics Minister and two of his private sector associates for (alleged) land speculation buying/selling/flipping schemes that generously handed out $11 million in profits to those two individuals.
• Why our Premier, Finance Minister, and Economics Minister abruptly retired more than two years before the end of their elected terms.
We are enclosing some articles that have been published in a local magazine for the last 8 months that will give you a complete overview of the Regina Bypass land scandal. There needs to be a judicial public inquiry, forensic audit, and a complete RCMP investigation into the entire Regina Bypass scandal. The RCMP investigation that was completed only on the GTH land transactions left everyone wondering how the RCMP could close the file on something so blatantly and obviously wrong. Is there a body that oversees the provincial RCMP and their decisions?
A closing quote from English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer, Jeremy Bentham (b.February 15, 1748 – d. June 6, 1832): "Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, ought never to be the system of a regular government."
Mr. Goodale, please help the taxpayers in your constituency find the truth behind the Regina Bypass and help us hold the government accountable and transparent for these costs. If no consequence of scrutiny and exposure of complicity exists in our democracy, what remains for us to claim as a fair system of governance?
The questions surrounding the Regina Bypass extend well beyond partisan issues and strike at the heart of what it means to live in a free and democratic nation. Someone needs to stand up for these principles and extract meaningful and truthful explanations. Hopefully it will be someone with the presence, respect and credibility that only someone in your position can project.