ONE YEAR AFTER THE RCMP CLOSED THE FILE ON THE REGINA BYPASS LAND SCANDAL
It has been a year now since the RCMP closed the file on the Global Transportation Hub land deals. On July 25, 2018, Superintendent Paul Segency with the RCMP Economic Crimes Division spoke at a press conference about their investigation into the GTH Land Dealings. Mr. Segency stated, "Saskatchewan RCMP in consultation with Manitoba Prosecution Services has determined that there is no evidence to support criminal charges in relation to the land transactions associated to the Global Transportation Hub.” Mr. Segency stated that unless charges are laid, details of investigations are not made public. However, due to the high level of public interest, the RCMP released the following information:
The Saskatchewan RCMP Federal Policing launched the investigation in February 2016, in response to complaints that were brought forward. It was requested that the investigation be provided to Manitoba Prosecution Services for their review and opinion. Based on their review, it was recommended that no criminal charges be laid. The investigation lasted 2 years and included the review of financial transactions and land dealings involving multiple parties. All of the documents that were examined were freely provided by the holding parties. It was estimated that 7500 hours or approximately 1000 working days were spent on this file. And that the evidence does not support laying charges.
Mr. Segency made this announcement he took a few questions from the press. The first three questions and answers were as follows: The RCMP's announcement that no charges will be laid in connection with the GTH land acquisitions points to a need to re-examine the laws pertaining to public sector employees and elected officials and their relationships with private sector businessmen.
We acknowledge that the RCMP is an unbiased law enforcement agency obligated to enforce the criminal code. The dilemma that needs to be addressed is whether or not there should be provision in the criminal code for how public sector employees deal with information that has the potential to benefit someone outside the offices of public administration should that information become available to them. The risk that public sector funds facilitate ‘profiteering’ on the part of a few well-connected individuals results in the taxpayers of this province having to bear unnecessary costs.
The many inconsistent transactions which appear to have been orchestrated by the sharing of privileged formation between key authorities and their private sector partners remains the main issue. It appears to fall outside any specific legal boundary, and is likely not specifically imbedded in the criminal code. If “insider trading” laws exist in the financial world, we submit that similar laws be enacted to prevent anyone from taking advantage of the public purse.
The RCMP said they said 7500 hours investigating, did not subpoena the records and bank statements of Bill Boyd and his farming operation, Robert Tappauf, Anthony Marquart and other civil servants who were involved in the GTH land scandal. One can only be frustrated that our law enforcement institutions appear to have no mandate for such an investigation.
It is of great concern to us that something so obviously outrageous has not resulted in a proper Judicial Public Inquiry and a Forensic Audit. Legislative changes should also be put in place to empower an RCMP investigation into the entire background of this project. Unfortunately in this case, the damage has already been done. Nevertheless, we submit the following questions that illuminate our concerns:
Question 1- "The GTH Land Deals were part of the Bypass acquisition process that was part of the investigation. There has also been complaints made to the RCMP about the East side of the Bypass. Can you comment at all on whether or not the scope of this investigation might have included land transactions that took place on the East side of the Bypass as well?"
Answer- "This investigation strictly focused on the land acquisitions related to the Global Transportation Hub."
Question 2-"Is there an investigation linking the East side of the Bypass then?"
Answer- "As it related to, we are not in the position to comment on ongoing investigations that we may or may not have. I can tell you that this investigation and why I am here today is to discuss the Global Transportation Hub and those land transactions."
Question 3- "Can you comment at all on what charges would have been considered in this instance?"
Answer-"Our investigative team utilized the criminal code as their guide so the offenses that we would have been looking at specifically would have been offenses related to fraud, public mischief, and corruption."
There remain many unanswered questions that the public has a right to know. The excessive costs associated with this project appear to be directly connected to land transactions whose timing and values raise many important questions.
- Why did the government approve building a flawed, dysfunctional, unsafe, $2 Billion Dollar, dead-end Bypass which is still partially within city limits? (Building off Tower Road does not solve the congestion created by the significant westbound truck traffic coming into the city, which in turn, must access the north industrial areas in Regina. Inits present form,this project has failed to relieve stress on an already overcrowded ring road along with the intersection at No.1highway and Park Street. Traffic in this area has been steadily increasing in recent years and is likely to continue to do so.)
- Why were other plans that had taken years to develop, abandoned on such short notice? Other plans were presented to the government, such as the Brandt Plan that proposed to take the Regina Bypass to Gravel Pit Road, just outside the city. This plan would have accommodated traffic north and south around Regina and would keep over 95% of the truck traffic from coming into the city on Victoria Avenue. This plan would have saved the government $100 Million or 25% of the cost when the estimate was only $400 Million with Tower Road as the proposed site. The Gravel Pit Road alternative appears to have been an even more practical solution.
- Did a Sask Party MLA's family who have land along Gravel Pit Road that is being developed commercially, in any way influence the decision to avoid the Regina Bypass on Gravel Pit Road?
- Who is the Sask. Party MLA that has family with land along Gravel Pit Road and Pilot Butte Road?
- Why would the government not build the Regina Bypass so that it could go North and South around the city when the Commercial Industrial Business District of the Regina is in the Northeast?
- Why didn't the government study and approve building the Regina Bypass from Balgonie North around the city to Highway No.1? This plan would have been half the cost and fully functional to re-route truck traffic. It could have been built by local Saskatchewan road and bridge builders?
- Why did the government say that it was the engineers that decided the location of the Regina Bypass?
- Who were the engineers that made that decision?
- Why did the government not provide a non-redacted version of the Functional Study to explain the science behind their decision to build the Regina Bypass off Tower Road?
- Why did Senior Highways engineers that we spoke with in recorded documented conversations say that they did not agree with the location of the Regina Bypass and that it was the developers that influenced the decision?
- The original cost of the Regina Bypass was estimated tobe around $400 milion before it was moved off Tower Road. Why did it skyrocket to $2 billion after being moved 400 meters off Tower Road?
- After major land developers purchased 640 acres along Tower Road,the Regina Bypass moved 400 meters East of Tower Road. Who were the two major developers who purchased land along Tower Road?
- Why didn't the government purchase this land directly from the landowners in 2012 for $12,125 an acre, which was the average value of the properties in question at the time?
- Why did the government buy back 128 acres from Long Lake Investments and pay them seven times more than Long Lake originally purchased this land for only a short time before?
- With the 400 meters East of Tower Road move, did Long Lake Investment Inc. benefit from having the Regina Bypass going directly through the middle of 2 miles of their property?
- Will Long Lake Investment Inc. stand to make hundreds or millions of dollars off of their land that they purchased for $6 Million?
- Was LLI President, Murad Al-Katib, on the Regina Regional Opportunities Commission as a director with mayor Pat Fiaco in 2011 and with mayor Michael Fougere in 2012? Was this a conflict of interest or insider trading? Was this investigated by the RCMP?
- Does LLI have 370 acres of free land available in the best land development land in the country that they are now selling lots for $375,000 an acre, an over 3300% profit?
- Did the City of Regina’s South East Community development plan get approved 20 years ahead of schedule?
- Why was Gulf Flying J who had plans to build a commercial truck stop told it would be 25 years before their land would be annexed into the city?
- Did Gulf Flying J sell the 141 acres of land to Forester Properties Harvard Developments because this land would not be available for commercial development for the next 25 years?
- Was this land annexed into the city and serviced a short time after Forester Properties Harvard Developments purchased this land?
- Was the Regina Bypass moved 400 meters East of Tower Road because the Aurora Mall development would have lost over 60 acres rendering the land useless for the development project?
- Why did the government pay long term land, home and business owners along the Regina Bypass route a fraction of the value for their property and paid developers 5 – 80 times more for their recently purchased land?
- Why did government officials request NON DISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS from private land owners whose properties were to be annexed?
- Why did the government sell 7.4 acres, a ditch along Highway No.1 and Highway No.48 to Mauri Gwyn Developments in 2011 for $20,000 an acre and then repurchase 2.4 acres four years later and pay $400,000 an acre, 20 times more than the original purchase?
- Why did the government offer long term landowners directly North, 20 times less for their land and expropriated it because they were not willing sellers?
- Is this same developer, Mauri Gwyn Developments now selling the rest of this land for $400,000/acre, 20 times more than they paid the government for it?
- Why are all landowners along the Regina Bypass route that had their land expropriated or taken for the Regina Bypass not being paid $400,000 an acre that is an established precedent? Landowners who had their land expropriated by the government now have to fight in court for years and pay tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars for fair value for their land. The only winners will be the lawyers. How is this fair?
- Three long term land and business owners along Highway No.1West had their land expropriated for $5,750 an acre. They lost their land and homes. Why was the government not providing them with fair compensation for their property?
- Why did an 83-year-old homeowner 5km outside the city, lose her home and yard and was paid a fraction of the value for the property? How can the government allow this to happen?
- Why did the government not purchase 54 acres of land, that they needed for the Regina Bypass from the original owners, the McNally's and the Order of Nuns for $5,750 an acre?
- Why did the government wait until an Alberta land baron, Robert Tappauf, who rents farm land to Bill Boyd, Minister responsible for the GTH, made an offer to purchase 204 acres of land and made $6 million overnight?
- Did another friend of the government, developer Anthony Marquart, purchase the 204 acres of land by the Global Transportation Hub on the West end of Regina?
- Why did Premier Brad Wall sign an Order in Council to pay $21.1 Million in February 2014, to Anthony Marquart to purchase land at the GTH, 4 times more than was needed and at 20 times the price, when the real land value was only $312,000?
- Why did the government bully people along the Bypass route into signing confidentiality agreements and accepting up to 80 times less for their land than developers?
- Why did the government not consult with land, business, and homeowners along Highway No.1 South Service Road that connects to Tower Road or invite them to the closed meetings on May 609 2013 that resulted into the new preferred plan to move the Regna Bypass 400 meters east of Tower Road?
- Was the NDP Party, the official opposition party approached in 2014 with a petition for the Sask. Party government to take a sober second look at the plans for the Regina Bypass?
- Did the NDP raise this petition in the legislature during Question Period and hold a press conference?
- Was the NDP approached again in 2018 to bring up a petition for a Judicial Public Inquiry and Forensic Audit into the Regina Bypass in Question Period?
- Did the NDP refuse to bring up the petition up in the legislature until 2019?
- Was the NDP asked to do a press conference on the Regina Bypass and the petition?
- Did the NDP refuse to speak to the press about the Regina Bypass?
- Was a lawyer hired and paid a large retainer in 2015 to get a Court Injunction to stop the Regina Bypass?
- Did this lawyer subcontract the work out to two lawyers from B.C.?
- Did this lawyer leave for a two month holiday before filing a claim?
- Did this lawyer quit the file when questioned on how nothing was completed 5 months after he was retained?
- Why did the government award the Regina Bypass project to Vinci, a French company that is deeply rooted in scandals in Europe, including money laundering, bribery, and human rights issues?
- Did the government decide to give the contract to a French company because they cannot be audited?
- Why did the government award the project to a French consortium, which is taking money out of province and out of country?
- Why didn’t Saskatchewan Highways Engineers engineer the Regina Bypass to Saskatchewan standards instead of having Vinci engineer the Regina Bypass to French standards?
- Was the round-about at Balgonie constructed to narrow so farm equipment couldn’t get through?
- Did the Regina Bypass Builders take days to respond to this major problem with the Regina Bypass?
- Is the overpass at Tower Road sinking? Why?
- Are light posts along the Regina Bypass toppling over and needing to be replaced or reinforced? What were the standards specified?
- Did SNC-Lavalin bid on the Regina Bypass project?
- Why are very few Saskatchewan road and bridge building contractors getting work from the project?
- Why did Brad Wall refuse to meet with the principals in Super Seamless of Canada, when approached at the Premier's Dinner?
- Did Brad Wall assault a principal owner of Super Seamless when he approached Mr. Wall at the Premiers Dinner?
- Why did the government target Super Seamless of Canada bulldozing through their property 4 days after it was expropriated destroying building products, pallets and hauling it to the garbage dump, then destroying their access by dumping dirt of their driveway and cutting off their only access?
- Why did the government want Super Seamless of Canada to sign off a Release and Settlement Agreement, and a Confidentiality Agreement before they would build them access and a driveway into their property?
- Why did the government bulldoze through the homes of long term residents of over 35 years?
- Why weren't these long term landowners even invited to the meetings of only the developers and government in 2013 that resulted in moving the Bypass 400 meters towards their property?
- Why did the government bully a landowner who lived in his home off Tower Road for 45 years? Why was he told on a Friday that if he didn't sign an offer for their property that was about half the value, that they would expropriate their property on Monday?
- How many people along the South Service Road Bypass Route have been bullied and have terminal illnesses as a result of the stress created by trying to fight for your property and your life's work?
- Why did the Deputy Mayor of White City assault a member of the Regina Committee for an Alternate Bypass Solution, Why Tower Road Group?
- Why did Bill Boyd start a legal action against CBC after they released the story in February 2016?
- The GTH Land Scandal is only Millions of Dollars of government malfeasance. The move 400 meters off Tower Road for the unjust enrichment of the developers costs taxpayers over $2 Billion Dollars. How could something so wrong happen in the twenty-first century?
- Why did Brad Wall resign, all of a sudden when the GTH Land Scandal started to unfold mid way through his term?
- Why did Minister of the GTH Bill Boyd also resign mid-way through his term shortly after the RCMP Investigation was announced?
- Why did Finance Minister Kevin Doherty step down mid-way through his term when the GTH investigation was announced?
- Was the Grant Devine government involved in a million dollar phony expense account scheme that saw 13 MLA’s charged criminally?
- Were Brad Wall, Bill Boyd, and Kevin Doherty all a part of the Grant Devine Government?
- Were all three of these gentlemen instrumental in starting the Sask. Party?
- Why did the RCMP only investigate the GTH Land Scandal?
- When Gordon Wyant was running for Premier, did he state multiple times that no matter the results of the RCMP Investigation he would call for a Public Inquiry into the Regina Bypass to put the scandal behind them as a party and because there were still unanswered questions for him?
- Once Mr. Wyant was elected Deputy Premier he backed down from this statement and even voted against a Public Inquiry, why?
- Is the provincial government trying to rid themselves of the GTH, a giant white elephant?
- Why is our province now facing a recession as a result of the slash and burn budget of 2017 that shut down STC, cut salaries and jobs, and imposed a 6% PST tax on the construction and service industries?
- Was the 2017 slash and burn budget a result of government waste on the $2 billion dollar Regina Bypass?
- Did the 320km double lane Coquihalla Highway in B.C. across mountainous terrain cost less to build than the 40km double lane Regina Bypass on flat prairie?
- Did the Coquihalla Highway cost $1.63 Billion adjusted for inflation as opposed to the over $2 billion Regina Bypass?
- Why is the government opposed to giving crown employees a 2% per year raise to keep up with inflation?
- Why did the government give MLA’s a 2.4% raise to keep up with the increased cost of living?
- Why has the HighwayRobbery.org group been banned from the Cathedral Village Festival? Why have they been kicked out of parades and car shows?
- Does the government not want this story to come out?
- Why don’t the media publish letters to the editor from our advocacy group?
- Is the government, the media, and the authorities trying to suppress this information?
- Why did Provincial Auditor Judy Ferguson only complete a Procedural Audit on the Regina Bypass and not a Forensic Audit?
- Why is the government not being transparent and ask for a Judicial Public Inquiry and Forensic Audit into the entire Regina Bypass?
Over the last year we have been writing articles in Compass Magazine. These articles expose the truth behind the Regina Bypass, the biggest infrastructure project in Saskatchewan's history that will go down in history as the Regina Bypass Land Scandal. We’ve chosen to call it “HighwayRobbery”
We approached the NDP a number of years ago with a petition that could have caused the Sask. Party to take a sober second look at the Regina Bypass. Unfortunately, the NDP never raised this petition in the legislature and it slipped under the radar. More recently, we have finally gotten an undertaking from the NDP to raise our petition for a Judicial Public Inquiry and a Forensic Audit into the Regina Bypass Land Scandal. However, they refuse to hold a press conference with the media to help raise public awareness. Why don’t the NDP want people to know the details of the Regina Bypass Land Scandal?
The taxpayers of this province and country deserve to know what the government is doing with their hard-earned tax dollars. From our over twenty thousand hours of research, we are compiling this story on the Regina Bypass the Biggest Infrastructure Project in Saskatchewan's history. That will go down in history as, Highway Robbery: The Regina Bypass Land Scand