Crane threatens subpoenas for deputy ministers
Committee wants to question tourism minister and deputies over contracts
The legislative standing committee on public accounts has set a deadline to hear from the province's tourism minister and two deputy ministers.
Last June, the committee decided to call in minister Rob Henderson, his current deputy, David MacKenzie, and former deputy minister, Melissa MacEachern to appear.
The committee has questions about Auditor General Colin Younker's annual audit. It identified over $8 million in tourism contracts that were not properly authorized.
But the minister and two deputies so far haven't found time to fit the committee into their schedules and now public accounts has decided to give them until Tuesday to set a time.
Opposition leader Olive Crane says if they don't, she'd like to see the committee subpoena the deputies. The committee does not have the power to subpoena the minister.
"Government tries sometimes to play games. Well, the game playing time has gone," said Crane.
"Why it's so important to have it done right now is the fact that government plans on probing the house, which means all the work to date at public accounts would have to be stopped again. So it's really important that we have these deputy ministers. I have asked a timeline. I'd like them to reply to public accounts by Tuesday of next week so we can ensure whether we have to work an evening, a Saturday, so that we will be here."
Meanwhile, Auditor General Colin Younker's ten-year term expires on Oct. 6 and he says he'll move on to other challenges. Over the years, Younker dealt with some difficult government files including the provincial nominee program and Polar Foods.
It's not known who will replace him.