Saskatchewan

Heated debate continues at legislature over GTH land deals

Insinuations were flying and heated words were exchanged as the debate over the Global Transportation Hub land deals continued at the Saskatchewan Legislature this week.

Brad Wall, Trent Wotherspoon square off during question period

During a heated exchange Thursday, Premier Brad Wall accused the NDP of smearing government members, including himself. (Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly)

Insinuations were flying and heated words were exchanged as the debate over the Global Transportation Hub land deals continued at the Saskatchewan Legislature this week.

Interim NDP leader Trent Wotherspoon continued to press Premier Brad Wall about a phone call former GTH minister Bill Boyd received in April 2012.

Cabinet had previously given GTH the go-ahead to buy 204 acres of land, then someone called Boyd offering to sell the land.

The mystery phone call to the scandal-plagued minister, former minister, at the centre of the multimillion-dollar GTH scandal could be cleared up by this government.- Trent Wotherspoon, interim NDP leader

"He got a phone call from someone who just so happened to have the very same 204 acres available," Wotherspoon said. "Imagine the coincidence."

Boyd said he took the call from a lawyer representing a company, but didn't write anything down, Wotherspoon said: "Not the name of the lawyer, not the name of the company ... He didn't even note it enough to remember who the caller was."

In 2013, a different offer was made and cabinet approved spending about $22 million to buy the land.

Wall and other members of his government noted the provincial auditor looked at the deal. A press release further noted there was "no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing or a conflict of interest." 

Wotherspoon has been calling on Wall to quiz Boyd, who is no longer in cabinet, about the phone call and to check phone records.

"The mystery phone call to the scandal-plagued minister, former minister, at the centre of the multimillion-dollar GTH scandal could be cleared up by this government," Wotherspoon said. 

Wall calls for apology

Wall accused Wotherspoon of smearing Boyd and hiding behind the legal immunity of the legislative assembly while doing so.

"That member, the leader of the NDP, took a drive-by smear run at the member for Kindersley," he said.

Wall also accused the NDP of previously dragging a development company through the mud and insinuating it bribed government members.

"Bribing me, actually — that was his allegation," Wall said.

He thinks Wotherspoon should apologize in the assembly for his comments.

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