Opposition questions travel expenses to promote SaskPower's carbon capture project

Saskatchewan's Opposition leader is questioning the nearly half-a-million dollars spent on travel by the head of SaskPower's carbon capture project.

Mike Monea claims travel worth more than $475K in past five years

Opposition leader, Cam Broten, says until SaskPower's carbon capture project is working properly, officials should stop travelling the world to promote it.

Saskatchewan's Opposition leader is questioning the nearly half-a-million dollars spent on travel by the head of SaskPower's carbon capture project.

Cam Broten said until the project is actually working properly, Mike Monea should stop travelling the world promoting it.

"What is he selling? There's no clear answer from government on that," Broten said to reporters after question period on Tuesday.

"What is he telling people? Is it the lines that we heard from Mr. Wall last week about things running optimally? Is it like the news releases that say it's exceeding expectations?"

According to public disclosure documents, Monea's travel expenses from 2009 through 2014 total $476,143.

The government confirmed that today. Monea is in Saudi Arabia promoting SaskPower's carbon capture experience.

The president of SaskPower, Mike Marsh, said the government-owned utility needs to position itself in case there is demand for its expertise.

"It may appear right now that it's very early in the game, but unless you get out there and establish your position in that community, the opportunities won't present themselves," Marsh said.

Broten wonders what those opportunities are, given recent revelations about the efficiency of Boundary Dam's carbon capture plant, as well as the fact SaskPower does not own the carbon capture technology itself.

"Some day there will be somebody who comes knocking on the door," Marsh said.

He said SaskPower may be able to sell its experience adding a carbon capture plant to an existing power station, something that has never been done before.

About the Author

Stefani Langenegger

Reporter

Stefani Langenegger has been with CBC Saskatchewan for more than two decades. She covered provincial politics for more than 15 years, before joining The Morning Edition as host.

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