Scandals appear back government bandy money at problems in achievement of affairs their way out of bad decisions. It’s bigger to cut one’s losses, writes Murray Mandryk.
An cyberbanking assurance advertises acreage accessible for acquirement at the Global Busline Hub west of Regina on June 30, 2016. Michael Bell / Regina Leader-Post
All governments spiral up, but government screw-ups become scandals for one constant reason: When governments bandy money at problems in the achievement of affairs their way out of bad decisions.
It’s bigger to cut one’s losses.
As the Saskatchewan assembly resumes today with the Speech from the Throne, apprehend to apprehend a lot about the Global Busline Hub (GTH) scandal, including the latest account that taxpayers accept spent $500,000 on bus account to get GTH advisers to work.
But afore we burrow too acutely into the Saskatchewan Party’s cool justifications for basement a clandestine company’s bill to get its advisers to work, let’s accede some bad NDP government investments that may accept been forgotten: B.C.-based internet business Navigata ($72 million); Chicago-based NST Network Casework ($16 million); Chile’s Gas Sur ($12 million); Atlanta-based software company RETX ($25 million); Channel Lake ($15 million); Guyana Electrical Company ($2 million); Persona Inc. ($9.4 million); Clickabid.com ($6.7 million); Soft Tracks Enterprises Ltd. ($5.6 million); Craig Wireless ($10 million); Coachman Insurance ($17.2 million); and AgDealer ($8.9 million).
Yet the one best acceptable remembered is the NDP government’s $36-million advance in the potato industry accustomed as Spudco.
What fabricated this the NDP’s adventure that aloof wouldn’t go away? In the case of the added investments, the government cut its losses and confused on. But in the case of Spudco, the NDP kept throwing acceptable money afterwards bad by advance in aggregate from choice accurate potato bins to acknowledged costs in a abiding cloister action to absolve its decision. And they approved to absolve every cool move, digging in deeper.
One can alone admiration why the Sask. Party would now agilely echo the aberration in the GTH.
First it was angry denials of any “wrongdoing” in its acquirement of 204 acreage of acreage for $103,000 an acre — acreage beneath confiscation initially adjourned at division to one-fifth of the value. We apperceive there wasn’t annihilation bent in this transaction, but let us anamnesis that there was annihilation bent in the NDP government’s Spudco transactions, either.
Right now the GTH has 12 clients. Crown corporations like SaskPower accept fabricated abortive acreage purchases that seemed affiliated to the GTH’s costs of the above 204 acres. What started as a admirable dream for an intermodal civil anchorage has produced a half-empty ability that hasn’t fabricated a acreage auction in two years.
It now has a $40-million debt with anniversary absorption costs of $845,000. Again, GTH Minister Don Morgan seems atrocious to dump the accomplished blend on the Burghal of Regina.
And let us not balloon how the GTH ability accept contributed to the ascent amount of the now $1.9-billion bypass.
The GTH’s one constant success adventure has been Loblaws. However, we begin out at a aldermanic board affair this anniversary that the Sask. Party government has been abundantly giving $500,000 in subsidies to a clandestine bus account accouterment 900 rides a month, mostly for the account of Loblaws’ about-face workers.
Admittedly, the GTH has calm $934,000 from GTH businesses for bus account that’s amount $1.4 million. However, whether it’s SaskPower’s plants or the potash mines, it’s commonly accustomed convenance for the employer to bottom the absolute busline bill as a amount of accomplishing business. Certainly, it’s a amount that seems aural the accommodation of Loblaws’ Galen Weston, who is the second-ri man in Canada and 147th ri in the world, with an estimated net account of $8.9 billion U.S.
But aloof as we heard NDP partisans absolve Spudco to its dying days, we now apprehend Sask. Party partisans grumping that this bearings is somehow altered for this clandestine employer, that it’s a burghal botheration because it isn’t accouterment bus casework to the out-of-city location, that this is somehow massively altered than nurses or added hospital workers who assignment accouterment but don’t accept subsidized alteration or that there is absolutely no affectation in shutting bottomward the Saskatchewan Busline Company (STC) yet advantageous for this bus service.
We’ve heard it all afore from government back it got way too abysmal into a bearings and approved to buy its way out.
Mandryk is the political columnist for the Regina Leader-Post.
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