Legislative Report (17 May 2007)

Calvert NDP Have Lost Their Moral Compass

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing! Depart, I say, and let us have done with you!” - Oliver Cromwell

The spring session of the Saskatchewan Legislature, a session that concluded Thursday, proved one thing beyond all shadow of a doubt: Lorne Calvert and his NDP government has been stripped of its last remaining shreds of integrity. Their reputation is in tatters. Their agenda is in disarray. After 16 years in office, it is now clearly time for them to leave.

The NDP’s House Leader, Glenn Hagel, resigned from his cabinet position on May 16th after the Regina Police Service called on the RCMP’s Commercial Crime Section to investigate files relating to allegations of fraud in the NDP caucus office in 1992. The woman at the centre of the case confessed in a letter (complete with photo copies of inflated cheques) to Hagel that she had taken thousands of dollars in public money from the NDP caucus.

When the woman’s car mysteriously started on fire at the Legislature, the police began an investigation. It was soon discovered this woman had a lengthy record for fraud-related offences. The police asked if any money had been taken from NDP Caucus. They were told no. A story to that effect appeared in newspapers at the time. Glenn Hagel did not correct the public record nor did he personally ensure that police were told about the missing public money.

The NDP Caucus Chief of Staff and scapegoat for the rest of the NDP Caucus who knew about the fraud, Jim Fodey, has also resigned over this issue. The rules of the Assembly state that people who resign are not entitled to severance. However, the NDP has stated publicly that they are currently negotiating with Mr. Fodey on the payment of severance. When will we find out how much Mr. Fodey is receiving?

In a 1994 police interview, former NDP MLA Pat Lorje said “it was the intention of caucus to conceal the fact that (Ann) Lord had committed fraud”. The fact that fraud involving taxpayers’ money had been committed was withheld from police for two years. The fact that fraud involving taxpayers’ money had been committed was WITHHELD FROM THE PUBLIC for 15 years.

Most people in Saskatchewan believe that you probably shouldn’t lie to police. Most people in Saskatchewan trust their politicians will tell the truth—even when that truth is painful and damaging to reputations and careers. When the time comes when you can’t tell if your own government is being honest with you, maybe its time to step aside and let someone else take charge. That’s the situation we have now in Saskatchewan.

Lorne Calvert and the NDP are consumed by scandal. They are lurching aimlessly from crisis to crisis. They are drifting further and further away from the real priorities of Saskatchewan people.

A government that has lost its moral compass is no longer fit to govern. It’s time for the NDP to leave office. The sooner the better.

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Lyle.

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