(4 December 2014)
From Hansard - 4 December 2014.
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Purchase of Farm Land
Ms. Sproule: — Mr. Speaker, two years ago this month the Agriculture minister appointed a special investigator to study large land deals and trace the flow of money. To the minister: what happened to that investigation?
Hon. Mr. Stewart: — Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the member for the question. There were actually two investigations carried out by the special investigator, and there was no wrongdoing found in either one of them.
Ms. Sproule: — Mr. Speaker, many farmers and residents of rural Saskatchewan are still incredibly concerned about vast tracts of farm land being bought up by people or entities that are illegally using foreign money to buy that land. And major concerns have been raised about the special CPP [Canada Pension Plan] deal that delivered huge benefits to two Sask Party insiders. A former and respected manager of the Farm Land Security Board says that special deal was bizarre.
To the minister: will he commit today to a fully independent review of The Saskatchewan Farm Security Act and the ability of the Farm Land Security Board to effectively enforce its provisions?
Hon. Mr. Stewart: — As the member knows, Mr. Speaker, non-Canadians are restricted to owning 10 acres of Saskatchewan farm land. Any companies that purchase Saskatchewan farm land must be 100 per cent Canadian owned.
Saskatchewan does have fairly strict regulations in comparison to other provinces. But just the same, Mr. Speaker, we understand that there is concern out there about potential offshore money being involved in purchases of Saskatchewan farm land and with institutional investors, and so we are fully prepared and we are looking at possibilities of opening up that Act.
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