Editorial: ‘It’s hypocritical, and it stinks’

Something smells in Regina.

Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party government is currently in the process of passing Bill 64, which would redirect $33 million of grants in lieu of taxes from municipalities to the general revenue fund.

Urban municipalities across the province have balked at the suggestion, and the loss in funding has had major impacts on the budgets of the province’s cities.

SUMA, the advocacy group made up of the province’s urban municipalities, is considering taking legal action.

The question of whether the province was within its rights to pull the grants would be an interesting question for the courts, and could, potentially, have impacts beyond this dispute.

Unfortunately, if the Sask. Party has it’s way, the case will never see the light of day.

The government is currently under fire for introducing a clause into the bill that “that prohibits any ‘action or proceeding based on any claim for loss or damage’ against the provincial government, members of government or Crown corporations,” the StarPheonix reported.

This is fishy.

Whatever your position on the decision to cut grants in lieu of taxes, this seems like the government is crossing a line.

Government Relations Minister Donna Harpauer told the StarPheonix that they added the clause because municipalities “were going to” take them to court.

This is the same government that is threatening to sue the federal government over the Carbon Tax.

The government argues those are two different issues.

We don’t see it that way.

No government should be able to write into their legislation that they can’t be taken to court over it. Our country functions on an independent judiciary. How this is legal is beyond us.

The Sask. Party should back off their plans to legislate against a court challenge.

It’s hypocritical, and it stinks.