NDP calls for investigation

The provincial NDP is asking for multiple investigations into a trip recently retired Kindersley MLA Bill Boyd took to China.

On Friday, NDP interim leader Nicole Sarauer called on the RCMP, the Canada Border Service Agency and Conflict of Interest Commissioner Ronald Barclay to begin looking into the trip, which occurred in March 2017.

Sarauer said those independent groups could provide some transparency the issue currently lacks.

“The media reports that have come out so far still leave a lot of questions as to what exactly happened,” she said. “The Sask. Party needs to be completely transparent about what their involvement was, and what his involvement was.”

On Wednesday, a CBC investigative team published a story documenting a trip to Beijing, where he spoke at a seminar on behalf of Saskatchewan-based Modern Hi-Efficiency Agriculture Corporation. Boyd is the chair of the organization, which provides venture partnerships to Chinese residents looking to immigrate to Saskatchewan.

The same day, Boyd released a statement saying he made it clear he was acting as a private businessman, and that references to him as a minister were custom in China. He also invited the province’s Conflict of Interest Commissioner to review the incident.

Sarauer said she wasn’t aware of all the details, but maintained the people of Saskatchewan deserve to know if there was a conflict of interest.

She also said that Boyd’s request was insufficient, since he would not be required to release the results to the public, and added that consulting the commissioner is something that should have happened before the trip, not after.

“It shouldn’t have been prompted by a media story. It’s something that all Saskatchewan people should expect of their MLAs, that if an MLA isn’t sure about something that they’re about to do that they should first ask the conflict of interest commissioner about it.”

The NDP wants the RCMP involved because their range of powers is much broader than the Conflict of Interest Commissioners.

“A lot of questions are being asked, but no answers are being provided, so we want to see the RCMP and the CBSA investigate that. In the absence of that, we’ll look at our other options,” Sarauer said.

Thierman Financial