Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sask: Oyate safehouse continued...

Sask Party:

REGINA: Saskatchewan Party MLA June Draude today said NDP Premier Lorne Calvert must replace Community Resources Minister Buckley Belanger in the wake of the Provincial Auditor├é’s recent report into Regina├é’s troubled Oyate Safe House.

"This minister needs to be replaced by someone who takes this issue seriously," Draude said.

Draude said in light of the Provincial Auditor's recent investigative report into the Oyate Safe House, it is now clear that the Minister provided misleading answers to written questions asked by the Official Opposition during the Spring Session.

Here are some examples of the "misleading" answers giving by Belanger:
Sask. Party Written Question: Did the Department of Community Resources monitor how the money provided to the File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council was being spent? If so, what steps were taken to ensure financial oversight of the Oyate Safe House?

Minister's Response to Written Question: Yes. Quarterly reports and the annual financial statements.

Provincial Auditor's Report: "DCR did not regularly inspect or evaluate Oyate's programs ... In addition, DCR did not know if Oyate safeguarded the money it received from DCR and used it only for the purposes DCR intended." - Page 22 "Oyate has not given any annual audited financial statements ... without information on the financial position of Oyate ...or information on its cash flows ... DCR is not able to tell if Oyate is in a sustainable position to continue to deliver services." - Page 23

Next question!

Sask. Party Written Question:
Has the Department received any letters, or written or verbal reports from individuals or organizations concerned about the welfare of children at the Oyate Safe House? If so, when were these letters or reports received by the department?

Minister's Response to Written Question: Yes. All matters were referred to the Board of Directors

Minister's Comment: "We have no evidence there has been any problems, we have no evidence they did not respond to the issues." - Regina Leader Post, March 15/06
Auditor's Report: "DCR gave us numerous examples of 'issue papers' that described problems it was aware of at Oyate since November 2003 ... DCR was unable to show us who at DCR received these papers, what corrective actions were proposed, and what, if any remedies DCR took when Oyate did not correct the problems." - Page 25

This morning Buckley Belanger was on John Gormley Live taking questions on this matter. His answers were mostly incomprehensible government speak (obviously read straight off a piece of paper) but at one point Gormley asked him straight out why the Board of Directors was still in charge and Buckley eventually answered. You see, because we are dealing with an aboriginal government we have to respect they are a nation and they decide who is on the board (that's false -- the minister of education has the ability to fire an entire school board if required -- surely there something Buckley can do about a service that has been contracted to the File Hills - Qu'Appelle Tribal Council).

Regardless, lets pretend for a second our hands are truly tied and we have no say in who sits on the board. If tribal council leaders ONLY answer to band members, where the hell is the outcry from aboriginals?


leftdog said...

You obviously have close contact with the Saskatchewan party. I have always suspected that you were in the pocket of the Saskatchewan Party (what a joke that is). I know that one of your CTF co-workers used to work for the Saskathcewan Party and that the current leader of this so called 'Saskatchewn party' once worked as a ministers assistant for a convicted Conservative Cabinet Minister. That party is a joke. Your organization is clearly aligned with them. Slowly but surely the truth on all of this phony lobbying front is starting to come out.

David MacLean said...

Um, left dog, this information is widely available on the sask party web site. We link to and discuss all political parties all the time, it doesn't mean we endorse them. You seem to read this blog every day, so you will know that we treat everyone with equal skepticism.

If we agree with what a politician is saying, we'll say it. We fully agree with Saskatchewan Party on the Oyate scandal, full stop.

People accused us of supporting the federal conservatives before they elected, they are silent now.

Things never change.

Adam Taylor said...

Obviously Leftdog is the type of partisan who never sees fault in the party he or she supports.

That is the main component of a partisan's DNA - "my party is always right and the other party is always wrong."

The CTF on the other hand cares not who drives the bus - but is concerned with the direction the bus takes.

leftdog said...

You note that I generally ignore provincial issues because well they are fairly 'provincial' - the nations business is what concerns me. There did seem to be much more detail in this threads opening post than I saw on the Saskatchewan party website - hence it is hard for me to assume that a partisan staffer from that operation did not walk / talk / spin you through their little item du jour.

Spakosky said...

wow, leftdog says that it's above provincial issues but interested in "national" issues: too bad the animal isn't interested in children in need. Leftdog, maybe all you care about is being at the trough, getting a free ride, and pretending to help people. You say that you're above provincial issues, but I get the impression that you are obsessed with them!

Kelly J Gessner said...

Who are you guys trying to kid with this non-partisan BS. There's a revolving door between far right spin tanks like the CTF, the National Citizen's Coalition, the Fraser Inst. and right-wing political parties: Reform, Alliance, Cons, the SK Party. We have Jason Kenny going from the CTF to Reform to the Alliance to the Cons, Preston Manning and Herb Grubel going from Reform to the Alliance to the Fraser Inst., Harper from Reform to the NCC to the Alliance to the Cons.,Walter Robinson from the CTF to running for the Cons. If memory serves, didn't Richard Truscott work for Elwin Hermanson when he was a reform MP, before becoming leader of the SK Party. And let's not forget Mr. Influential, John Gormley, former PC MP and now right-wing open-mouth radio host, adding his voice to the freemarket fundamentalist cacophony. It's almost laughable.

lance said...

SO, then Kelly, you agree that Community Resources Minister not only had the right, but the duty to lie to the people of Saskatchewan?

How else could he have setup CTF to be outed as a partisan organization by you?

That his lies (oops, sorry, "misleading answers") made in the House aren't the worst part of this issue is what makes it a tragedy.


David MacLean said...

Wow Kelly...are you insinuating that people are actually like-minded? What a scoop! This whole thing is really tiring.

Part of our work is receiving news releases. We are on the distribution list of all major political parties, the provincial auditor, various departments, and we check websites and basically look around for information.

Today the Saskatchewan Party sent out a news release with a PDF backgrounder attached -- from which I cut and pasted. Those were the misleading statements from Buckley Belanger.

Thousands of people received the same email.


Farmer Joe said...

Yup, good ol' Kelly and leftdog their detective skills are truly a wonder to behold.

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