March 3, 2016 4:36 pm

Saskatchewan government fends off NDP call for judicial inquiry on land deal

The Opposition NDP says a judicial inquiry is needed to get to the bottom of a government deal on land for the new Regina highway bypass.

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REGINA – The Opposition NDP says a judicial inquiry is needed to get to the bottom of a government deal on land for the new Regina highway bypass.

NDP Leader Cam Broten says a judicial inquiry could examine whether a criminal breach of public trust occurred.

Global Transportation Hub, a Crown corporation, bought 204 acres of land west of Regina for $103,000 an acre.

The NDP says that’s more than three times the appraised value and far higher than what other landowners in the area got under threat of expropriation.

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A government communications person says in an email to media that the provincial auditor is already reviewing the land deal, which is what the NDP originally requested.

The email further says that the NDP is – quote – “getting desperate and making some wild allegations” on the eve of an election.

The New Democrats point to a story from the CBC that says an appraisal commissioned by the Ministry of Highways found the land purchased by the Global Transportation Hub was worth between $30,000 and $35,000 an acre.

“Mr. Wall chose to give the owners of one parcel of land way more than the asking price, while his government was forcing everyone else in that same area off their land for a fraction of that money,” Broten said in a news release Thursday.

“There must be a reason for that and we all deserve to know what that reason is.”

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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