REGINA – A developer has come back swinging after being accused of having a special relationship with the Sask. Party government.
Denis Jones, the president and CEO of Deveraux Developments, said the company was used as a “political pawn” by the Opposition NDP on Monday when it was accused of being too cozy with Premier Brad Wall.
“We refuse to let our name be run into the ground without fighting back,” Jones said.
Deputy NDP leader Trent Wotherspoon accused Wall of spending time in Mexico at a condo owned by a Deveraux executive; Wotherspoon apologized for the comment in the legislature Tuesday.
The NDP have suggested the government has a special relationship with the developer after Deveraux was let off the hook for a failed affordable housing contract in 2014.
The latest allegations came after a Regina man claimed he was laid off by Deveraux in favour of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) he helped to train, but Jones said the firing came with a downturn in the economy and was entirely based on merit.
Jones said 15 employees were laid off at that time, including two TFWs.
“While we’d like to favour Canadian residents, we feel it’s only fair to treat (the TFWs) people equally as they’ve made a commitment to come here and many have traveled very far to get here,” Jones said.
“We feel it would be unfair to discriminate against them.”
Deveraux still employs TFWs, but follows all federal guidelines, Jones said.
The president and CEO admitted his company does make donations to the Sask. Party, but said there is nothing more to them.
With files from Global’s Teri Fikowski