Ontario Premier Doug Ford may be catching heat for promoting a winery on his propaganda network after accepting $2,050 in donations from its president, but Saskatchewan is still the ‘wild west’ when it comes to campaign finance laws.
Thanks to outdated laws that the Sask. Party has refused to change, Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada that still allows big money to dominate its elected government and its decisions. Corporations, unions, organizations and individuals, including those from out of province, are allowed to donate unlimited amounts to Saskatchewan political parties and candidates. And the Sask. Party takes full advantage of the legislative vacuum, raking in millions from many of the same people and businesses that in turn enjoy lucrative government contracts and Crown board appointments.
One need look no further than the backyard of the provincial Legislative building for evidence, where the Sask. Party recently rewrote the rules governing Wascana Park to push through a shockingly sweet deal on prime public real estate for their largest corporate donor, that also donated $10,000 to Scott Moe’s leadership campaign.
A simple comparison of the Sask Party’s donor list to the Government of Saskatchewan’s annual payee list (Public Accounts Vol. 2) reveals a pattern repeated year after year: a steady stream of cash flowing from donors to the Sask Party amounting to over $2 million over the last decade, and a long list of government contracts going to Sask. Party donors.
In 2017, the Saskatchewan NDP tabled legislation to ban all corporate and union donations in order to hand power back to the people of our province, but the Sask Party government’s MLAs unanimously voted against the measure.
Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia have moved to limit influence on their politics, but Scott Moe’s Sask. Party seems just fine with the status quo.
Doug Ford only wishes he had it so good.