National Newswatch

Former Sask. minister shilling for Chinese immigration scheme ‘appearance of a conflict,’ prof. says

Aug 16 2017 — Geoff Leo — For the better part of the past five years, Bill Boyd was responsible for ensuring the integrity of Saskatchewan’s immigration system. He was, after all, the province’s high-profile minister of the economy. Now approaching retirement from politics, the backbench MLA is promoting an immigration scheme that would benefit a company in which he’s directly involved. […]

Cash-for-jobs immigration consultant connected to Sask. government-backed Chinese megamall

Jun 20 2017 — Geoff Leo — An immigration consulting firm that experts say may have engaged in fraudulent behaviour is linked to a high-profile development project the Saskatchewan government is heavily promoting. CBC News has learned Vancouver-based Vstar International has been recruiting Chinese immigrant investors to a new, provincial government-backed project at Regina’s Global Transportation Hub, a publicly-owned inland port. The […]

Sask. government partnered with company linked to man who was wanted by China for fraud

May 24 2017 — Geoff Leo — Saskatchewan’s Brightenview Development International Inc. has always had an oversized view of itself. For years its website proclaimed it is “one of the fastest growing companies in Canada.” That’s despite the fact Brightenview hasn’t yet built any of its promised projects. In 2013, it said it would construct a wholesale megamall in the 600-person town […]

Saskatchewan highways official warned of ‘political pressure’ and ‘fabricating numbers’ in land deal with GTH

Feb 8 2017 — Geoff Leo — The man who was in charge of making sure Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Highways followed its own land buying rules says it failed miserably three years ago, when it purchased property from the Global Transportation Hub. In early 2014, Jeff Grigg, then-director of property standards with the ministry, was alarmed that Highways was “under significant political […]

Police investigating GTH land deal, committee hears

Nov 28 2016 — Geoff Leo — Saskatchewan’s provincial auditor says police are investigating a Global Transportation Hub land deal that has been the centre of controversy at the legislature — a fact that would prevent her from conducting a forensic audit for the time being. Judy Ferguson also told the Public Accounts Committee of the Saskatchewan Legislature on Monday that her […]

Premier Wall’s right-hand man in the loop at start of GTH land deal negotiations

Nov 28 2016 — Geoff Leo — One brief email CBC obtained through a freedom of information request is raising questions about the role of Premier Brad Wall’s office in Global Transportation Hub land deal negotiations. The email, sent to Wall’s right-hand man Joe Donlevy, indicates the premier’s office was in the loop at the very start of the mostly-secret negotiations. Yet […]

Premier Brad Wall faces barrage of questions about land scandal

Nov 27 2016 — Geoff Leo — Long-time Saskatchewan political columnist Murray Mandryk says ordinarily Premier Brad Wall loves talking to reporters so much that “quite often we can’t bloody well get his scrums to end.” Yet during this session of the legislature, Wall has abruptly and uncharacteristically walked away from media scrums when faced with questions about an ongoing controversy that’s […]

Environment Canada tornado tweets stalled by language laws

Jun 27 2014 — Geoff Leo — Meteorologists in the United States use Twitter to push weather warnings to the public, but that doesn’t happen in Canada — official bilingualism has proved a barrier to weather warning tweets. Canadian meteorologists are not authorized to tweet because all government communication has to follow Canada’s language laws, according to Environment Canada’s executive director of […]

U.S. tornado warning system far surpasses Canada’s

Jun 26 2014 — Geoff Leo — Environment Canada’s severe weather warning system is lagging far behind the American system in several ways, potentially putting lives at risk. That’s the conclusion of Saskatchewan storm chaser Greg Johnson, who has tracked tornadoes on both sides of the border for a decade. Johnson says that Environment Canada has “a communication problem where they don’t […]

Pesticide ‘contaminating’ Prairie wetlands: scientist

Jan 6 2014 — Geoff Leo — A University of Saskatchewan biologist says many wetlands across the Prairies are being contaminated by a relatively new pesticide that is threatening the ecosystem. Christy Morrissey says that over the past few years neonicotinoids have been used increasingly on crops in Western Canada and the chemical is making its way into wetlands, potentially having a […]