Murray Mandryk: Sask. auditor ought to assess journey and commerce places of work

Breadcrumb Path Hyperlinks Columnists Was this a crucial, cost-efficient journey. Have been there different choices?…

Murray Mandryk: Sask. auditor ought to assess journey and commerce places of work

Was this a crucial, cost-efficient journey. Have been there different choices? Why did the minister must be on this overseas journey?

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Far be it from any of us to inform Saskatchewan provincial auditor Tara Clemett how you can do her job.

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She certain appears to have a terrific deal with on her position and duty, as was evident in her latest Quantity Two of 2022 report through which she laid out the necessity for two,000 extra health-care suppliers in an irrefutable method.

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Naturally, the federal government’s treatment to the issue since has been one other reasonably expensive worldwide journey to the Philippines headed by Well being Minister Paul Merriman. Was this a crucial, cost-efficient journey? Have been there different choices? Why did the minister must be on this overseas journey?

If recommendations to Clemett are in any method useful or appreciated, it will be improbable if she might wade into the murky waters of presidency journey and commerce places of work to see if the remainder of us footing the invoice are actually getting worth for our cash.

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One will get that Clemett has a full plate and that it’s getting fuller.

Coming down the pipe for the provincial auditor’s workplace are the price effectiveness of Policing and Correction Minister Christine Inform’s marshal service  and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer’s earnings tax assortment that even the enterprise neighborhood sees as vacation folly wrapped in purple tape.

Furthermore, it’s typically the auditor’s job to evaluate cash or prices already incurred by the provincial authorities reasonably than the relative usefulness of spending proposals.

As such, it will likely be tough to evaluate cost-effectiveness of both Harpauer’s new tax assortment technique or Inform’s marshal service. Frustratingly, the general public isn’t actually being instructed what the 2 items of laws tabled through the spring sitting will do — not to mention what they may value.

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And the problem of cupboard ministers’ journey is much more nebulous and politically charged.

The suspicion is ministers love this perk and and search for excuses, however perhaps there’s proof on the market that it’s as beneficial as they are saying — however that we’re seeing one other flurry of pre-Christmas, post-session journey of late, with Premier Scott Moe off to Washington and Commerce and Funding Minister Jeremy Harrison off to Vietnam.

“I’ll make no apologies for telling our story world wide as a result of it interprets into financial exercise and jobs proper at dwelling,” Moe mentioned final June after he, Harrison and Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre made 4 journeys costing taxpayers $135,000.

In equity, it’s not as if the Sask. Get together authorities invented the notion of ministerial journey — questionable or in any other case. In actual fact, the Sask. Get together loves to notice that NDP authorities journey — largely due to government-owned Government Air, which the Sask. Get together shuttered — was increased.

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Alas, that declare hasn’t resonated as properly since Harpauer’s $8,000 post-budget flight to North Battleford for a chamber of commerce luncheon that angered so many.

It certain wasn’t the most costly journey, but it surely’s not simply value that determines what journey is important.

And perhaps we generally suppose wrongly. Perhaps not all journey is as nugatory as we predict.

Moe’s latest journey to Washington, D.C.to “determine alternatives to strengthen and develop the crucial mineral sector in North America” is one thing the auditor would possibly simply decide was worthwhile.

As famous in Moe’s press launch earlier this month: “There may be super alternative for Saskatchewan to strengthen our ties with our American neighbours — notably within the areas of crucial mineral improvement and processing, a subject through which Saskatchewan is shortly changing into a world chief.”

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That mentioned, Saskatchewan has spent thousands and thousands on American lobbyists, together with greater than $6 million since 2011 on the South Carolina-based legislation agency Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough LLP.

After which there’s that little matter of the $240,000 contract the Sask. Get together authorities signed with former prime minister Stephen Harper’s consulting firm in 2019.

But we proceed to have extra journey and extra commerce places of work than we’ve ever had.

Shouldn’t commerce places of work scale back the necessity for journey? Are we getting worth for our cash?

Perhaps it’s time for an unbiased celebration just like the provincial auditor to take a tough look.

Mandryk is the political columnist for the Regina Chief-Submit and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

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