Saskatchewan Party shamelessly exploit Saskatoon Silver Springs community association newsletter to push its conservative agenda
“Community associations enhance quality of life for residents in neighbourhoods throughoutSome might think community associations should be immune from the ugliness of partisan politics. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case with the Erindale-Arbor Creek Community Association. Since 2002 the Saskatchewan Party seems to have been exploiting the organization’s quarterly newsletter in order to push its conservative agenda.
“Community associations are non-profit organizations that recruit and train volunteers, plan and administer seasonal recreation programs at minimal cost to residents, and work to enhance the quality of life for people living in their neighbourhoods.
“An association may operate an outdoor rink in winter, assist with public meetings on neighbourhood development or organize a community cleanup in spring. Whatever the activity, the goal is to encourage residents to get involved and build a sense of “community.””
The constituency of Saskatoon Silver Springs is one of the fastest growing areas in the province. Located in northeast
Erindale and Arbor Creek are among the most affluent neighbourhoods in
The City of
Arbor Creek, with a population of 4,654, has the second highest average income in
While the large majority of associations in the city appear to draw the line at paid political advertising in its newsletters – particularly prior to provincial elections – Erindale-Arbor Creek seems to have gone considerably above and beyond that with its publishing of a regular column by Saskatchewan Party MLA Ken Cheveldayoff.
Prior to being elected in November 2003, Cheveldayoff worked with Western Economic Diversification as a senior business advisor. He is also apparently the majority shareholder in K & K Cheveldayoff Holdings Ltd. a real estate company developing several
Cheveldayoff’s conservative roots run deep. He was once a president of the Young Progressive Conservatives of Saskatchewan. The October 29, 1987, legislative hansard indicates he was employed from June of ‘85 to December of ‘85 as a ministerial assistant to Sid Dutchak in the disgraced Conservative government of Grant Devine.
In the 1993 general election Cheveldayoff was the Progressive Conservative candidate in the federal riding of The Battlefords–Meadow Lake, which radio talk show host John Gormley once held.
Cheveldayoff has a long history of community involvement including working with Citizens for a North East Collegiate, Terry Fox Run, Children’s Health Foundation, Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, North Saskatoon Business Association, Provincial Exporters Association, and is a member of
According to his website, Cheveldayoff is also a member of the Erindale-Arbor Creek Community Association.
The association’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws (May 2004 Revision 3.0) state that its board of directors “shall have power to do all things necessary for the successful operation of the Association and be empowered to…Ensure that the objectives of the Association are carried out and that the Association operates on a non-political, non-sectarian basis.”
The objectives of the association include: To promote and assist in the development of the education, recreational, and social well-being of the residents within the designated boundaries; to encourage a sense of community awareness and to work to improve the quality of life of the people in the neighborhood; and to promote, develop, and organize recreational, educational, and social programs, facilities.
According to its financial statements the association appears to have received public money in the form of grants for $3,229 in 2006, $3,729 in 2005 and $3,229 in 2004 from the City of
The Saskatchewan Party has had a continuing presence in the association’s newsletter since at least the summer of 2002 when a full-page advertisement trolling for new members was published. In the summer of 2004 the Saskatchewan Party Saskatoon Silver Springs Constituency Association paid for a full-page message by leader Brad Wall promoting the party. In spring 2005 yet another ad was published asking members to renew their Saskatchewan Party Memberships. And the list goes on. How this activity might be considered “non-political” is puzzling.
Since the spring of 2004, a column by Cheveldayoff appears to have been a regular feature in the Erindale-Arbor Creek Community Association newsletter. The majority of the time the articles seemed to have little to do with Saskatoon Silver Springs issues and appeared to be nothing more than a cheap soapbox for pushing the Saskatchewan Party’s partisan message. Some of things peddled in Cheveldayoff’s columns include:
Summer 2007: Complaining about the provincial budget, Murdoch Carriere, the Children’s Hospital Announcement and the Al Gore Speech.
Spring 2007: Scaring people by suggesting that the province is suffering because the NDP is failing to manage the health care system effectively.
Winter 2006: Attacking the Crown corporations saying that the provincial government should get out of business and stop competing with the private sector.
Summer 2006: Complaining about the provincial budget and urging constituents to drop by his office to sign a petition on funding for a Children’s Hospital in
Spring 2006: Inferring that the government might not spend $1.5 billion in extra revenue responsibly.
Summer 2005: Promoting leader Brad Wall and the party’s release of its “100 Ideas to Get Saskatchewan Ready for the Next 100 Years.”
Spring 2005: Flogging the Saskatchewan Party Annual Convention that was held February 4-6 in
Winter 2004: Thanking those that attended the Saskatoon Silver Springs Town Hall Meeting on November 4th and asking people to let him know if they share Brad Wall’s vision for
Fall 2004: Suggesting that the NDP is fresh out of new ideas and providing little direction for the future.
Summer 2004: Complaining about the provincial budget again.
It’s beyond shameful that the Saskatchewan Party would stoop to politicize a non-profit community association’s newsletter so it can further its conservative pro-business agenda.