Monday, March 03, 2008

Enterprise Saskatchewan: Sask. Party contributors land coveted spots on agency’s Board of Directors

Gavin Semple and E. Craig Lothian

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced the names of ten individuals who have agreed to accept positions on the Enterprise Saskatchewan Board of Directors.

The Feb. 29, 2008, news release notes that the provincial government received over 300 nominations from across Saskatchewan. Selection of the Board members was based in part on a non-partisan scoring system, along with achieving a balance for gender, age and geographical location.

Two of the individuals named to the Board are contributors to the Saskatchewan Party.

Gavin Semple, the owner and president of Brandt Group of Companies, the largest privately held company in Saskatchewan, was named the Board’s Deputy Chair.

The Saskatchewan Party’s registered political party’s fiscal period returns show that Semple contributed $5,775.75 to the party in the four-year period from 2003-2006.

The Brandt Group of Companies consists of five businesses headquartered in Regina. The fiscal return records submitted to Elections Saskatchewan show that during the same four-year period the following Brandt companies contributed to the Saskatchewan Party:

Brandt Agricultural Products – $30,724.37
Brandt Industries – $14,838.59
Brandt Tractor – $37,106.64
Brandt Tractor (Saskatoon) – $1,744.12

Semple’s personal and Brandt’s corporate contributions to the Saskatchewan Party appear to total $90,189.47.

Semple’s connection to the Saskatchewan Party appears to go beyond making contributions.

In a column immediately following last fall’s provincial election the Leader-Post’s Murray Mandryk wrote that Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall “refused during the campaign to answer questions on who is on his transition team during the campaign” but it was “thought that Regina businessman Gavin Semple of Brandt Industries could play a key adviser role in the transition phase.” [Moving to a new government (Leader-Post, Nov. 7, 2007)]

It remains unclear whether Semple did indeed have a role in the Saskatchewan Party’s transition to office.

The second notable Saskatchewan Party contributor named to the Enterprise Saskatchewan inaugural Board of Directors is E. Craig Lothian.

Lothian is the Chairman of the Board of Bulldog Resources. He is also currently President and Chief Executive Officer of two private energy-based companies, Keystone Royalty Corp. (a land and royalty company) and Villanova Energy Corp. (an active exploration and development company). Previously, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Flatland Exploration Ltd. until it was acquired by Bulldog Energy in 2002; and Chief Executive Officer of Keystone Energy Inc. prior to it being acquired by StarPoint Energy Ltd. in 2004 and CEO of Keystone Energy Corp. prior to it being acquired by Tristar Oil and Gas Ltd. and Bulldog Resources in January 2007.

The Saskatchewan Party’s registered political party’s fiscal period returns for the four-year period from 2003-2006 show that Lothian contributed $1,450.00 to the party.

The same records show that Bulldog Energy Inc. contributed $2,260.04 and Keystone Energy Inc. donated $5,978.20. (It should be noted that in 2004 Keystone contributed $340.00 to the Saskatchewan NDP.)

The government’s Feb. 29 news release also notes that Enterprise Saskatchewan will soon be accepting applications from individuals to be members on Sector Teams and Strategic Issues Councils.

A Feb. 6 backgrounder states that the Strategic Councils, along with the Sector Teams, were “outlined in the Enterprise Saskatchewan legislation.” The proposed Bill that was tabled on Dec. 17, 2007, however, seems to suggest otherwise. While ‘Section 4 – Purposes of agency’ does say that sector teams will be established there is nothing in the legislation that refers specifically to “Strategic Issues Councils.” To date the government has not provided any details on the Strategic Issues Councils.

Furthermore, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart has not yet revealed who was on the committee that evaluated and selected the members of the Enterprise Saskatchewan Board of Directors.


The twelve members of the Enterprise Saskatchewan Board of Directors are:

Honourable Lyle Stewart (Chair)
Minister of Enterprise and Innovation

Gavin Semple (Deputy Chair), Owner and President of Brandt Group of Companies.

Honourable June Draude
Minister of First Nations and Métis Relations

Myrna Bentley, CEO and President, Concentra Financial Services Inc.

Bill Cooper, presently involved in the family farming enterprise. Resides in Saskatoon.

Michael Fougere, President, Saskatchewan Construction Association.

Mark Frison, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cypress Hills College in Swift Current.

E. Craig Lothian, President and Chief Executive Officer, Keystone Royalty Corp.

David Marit, President, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM).

Crystal McLeod, a lawyer with Robertson Stromberg Pedersen in Saskatoon.

Gary Merasty, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Cameco Corporation.

Hugh Wagner, General Secretary, Grain Services Union (ILWU • Canada).


At 12:45 PM, Blogger Paul said...

You mean to say the NDP hadn't been stacking boards in their favour for the past 16 years? I can't wait to start revealing some of the poop stacking that's gone on in the NDP for too long.

Boo fricking hoo to you, O&R

At 7:05 AM, Blogger myworld said...

I am puzzled for the perceived need of Enterprise Sk
- the politicians were elected to represent the people
- why aren't the politicians taking direction from the people in how to govern the province?
- don't the politicians feel qualified enough to know how to govern the province properly?
- I'm sure members will be receiving a wage for their services - why are we adding another layer of money paid out by the gov't to do the services they were voted in to do?

At 6:06 PM, Blogger margi Corbett said...

This comment is for Paul: First of all, two wrongs don't make a right. Secondly, I'd be very interested to see the results of your research, in the event that you actually do find any poop. But I won't hold my breath.


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