NDP leader Cam Broten visited a Saskatoon diner on Friday, where he promised to cut the number of politicians in the province.
Broten also promised an end to what the NDP have dubbed “travel scouts”. The party first raised the issue about a year ago, pointing to government documents obtained under Access to Information laws.
During a visit to the Park Cafe in the Riversdale neighbourhood, Broten accused the Wall government of having two high-paid staffers sent ahead of provincial delegations on international trips. He said the envoys were mainly concerned with securing luxury accommodations for the premier.
“Is it a good use of dollars for Mr. Wall to have two personal travel scouts that go in advance of his trips around the world not to ink trade deals … but simply to check out hotels, make sure that there’s someone on call 24/7 to make sure things are taken care of, to make sure his favourite soft drink is on ice in his hotel room when he gets in there?” Broten asked.
Wall objected to the term “travel scouts” when the NDP first made the allegations, and insisted the envoys roles saw them holding advance meetings with companies and governments looking to do business with the province.
Broten went on to pledge to cut the number of MLAs in Saskatchewan from 61 to 55. He said the move would reverse a decision by the Wall government to add three seats in advance of this year’s election, along with the elimination of three more seats.
“I’ve been on thousands of doorsteps all over this province. In the north, in the south, in cities, in rural areas — no one has ever said: ‘the thing that we need to make Saskatchewan better is more politicians in Regina,” he said.
Broten said the six seats would be gone for the next provincial election. He said the move would amount to $5.5 million in savings on salaries and office expenses over four years.