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“As premier, I will shut the door on the old boys’ club,” he said. “We need to level the playing field and make sure it’s the people of this province that are making decisions, not companies from out of province.”
The NDP received more than $200,000 in union donations in 2019, but Meili said this would not deter him from making the changes.
“We are absolutely fine to remove all donations except from individuals,” he said, noting the NDP previously introduced a private member’s bill that would have eliminated corporate and union donations. This bill was rejected by the Saskatchewan Party in 2018.
Premier Scott Moe denied Meili’s accusation that the Saskatchewan Party is influenced by its corporate donors, saying that if this was the case, the NDP would be equally influenced by its union donors.
“I feel that people who are involved in employing people across this province should have a say in some of the policies that we have that impact their industry, given that they employ a number of people in communities right across Saskatchewan,” Moe told the Leader-Post.
“By a large degree … our personal donors to the Saskatchewan Party, whether they’re donating time or finances or whatever that be, far outweigh the corporate donation in number that we have here in the province.”
But Meili is not convinced, and he pointed to the Buffalo Project as an example. The Buffalo Project is an organization founded in Alberta and comprised of a number of prominent businesspeople from Saskatchewan and Alberta that advocate for greater western independence in Canada. Meili said the organization donated $5,930 to the Saskatchewan Party in 2018 and $56,960 in 2019.