Political Rival Takes Aim At Belanger

Monday, September 18, 2006 at 14:35



A Saskatchewan Party hopeful is taking a swipe at the current Athabasca MLA over recent statements made in the media.


Phillip Elliott is the SaskParty nominee for the riding currently held by Buckley Belanger.


Last week, Belanger came under fire after a report by the Children’s Advocate said a safe house run under his department had failed the sexually exploited children it was designed to protect.


The Opposition immediately called for Belanger’s resignation, saying he had lied about how much he knew when asked about the safe house back in the spring.


Belanger denied the allegation, adding that changes would be made. He also insisted that he had not forgotten the kids, but that they were, in fact, his top priority.


Elliott contends that it’s clear to him Belanger knew more then he let on at the time and he should resign.


Meantime, Elliott says he’s deeply troubled to see Belanger defend Environment Minister John Nilson over the Stony Rapids fire situation.


Last week, Nilson publicly stated he thought the community should have done more to prepare itself for fire season.


In particular, the minister thought the village should have constructed its own fire breaks.


However Elliott says he doesn’t think small northern communities should be required to do the work of the government.


Elliott notes the government’s so-called “let it burn” policy was introduced to the North during Belanger’s time as Northern Affairs minister.


Belanger was not immediately available for comment.