Finance Minister Donna Harpauer says Conflict of Interest Commissioner Ronald Barclay has cleared her of any wrongdoing for accepting accommodation twice to the northern village of Pinehouse, in which the municipality paid for in 2016 and 2018.

Harpauer claims she was not aware that Pinehouse was picking up the tab and says she immediately repaid the village, on becoming aware of the situation.

In a statement provided to MBC, Harpauer says “I would like to thank the Conflict of Interest Commissioner for providing his opinion on this matter. In his opinion, Mr. Barclay found that there was no conflict of interest and that I acted appropriately once I became aware that the Northern Village of Pinehouse had paid for my accommodation during this trip by immediately reimbursing the costs to the Village.”

“However, I acknowledge that Mr. Barclay notes that there could be a perception of a conflict surrounding these circumstances, and recommended that the accommodation provided be immediately disclosed. While I have already reimbursed the Northern Village of Pinehouse for the full costs associated with the accommodations for myself and my partner, I will formally disclose these accommodations immediately to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner in accordance with section 7 of the Act.”

The first trip took place Aug. 12-13, 2016 and involved Harpauer and her partner. The total cost of $319 was paid by cheque by the northern municipality.

The second personal trip took place Aug. 15-17, 2018.

This time, although the hotel room was booked under Harpauer’s name, the guests are listed as spouse and one other party.

The total bill of $499.50 was also paid by cheque by Pinehouse.

Harpauer asserted last week that she thought a personal friend paid for the accommodations, not expecting Pinehouse to cover the costs.

(PHOTO: Saskatchewan Finance Minister Donna Harpauer. File photo.)