A Saskatchewan media organization is reporting an interim report into the northern municipality of Pinehouse says the government should consider removing both the mayor and one of its councillors.
An article published in Wednesday’s Saskatoon StarPhoenix quotes the report as saying the government should consider removing both Mayor Mike Natomagan and Councillor Conrad Misponas for contravention of both the Freedom of Information and Northern Municipalities acts.
The government ordered an independent investigation into the affairs of Pinehouse last December for repeated failures to comply with freedom of information requests.
The article quotes independent investigator Neil Robertson as saying both Natomagan and Misponas are in contravention of the Northern Municipalities Act because they hold jobs in village entities while serving on council at the same time.
Natomagan serves as both president and board chairman of Pinehouse Business North with a renumeration in 2017 of $86,500.
Conrad Misponas is the board chairman of the Pinehouse Housing Corporation with a salary of $80,000 per year.
Both receive pay for these services in addition to their council salaries.
NDP Opposition Critic David Forbes says the article raises serious concerns and the government needs to release the report now.
“So, we need to clear the air,” he says. “The report needs to be out there. The story raises a lot of questions that we think should have been answered in the House (Legislature) today.”
Nevertheless, Government Relations Minister Warren Kaeding says the province has no intention of releasing the interim report at this time.
“Well, we have always had the policy that until the reports are fully complete, we would not release those to the public,” he says. “So, as it stands now, we have taken some next steps and part of that next step is we’ve now got Neil Robertson to do an inquiry.”
Last week, the province expanded Robertson’s investigation of Pinehouse to an inquiry which now includes a financial audit and appointment of a supervisor to oversee village operations.
So far, the government has not denied the contents of the article.
With files from Dan Jones.
(PHOTO: Pinehouse Mayor Mike Natogmagan. File photo.)