There’s a suspicious situation uncovered at the UofR, by CBC. IPAC, the CO(2) CCS project was audited, and there were apparent conflicts of interest in how some of the money was spent. The report stopped short of saying there was crime, but implied there was the possibility of it.
Only last week I saw a CCTV ad for IPAC-CO2 appear out of nowhere, and I was unfamiliar with the logo they used until I spelled it out and realized it must be for the CCS project. This is the “heart of the Saskatchewan Party’s plan to tackle climate change”, according to Geoff Leo of CBC.
CVI is an IT provider, but they were getting over half of the budget. “There was no set of deliverables.”
One apparent conflict of interest, was Malcolm Wilson for a time being on the board of CVI. He reportedly returned shares so as to not profit from the work.
The Sask Party Minister for CIC, Donna Harpauer said “it’s a conflict of interest”. Wilson, through his lawyer told CBC that when the facts are all in, there was no conflict of interest. A Mr. Fitzpatrick, in the audio interview, said there was “no impropriety”.
Side note: I’ve appeared in a Global TV report years ago with both Wilson, and Brad Wall.
Shell, along with the provincial and federal governments gave the UofR millions of dollars years ago to pursue Carbon Capture & Storage at their test facility at Estevan. I’ve toured it; they were using North Dakota’s CO2 gas, instead of gas from the coal plant the test site is built beside. To that point, in ~2008, no gas from power SK production had been stored. I assume that remains the case.
Why would Shell, which has little to do with coal power, invest millions into this R&D? CCS has the ‘side effect’ of forcing exhausted oil fields into extended opportunities of production. In short, put the gas down, and oil comes out. We then burn that oil without using CCS, further limiting the net benefits of CCS.
There are presently 0 “clean coal” plants in production in the world.
The U of R, despite saying they are a “clean energy” research facility, presently has 0 solar panels in production, and 1 VAT windmill in research & production.
In recent days you may have heard or seen media coverage related to IPAC-CO2.
IPAC-CO2 is an initiative announced in November 2008 in which the University of Regina partnered with the Government of Saskatchewan and Royal Dutch Shell to undertake research into carbon capture and sequestration risk assessment. Created by this partnership, IPAC-CO2 is an independent organization with its own Board of Directors.
Since that time, IPAC-CO2 has done cutting-edge work. However, also during that time, the University of Regina was alerted that a potential conflict of interest may have occurred. We took steps to address matters.
During the financial statement audit of the University of Regina for 2009-10, the Provincial Auditor reviewed the arrangements being made by the University with IPAC-CO2 and other parties. The Provincial Auditor reported on the related risks to the University’s Board of Governors in the summer of 2010.
The University responded to the Auditor’s recommendations.
Additionally, we cooperated immediately and fully in an independent review by MNP which was initiated by the Board of IPAC-CO2 to assess the relationship between IPAC-CO2 and one of its vendors.
We also acknowledged that some employees did not follow our conflict of interest policy. We have subsequently implemented measures to ensure proper adherence and enforcement. Further, we reviewed our signing authorization policy and policies and procedures relating to procurement.
I want to stress that this is a matter of serious concern to me and other members of the University Executive team. It is our responsibility to ensure that public dollars are spent properly and are fully accounted for. Policies and procedures are in place and it is critical that these are adhered to.
I am confident that through our policies and procedures, we have the right checks and balances in place.
Should you have any questions about University policies, please contact the University Secretariat’s office at 585-5545.
President and Vice-Chancellor