One of the great joys we have in life in the Swenson household is growing our own garden. We had the first new potatoes this week which went into a big pot of beef stew. Those potatoes were joined by garden peas, carrots, onions and beans. It doesn’t get any better. I’m amazed how few people these days grow their own gardens. In a province like Saskatchewan where we have lots of available land – even in our urban areas – I think it is something that should be encouraged by our educational system, by government agencies and by community groups as a way for people to grow nutritious food and reconnect as families.
Speaking of reconnecting – the release this past week of more budget deficit numbers by the Sask Party government – shows how unconnected to reality these people are. If you remember just a few short months ago during the recent provincial election campaign, the PC Party predicted that the provincial deficit in 2015/16 would be much higher that what the government was telling us and would be fueled by the south Regina bypass.
It looks like we may finally get some summer weather. I have been trying to cut and bale some hay since the 20th of June with very little success. Last week, we had a 3" rain over a 3 day period which really made a mess of what hay I had cut. I think a lot of people are in the same boat - no pun intended. Our thoughts go out to the people in the Estevan, Arborfield, Carrot River and now Swift Current areas who have seen summer flooding because of massive downpours. This province needs 2 weeks of hot, dry weather.
Normally Saskatchewan's Crown Corporations would release their annual reports during the spring session of the Legislative Assembly. This allowed the Members of the House and the general public to scrutinize how well our Crowns are doing and whether we, the shareholders, were getting good value for our tax dollars.
I trust that those of you that had the time enjoyed Canada Day celebrations in your community. Unfortunately the weather across Saskatchewan wasn't terribly cooperative but I know many events went off without a hitch. As I said last week, we have much to celebrate in this country and should never take our freedom and privileges as a society for granted. To those of you who have family and friends south of the border, happy July 4th!
Unfortunately taking things for granted has become a hallmark of our Sask Party government. A prime example of this is the release of the Provincial Auditor's special report on the land purchases around the Global Transportation Hub. This report was released last Thursday on the last sitting day of the spring session of the Legislature. It was also the last news day before a long weekend. Coincidence? I think not.
The wrong-headed policies of the European Economic Community are coming home to roost. The EEC was set up as a way to rebuild western Europe after the devastation of the Second World War. It was also a way for these countries to work together to stave off the advance of Communism coming out of Stalinist Russia.
By allowing access to each other's markets, keeping personal income tax low and using the VAT (value added taxes), western Europe rebuilt itself and Germany in particular became an economic powerhouse. This successful program has expanded to include all of western Europe.
The problems started when they created a vast bureaucracy and started to usurp the democratic rights and traditions of member states. The issues of foreign workers, unrestricted immigration between member states and in the last few years the waves of political refugees have put huge strains on the system that was not designed for the social economic side of what was essentially an economic model. By allowing conflicts like the Syrian civil war to go on for years and years, the world has created a mess which may destroy the successes of the European community.
How can you tell when desperation starts to set into a government? They start to circle the wagons and point fingers at everyone and everything around them. Elected officials do not want to take responsibility for their actions and they start to dream up "quick fix" schemes to get out of the jackpot they themselves have created.
The actions of the Sask Party government over the last week when it comes to educating our children is in my view the signs of a desperate government. This is the same Sask Party government that finally negotiated a contract with teachers after two failed negotiations and knew they didn't have the money to pay the contract.
Once again, the horror of a mass shooting in the United States has been front and centre in the news this past weekend. It appears that up to 50 individuals are dead and over 50 more were wounded by a lone gunman who walked into a nightclub in Orlando, Florida with an assault rifle. The fact that the shooter was Muslim and professing his admiration for Muslim extremist groups does not bode well for that sector of North American society.
There are two parts of this that I wish to comment on this morning. This should not get diverted by the age-old American argument of the right to bear arms. No one in civil society today needs an assault rifle. For a ten year period of time, these things were banned in US society and that should be back on. I am as avid an outdoorsman and hunter as anyone and probably own more firearms than one person really needs to. I can guarantee you there is not and never will be such a weapon in my gun cabinet because there simply is no need for that type of weapon by any individual in a society with the rule of law. We have that rule of law in North America.
Party Leader Mr. Swenson, on behalf of the PC Party of Saskatchewan made a submission to the Environmental Assessment Branch of the Ministry of the Environment in response to the Yancoal Project Environmental Impact Study (EIS). The text of the submission is below.