Congratulations to Dr. Ryan Meili on his election as Leader of the NDP and Leader of the Official Opposition. This is Dr. Meili's 3rd run at the leadership of the NDP so this obviously shows that he is committed to getting things done. You've heard me say many times in this commentary that our government is only as good as the opposition allows it to be.
Many of the failings of the Sask Party government over the last ten years have resulted from a weak NDP opposition. Dr. Meili comes from good farming stock and started out life on the farm 50 miles southwest of Moose Jaw. He is a medical doctor so when you put those two attributes together, you should come up with a person who is not afraid to put in the work and time to get things done.
I may not agree with some of his approaches to public policy but I think like everyone else in Saskatchewan, we will be very curious about Dr. Meili's vision for the future. When he said during the beginnings of his leadership quest that he would not take donations from unions and corporations, a lot of folks figured he would go nowhere. He has proved to his own political party that you can be successful without the influence of big money and I think the rest of us in Saskatchewan, regardless of our political stripe, need to think about his example of telling big money where to go.
On another note, our American President is once again taking shots at the Canadian economy by imposing large tariffs on manufactured steel and aluminum. For Saskatchewan, that means IPSCO and it also means the cost of pipe for pipelines which are so important to our economy.
A few months ago, I made the comment that Donald Trump was rubbing his hands in glee over the approval of the Keystone Pipeline. This pipeline was originally designed to take Canadian heavy crude to the US Gulf Coast refineries. It will do this at a significant discount to Canadian oil. It is then upgraded and manufactured into many products which are used domestically and exported. The United States recently removed all restrictions on the export of crude oil and its various derivatives. The Americans are now exporting oil to twenty different countries.
I remember well the discussions around the first North American Free Trade Agreement. One of the keys to that agreement was the ability of the United States to access Canadian oil at the same price that Canadians paid for it. If you remember, Canada had a two-priced system prior to NAFTA. A domestic price and an export price. Western Canada hated two-priced oil.
Today, Canadians pay more and Americans pay significantly less. We supply them with a quarter of the oil consumed on a daily basis in the good old US of A. We have very little other export opportunity. If we are not careful, we could see a twinned Keystone Pipeline taking raw product down and finished product back which could effectively knock out small refiners like Federated Co-op in Regina and Husky in Lloydminster because they have to pay the full price for raw product and the Americans get the heavily-discounted price for the exported Canadian product.
IPSCO (Evraz) should be building pipe to build a pipeline to ship western Canadian oil to tide water in eastern Canada. They should also be building pipe to get western Canadian oil to tide water on the west coast. If we have to ship it through the Alaska Panhandle to get it to tide water, so-be-it.
The Americans are shipping high-value, light crude around the world because of advances in drilling technology. They are getting Canadian oil at huge discounts because of the export monopoly. Politicians like Donald Trump are a dime a dozen in the United States because they believe in America first and they don't care how they get there.
I don't like the feeling of living in Saskatchewan and being Donald Trump's economic slave. Premier Moe and other Premiers across this country had better come to the same realization and start refining more of our products here and finding a way to put our Canadian differences aside so that we can get this great Canadian product to the world market. To do otherwise is to guarantee ourselves a lower standard of living and less opportunity to build up our own citizens who are at the bottom end of the social economic spectrum. Canada's politicians need to start standing up for Canadians.
Your feedback is always welcome on anything you read in the Monday Morning
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.
PC PARTY RESPONDS TO FEDERAL BUDGET
The PC Party of Saskatchewan is disappointed that agriculture and rail transportation were not mentioned in yesterday’s federal budget.
PC Party Leader, Rick Swenson had this to say, “Yesterday, Finance Minister Morneau called his budget one of “equality and growth”, sadly, for grain producers across western Canada, there is neither equality nor growth in this budget”.
Mr. Swenson went on to say “In 2013 producers in Saskatchewan lost billions due to backlogs in the grain transportation system and unfortunately, that exact same situation is unfolding today. The transportation crisis isn’t just impacting agriculture; companies in the oil sector are reporting the same thing for the transportation of oil across North America by rail.
The transportation crisis did not start last week; it did not start last month. It started in the fall of last year and unfortunately, has been a reoccurring problem for decades. These are the facts, so why has the issue been largely ignored by our Sask Party Government? Our recently departed Sask Party Premier and current Minister of Highways and Transportation, David Marit, were more interested in squabbling with NDP Premier Notley about Alberta license plates on Saskatchewan P3 job sites because of issues in the craft brewing industry, than they were in a looming rail transportation crisis facing Saskatchewan”.
In conclusion Mr. Swenson said “Sask Party Premier Scott Moe needs to step up for producers. He and his government must explain why they haven’t been in Ottawa over the entire winter lobbying all federal politicians to get on with passing legislation which will hold railways to account.
When will our elected people quit being simply cheque cashers and start earning their pay? It’s time to hold the rail industry to account. Saskatchewan grain producers deserve better”.
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The PC Party of Saskatchewan is calling on Premier Moe to order Sask Power to immediately release the GTH land appraisal.
PC Party Leader Rick Swenson had this to say “In light of last week’s report from the Office of Saskatchewan’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, we are calling on Premier Moe to do the right thing and instruct Sask Power officials to immediately release the GTH land appraisal”.
Mr. Swenson went on to say “During the Sask Party Leadership contest, we heard a great deal of talk of “renewal”. If Premier Moe and his government are truly committed to renewal and transparency, they have an opportunity to demonstrate that commitment by coming clean on what happened at the GTH”.
In closing Mr. Swenson had this to say “For months now, the PC Party has called for an out of province, judicial inquiry into the questionable GTH land transactions. It was encouraging to see other Sask Party Leadership candidates calling for this same judicial inquiry. Until then, releasing the Sask Power appraisal will be a good first step in finding out what really happened at the GTH. Taxpayers deserve the truth”.
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For more information, call Rick Swenson at (306) 631-5461
or the Provincial Office at (306) 693-7572.
PC Party President, Grant Schmidt, forecasts the Sask Party will have runaway victories in the three, March 1st by-elections, saying that the NDP will never win those constituencies and there is no point in the PC Party wasting the little money it has to fight the Sask Party’s big money at this time.
Schmidt said, “The PC Party will be an alternative to both big Parties in the future. The PC Party has decided not to run candidates in the upcoming by-elections, deciding instead to focus our efforts and resources on building toward the 2020 General Election. Over the next few weeks and months, voters in Saskatchewan will see a number of policy initiatives from the PC Party, as we move toward electing a new Leader for our Party”.
The PC Party of Saskatchewan would like to congratulate our new Premier and new ministers on their appointments, however we believe this new cabinet offers very little of the promised renewal.
PC Party Leader, Rick Swenson had this to say, “Today we see a number of old faces in this new cabinet. This should raise questions about the performance of cabinet ministers. Questions such as; how badly do you have to perform to lose your cabinet posting?
To each returning Cabinet Minister, where were you when former Premier Wall signed the 2014 Order in Council giving Mr. Boyd the GTH green light? Why didn’t you just say, NO?
Congratulations Premier Moe on your internal election as Premier of Saskatchewan. You are now responsible for the future of over one million people. Most of these people will need changes in your Government so they can survive, be happy, and prosper.
The pcsask.ca party thinks you are honest and will try your best. Your best probably will not be good enough unless you learn to take advice from better people.
We offer to give advice if you call Rick Swenson or me. We have a record of balancing our departments’ budgets and we were not afraid to challenge the insiders, cronies, and land speculators in the Sask. Party. I was thrown out of your party for asking too many questions. I hope you didn’t know what was going at the rotten core of your party. You should find out and fix it.
I recommend you enjoy your victory for a week or two. If you do not seek the advice of pcsask.ca we will give it to you anyway. Our goal is to change the world and you have the power to start in Saskatchewan. We challenge you to implement our policies.
The PC Party of Saskatchewan congratulates Scott Moe on his election as Premier Designate.
After the election of the new Premier, PC Leader, Rick Swenson, had this to say “I would like to congratulate Scott Moe on his victory and remind him that he should enjoy his win while he can, the party will be short lived”.
Mr. Swenson went on to say “in a matter of days, at least one by-election will be called in Saskatchewan, and the new Premier will need to explain to taxpayers why his government wasted $1 billion dollars of their money at the Regina by-pass and the how they allowed scandal and mismanagement to happen at the GTH.
The Premier and his government must also come clean on secret monthly lease payments for P3 hospitals, schools and by-passes. It is clear that the Sask Party is running two sets of books, theirs and one of hidden deficits”.
In closing, Mr. Swenson said, “We invite all those who are interested in helping clean up the Sask Party mess, to join us. Working together, we can make a positive difference, without going back to the NDP!”
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