It's hard to believe that two weeks has flown by since my last commentary. I don't know about all of your lives but it seems that the older you get, the quicker time flies by.
It is very obvious from driving around the countryside that harvest is really picking up speed with many combines out in lentil, pea and canola fields. I'm sure that the cereals won't be far behind. The other thing that is very noticeable is that a lot of Saskatchewan has greened back up after the recent rainfall stopped months of drought in many areas. It's nice to see especially for livestock producers.
The other thing that I think we are all really noticing is the swarm of mosquitoes and other flying insects that were absent while we were in a drought situation and are now splattered all over the front of our vehicles or irritating the heck out of us as we sit out on the deck.
Two things are irritating me this morning. Last week, Saskatchewan's Privacy Commissioner released his report on the complaint by Peter Bowden, the fired health care worker from Saskatoon. As most of you would be aware, Mr. Bowden complained publicly about patient care in the senior's home that he worked in and consequently was reprimanded and fired by the Saskatoon Health Region. During the course of this controversy, Mr. Bowden's personnel file was released to the public by the Premier's Chief of Communications.
Ron Kruzeniski, Saskatchewan's Privacy Commissioner, released his report saying that Mr. Bowden's privileges and privacy had been breached and that he was owed apologies by his work place and by the Saskatoon Health Region. Mr. Kruzeniski reported that was the end of it because low and behold, the Premier's office, Cabinet Minister's offices, MLAs and all of the political hacks that work for them, are exempt from the Act. We are talking about hundreds of people who are paid for by you and me - the taxpayers - but are hired because of their political affiliation or their friendships with politicians. What a bunch of BS!
The attitude of the Premier and his political flunkies through this whole saga has been one of arrogance because they probably knew from the get go that they were exempt from the Act. I believe this is an attempt by the Wall government to make an example of a health care worker before the fall sitting of the Legislative Assembly which will be the last sitting before the next provincial election.
Mr. Wall doesn't want a parade of health care workers at the doorsteps of the Legislature while the House is in session so he decided to make an example of this gentleman and so he allowed his personal political staff to leak the information. His apology on behalf of the government rings hollow in my view. The fact that no disciplinary action at all has been taken against his Chief of Communications shows that this issue was intentionally breached for the above mentioned reasons.
The other item that has been bothering me as we all view the unfolding saga of the Duffy trial is the fact that Prime Ministers of both Liberal and Conservative stripe have brought this unfortunate series of events upon our democratic institutions because of their own political agendas. The disrespect that Senator Duffy and other Senators have brought to the Senate of Canada is because they should never have been appointed in the first place. Since the days of Pierre Trudeau, Prime Ministers have increasingly used the Senate as a place to park people who could boost the fortunes of their own leadership and party agenda.
Canadians in this age of large fundraising dinners where tax deductible donations are collected, have seen so-called political "star attractions" being the main speakers at these events. So rather than have Canadians appointed to the Senate who have stellar records of personal and community achievements and are builders of our nation, we have had folks with glib personalities, silver tongues and great repertoires of political jokes appointed instead of people who would be a credit to our democratic institutions.
It is not surprising then that a person like Mr. Duffy observing the self-interest of the Prime Minister and the people around him would also be looking after his own self-interest and thereby abusing the taxpayers' dollars and abusing our democratic institutions. As I said before, Prime Ministers have been of different political stripes but we still get the same results when our political system is broke and dysfunctional. Brent Rathgeber, the independent MP from Edmonton, is absolutely correct when he says the power of Prime Ministers and political parties must be reigned in for the good of our democracy. The only way for this to happen is for all of us to take back what has been eroded from us over the years.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.