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Ken Grey's Commentary

It looks like the coming week will finally give Saskatchewan some badly-needed harvest weather.  The forecast is for average to above-average temperatures and sunshine for the coming week.  It's going to take some nice days with a good breeze to get back harvesting again. Late last week I tried some standing spring wheat which was testing 20% moisture.  Dry is 14.5% so she has a little ways to go.  Let's keep our fingers crossed for a whole month of nice weather.

I will have to make sure I don't go anywhere near a Saudi Arabian embassy as that now appears to be another place where the Saudi Royal Family disposes of anyone who is critical of the regime.  As you know, I put out a press release which was reissued a few months ago criticizing the sale of the former Canadian Wheat Board to a Saudi-controlled company.  Unlike Donald Trump, I don't believe that money is everything.  Canada's reputation as an even-handed supplier of high quality food around the world and the reputation of our producers is something to be proud of.  

Do we really need to have foreign governments who think nothing of murdering their own citizens if that citizen criticizes the government controlling part of our agricultural sector?  We are already in the Saudi's bad books for other comments about their human rights record particularly where it comes to women so maybe we should finish the deal and tell them that their money isn't that important in our grain economy.  If they are going to keep treating people like Mr. Khashoggi as something to simply be disposed of because of well-founded criticism of the regime then Canadians should be rightfully indignant.  Let's give Canadian grain producers the option of buying into the old CWB.

As a former Energy Minister for Saskatchewan, it really saddens me to see that our federal and provincial governments of all political stripes have allowed our oil and gas sector to sink to the lows it's now facing. The discounts last week on Canadian heavy oils were as high as $50.00/barrel.  $50.00 a barrel not that long ago was a profitable price.  To see oil producers in western Canada ending up with a net of $20.00 a barrel in their pocket is an absolute crime for everyone in this country.  That means the share going to the owners of the resource which is all of us will be miniscule compared to what it should be.  

Our current Sask Party Premier is wringing his hands these days over the situation and of course blaming everyone else.  Give me a choice between the Regina bypass at $2 billion and no long term jobs or spinoffs against partnering with someone to build another upgrader and refinery in this province then I think you know what choice I and the PC Party would have made.   The Keystone Pipeline to the US Gulf Coast will not solve this problem. It will only put more money in the pockets of US refiners and Donald Trump.

Canadians must look to other Canadians and demand action from their politicians to rectify this horrible inequity.  Those petroleum resources belong to each and every one of us and we simply sell the right to develop the resource to oil and gas companies and other interested parties.  It is not in our best interest to give it away.  

Mr. Trudeau needs to park his carbon tax until after the next election and get on with figuring out how we are going to transport our products to the world.  We should use the time to do the consultations necessary and then draw a line in the sand for all interested parties.  He should continue to bring in new tax measures to encourage the development of alternative clean energy supplies and then after we have the transportation bottlenecks figured out, have the discussion about what kind of carrots and sticks we Canadians need to have at our disposal to hold up our end of the challenge to rectify the impacts of man-made climate change.

I do not dispute for one minute that people across this globe need to change their ways but it seems we Canadians have difficulty multi-tasking on all of these fronts at the same time.  It's time to get the to-do list in order so that we can come to logical conclusions which don't put us all in the poor house and at the same time, make sure that our citizens who are owners of our resources are appropriately rewarded and as a result build a better society and country which does meet our commitments to a cleaner world.

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These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.