The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan is expressing their utter disappointment in the government’s decision to limit the Farmland Ownership Review to an online survey. “By only allowing the survey to be completed online, the government is neglecting a portion of the population who do not have access to the internet or who do not feel comfortable expressing their personal opinions online” stated Party Leader Rick Swenson. “There are older farm families who have strong feelings on this issue who will attend public meetings to listen to their neighbour’s opinions and the opinions of government representatives, but will not take the time to sit in front of a computer answering predetermined government questions” added Swenson. “Our office has already received e-mails and phone calls expressing displeasure with this process.”
“I am sure it would be interesting for Saskatchewan people to hear from individuals, communities, and organizations who have firsthand knowledge and experiences from areas where these large corporate entities have already been buying up farmland. Their opinions may be very valuable in determining new laws and procedures in regard to farmland ownership” said Swenson.
“The Sask Party government appears to be afraid to face the people who they are supposed to answer to” said Swenson. “If you don’t have the courage to answer for your own current policies, what assurance do Saskatchewan people have that you will live up to any new policies or suggestions coming from this consultation?” Swenson added.
“Without public meetings, no one will have a chance to hear the opinions of others, allowing the government to come to conclusions that will suit themselves, rather than what is best for the backbone of this province, the farming community.”
Last week the PC Party of Saskatchewan put forward a well thought out alternative to the current Farm Land Security Board process. We will be encouraging people who appreciate that format to make it known to Sask Party MLAs across this province, that transparent and less partisan farmland ownership laws are properly implemented.
“I hope the farm and ranch families of this province remember how they have been treated when the most important survey, the election, takes place” concluded Swenson.