“The owners of Saskatchewan farmland have spoken, and their voice needs to be respected by government.” That is the opinion of PC Party leader Rick Swenson.
The results of the Farmland Ownership Survey were released today and more than 86% of the responses opposed any foreign ownership and 75% opposed Canadian pension funds owning Saskatchewan farmland.
Swenson stated “The PC Party is claiming a victory on this issue. Since the CPPIB purchased 115,000 acres in 2013, the PC Party believed this deal was wrong, both legally and morally. It was the PC Party of Saskatchewan who brought this to the attention of farm families, and with their help, forced the Wall government to put in place a moratorium on further purchases and hold a public consultation.”
“The Brad Wall government is acting like a ‘school yard bully’ in their haste to prevent any sober second thought regarding the Tower Road interchange of the South Regina Bypass", says PC Party Leader Rick Swenson.
Mr. Swenson added, "Even though the government has not finished acquiring all the land needed for the bypass, they are forcing one particular landowner to be removed from his land because he has been a vocal opponent against the Tower Road interchange.”
Recently, PC Party Leader Rick Swenson toured the flooded areas near the Quill Lakes and then attended the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority (SWA) open house regarding the situation in Wynyard.
Mr. Swenson noted “These lakes have come up over 20 feet. It is an absolutely incredible amount of water to stand on the shore and behold. There is no question in my mind that there are no short-term solutions to the problems. It will be many, many years before some of this land is usable again for agricultural purposes, if at all.”
“The government’s proposed $19 million plan consists of a huge dyke around the southwest corner of Big Quill Lake and the diversion of a small creek into Last Mountain Lake instead of the Quill Lakes. This plan which deals with 7% of the water going into the Quills will do nothing but save a portion of the CPR rail track and a couple of miles of Highway #6.” Swenson also pointed out “There is not one dollar in the $19 million price tag allocated to owners of the agricultural land affected.”
In just five months the cost of the South Regina bypass project has increased by $680 million dollars. “This is the equivalent of more than $600 for every person in the province.” said PC Party Leader Rick Swenson. “It was bad enough that the Wall Government increased the provincial debt by $700 million to pay for the bypass in the spring budget. Now, they have almost doubled that amount of debt in just 5 months and are only adding two new overpasses. How can one project increase by $136 million every month?” asked Swenson.
The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan is happy to announce that the hyperbaric chamber will now be moved to the new Moose Jaw Regional Hospital. “The Sask Party government finally caved in to public pressure put on them by the Moose Jaw Firefighters Association, local organizations, and the good people of Moose Jaw and district who had their message taken to the legislative assembly by the official opposition and others. Congratulations to all of the people who wrote letters to the premier and Sask Party MLAs who claimed that this medical service wasn’t appreciated by the people of Moose Jaw and the province as a whole. These people all saw what the government seemed unable to see, and that was that the hyperbaric chamber deserved to be in the new regional hospital” stated Party Leader, Rick Swenson.
The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan, after reviewing the Farmland Ownership online survey, feels that the survey could possibly sell out all of Saskatchewan’s farm land.
“The survey has the capability to allow non-Saskatchewan input that could cause the Sask Party government to change all the rules and allow unlimited corporate and foreign investment” said Party Leader Rick Swenson. “The very first question includes the choice ‘Resident of a country outside of Canada.’ Does this mean that any person in the world can complete the survey? Doesn’t this mean any foreign investor in the world with his eye on Saskatchewan farm land can fill in the survey in favor of foreign investment?” added Swenson. He went on to say, “You don’t even have to identify yourself if you don’t wish to. How will they limit the survey to one person, one response?”
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.”