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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

Our thoughts go out to the people around the province who have been hit by some really severe hailstorms over the last week. I am sure many of you saw the pictures on the Sunday newscast of hail so thick north of Regina that a snow plough was pushing it off the highway. Crops don’t stand a chance under those conditions and a lot of times neither does your house, your vehicles or anything else around the yard. There was quite a severe one that missed my place by 6 or 7 miles early last week and I have to feel for my neighbours who had a very good crop coming on. I guess we have to take what Mother Nature gives us and hailstorms have been with us since our ancestors moved to this province and will be with us well into the future. But it is something no one likes to see.

Speaking of agriculture…I would like to congratulate the provincial and federal governments for getting their act together and finding some more assistance for all of those who either could not seed the crop or were flooded out with the heavy rains in May and June. This extra $30/acre will go a long way to helping the affected farming operations hang on for another year so that they can plant a crop in 2012. $100/acre seems like a lot of money but when you add up the costs – and I know in my own case my canola seed package from Cargill amounts to $56/acre just for the seed and chemical – you understand that $100 doesn’t go to far. Hopefully policy makers in agriculture will begin to understand that we need long-term solutions for these events of nature that don’t have to result in ad hoc payments. It is much better for farmers to be able to purchase the right kind of income security than wait around for the politicians of the day to make up their minds and come through in a pinch.

On another topic, I have been watching with interest as a group of people are marching down from northern Saskatchewan to the Legislative Assembly protesting the fact that northern Saskatchewan could become the site of a used uranium fuel storage facility. The group of protestors supposedly are the representatives of various aboriginal communities in northern Saskatchewan who do not wish to see this type of economic development take place. The strange thing that occurs to me each time someone from this protest march is interviewed, it is always a non-aboriginal person who is making the comments. We all know in this province that there is a well-organized and dedicated group of anti-nucs who seem to be able to go out and voice their concerns at the drop of a hat. I know from watching them perform at the ill-advised round of “uranium consultations” organized by Sask Power a couple of years ago that these people are very adept in using the media to promote their own views. The problem with the majority of us that do not fear working with all aspects of our uranium resource is that we do not go out and promote our views and make sure that sound, scientific evidence is promoted the way that it should be. If people in our province and across Canada see these news clips and take the messages strong from it as representing the majority, than this opportunity which is worth billions of dollars per year will be lost to another region of Canada where people have more common sense. This should be an issue in the upcoming provincial election campaign and politicians of all stripes should be called upon to state their views and be prepared to stand behind their rhetoric so that the people of this province do not miss out on opportunities like this.

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

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