I would like to thank all of the people that log onto Monday Morning Commentary on a regular basis. 2011 has been a very political year with a federal election in the spring and a provincial election which just concluded a few weeks ago. It certainly has meant a lot of commentary on a lot of different issues. I would like to assure all of you that have responded to my commentaries that I read your emails and take them into consideration when talking to people around this province about what it means to be a Progressive Conservative. I don’t always respond back to every email and perhaps in future I need to do that. When I first started this commentary, I did not envision setting up a chat room but rather a way that the policies and histories of the PC Party could be communicated around this province. I also wanted to present what I think are common-sense solutions to many of the problems facing Saskatchewan in 2011. Your comments certainly help keep me grounded when presenting those solutions for the right reasons. I am looking forward to your continued feedback in 2012.
My congratulations go out to John Nilson who was named interim leader of the official opposition and leader of the NDP this past weekend. Having held a similar position for two years after a very large defeat, I can empathize with the tasks ahead for Mr. Nilson. John has proven to be very statesmanlike MLA throughout his career and I am sure he will be a welcomed change for many people because he will be totally different than his predecessor. I also believe that the makeup of the current Legislative Assembly presents huge opportunities for the PC Party of Saskatchewan. Our brand has a lot of resiliency in most rural and small urban parts of this province. All of the issues that were neglected in this last campaign because of the emphasis on personalities will still need to be dealt with. Saskatchewan people do not like political vacuums or large arrogant governments. We must be prepared to step up and be responsible alternatives to the present government.
Given all of the uncertainty in the world around us and the fragile economic state of many of our trading partners and customers, it will be interesting to see what economic direction Mr. Wall and his large government will present in the upcoming session. I noted in listening to some of the media today that Saskatchewan’s increasing debt is not Mr. Wall’s fault but simply a result of Saskatchewan’s crown corporations borrowing too much money. It is very difficult to be a crown corporation in Saskatchewan today and maintain a decent balance sheet and look after your infrastructure replacement when the government has been stripping away 100% of your profits to feed their insatiable appetite for spending. I suppose when you have this large of an election win, everyone will give them the benefit of the doubt and offer all sorts of apologies for the way our province’s business is being run. But that doesn’t do anything to balance the books and provide good government. That is just excuses. This province must find ways to put in place the long-term diversification and high quality, good paying jobs that will last for generations not just the boom and bust cycles of a resource economy. When we see that occurring, then I will be prepared to cut Mr. Wall some slack. So far this is more good luck than good management helped along by a very poor opposition. That must change for the good of our province.
This commentary will not be available for the next couple of weeks as Joanne and I have some other duties to take care of but will be back in time for the December session and looking forward to what comes out of that in the way of improving our province.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.