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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

Well another week has gone by and the Legislature continues to be a gong show. The Serge LeClerc situation just keeps on rolling with new allegations from the NDP that he was using his constituency assistant to do all the bookings for his motivational speaking business. This is a reported $100,000.00 a year business venture for him and would be totally against the rules of the Leg Assembly if it were true. It will be very interesting if the missing laptop computer, paid for by Saskatchewan taxpayers that is supposedly in Ontario, shows up and the hard-drive is examined. The worst thing about this whole scenario is that the Legislature is tied up with scandal and back-biting between the two parties and the people’s business is not getting done. Why can’t some of these so-called politicians simply man-up and admit their mistakes so that the public agenda can be dealt with. None of these folks want to take responsibility for their actions and yet they are supposed to be leading by example. We need change.

Speaking of leading by example … how about the young lady from Moose Jaw who has been waiting forever for a kidney transplant and decided to take her case to the Legislature and confronted our do nothing Minister of Health with her plight. She has a donor all lined up - her father. All the tests are done and there she sits taking dialysis every two hours because the transplant team and the Health Department can’t get their act together. Saskatoon has had an excellent record for over twenty-five years of doing successful kidney transplants and allowing dozens of people to carry on their lives in a normal manner. This situation has been going on since last June. Where is the responsibility and accountability in our system? What if people die because of this ineptitude? We should all lend our support to this brave young lady and others who are fighting for justice and their lives.

On the subject of accountability - there are rumours out there that potash is beginning to move and that prices have strengthened. Similarly, oil prices have been inching up and provincial land sales for oil and gas exploration have improved dramatically. I mention this because the deficit the Sask Party government plunged us into and the hacking and slashing they did in the last budget may be mitigated with improvements in resource revenue. Which of the items cut in the budget are they going to reinstate? Is the Children’s Hospital going to go forward and is the Finance Minister going to tell the truth if the situation gets better? My fear is that the Sask Party government may keep pleading poverty through the year, stock pile the money and then conveniently pull it out of the hat for the election in 2011. The government should be compiling a priorities list - a must do list that is available to the public for comment so that if circumstances do improve, we are all aware of the options. We in the PC Party talk about doing things for the right reasons. It’s our mantra and we expect no less of the others.

My finale comment for the week is about our great uranium resource. In the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on Saturday, there was an excellent editorial on what should be happening with our huge uranium reserves. It voiced the same message that the PC Party ran on in the 2007 election and was almost the same message that was in a letter to the editor that yours truly sent to all the major papers back in 2006. It’s always nice to be a bit ahead of your time but the consequences of not doing anything are hurting our province horribly and we may be losing opportunities for growth and prosperity which may not come our way again for decades. The Sask Party government botched the nuclear debate last spring and summer accomplishing nothing but bringing together the detractors and seeming to lose whatever courage they might have had on the issue. I would encourage anyone who has not seen the editorial to look it up, read it and pass your comments on. Simply go to the Star Phoenix website and hit the editorial section for April 24/10. We must have the debate in this province about the whole fuel cycle and not just the debate on nuclear power. The rewards in my view are too great to pass over without at least having a meaningful debate on the issue before we get to the next election and have the Sask Party and the NDP play their silly games with it.

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

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