Because of the rain and snow, I was able to attend the Legislature again this past week. I attended last Wednesday to watch the Minister of Health apologize to the Legislature for lying about his consultations with the Privacy Commissioner. A few weeks ago, I had commented in this commentary about the pit falls of giving out patient information to the various health foundations without first getting the individual’s permission. As it turns out, McMorris never talked to the Commissioner because he knew what the answer would be - don’t do it unless you are prepared to get permission first and patient’s health records must be carefully guarded. Once again, how hard would it be to simply ask people when they enter a hospital would they mind being solicited in the future for a donation to that particular facility or region? Makes you wonder who was pulling the health Minister’s chain all along if he was prepared to deliberately mislead the public on this issue.
The Legislature continues to be bogged down in rabid partisanship and political gamesmanship. The Sask Party government seems intent on being as arrogant as possible with Ministers simply expecting to use their legislative majority to ram things through rather than take the time to consult with interest groups or at least table legislation well in advance. If you can’t stand the heat from the various interested parties on any given issue, perhaps you shouldn’t be in cabinet. Democratic government means being well informed on the pertinent issues as possible so that when you go back to the cabinet table to convince your colleges on the correctness of the issue at hand, they are not being misled. Unfortunately, this government seems to be a one trick pony outfit with Mr. Wall being the pony and the rest are simply along for the ride and the good paycheques.
We will soon be into the last year of this government’s mandate and I am terribly disappointed that issues the PC Party campaigned on in the last election and which many think are important have not been talked about by this government or have simply paid lip service to. I speak of things like developing our water and land resources around Lake Diefenbaker with increased irrigation and making sure that potable water supplies are available to our citizens around the province. We have seen nothing in the way of a major industrial development that will have long-term staying power and job creation for the province. Housing opportunities for seniors and lower income folks seems to be no further ahead than when the Sask Party were elected. These issues were ignored by the NDP when they were in power and it seems neither of these parties have a clue about developing a long-term vision for the province. If it doesn’t fit the short-term political game, neither one wants to touch it. It’s definitely time to put some PCs back in the Legislature to talk common sense and vision for our future.
I would like to challenge all who receive this commentary to pass it on to one more person this week and see if they would like their name added to the list.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.