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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

It has now been 4 whole days since we’ve seen rain on the Swenson farm so I guess that is something to be grateful for. I’m like everyone else in the province – seeding is way behind of where it should be but there is light at the end of tunnel if Mother Nature would cooperate for the rest of this week. I know some parts of the province have hardly started seeding and there must be a tremendous worry going through thousands of Saskatchewan farm families as they contemplate what could be a disastrous year. I’m really wondering why our Sask Party government cut $100 million in risk management tools from the Saskatchewan agriculture budget this spring before they knew what crop conditions could be like. $35 million for Enterprise Saskatchewan and not one job created but we see a cut of $100 million from the ag budget of programs that may be very necessary this year. So much for Sask Party priorities.

I have listened with wonder at the media reports this week of our Premier handing out new mandate letters to his Cabinet Ministers after they have been on the job for nearly 3 years. I find it truly amazing that these folks we pay $125,000+ a year to be Cabinet Ministers and they don’t seem to have enough initiative to get the job done in their departments without getting mandate letters which are probably written by some of the Premier’s political hack friends who have never really had a job in their life. The Special Advisor to the Premier (except for one year of writing letters and speeches for SUMA) has spent his entire working life in the Leg living off of the taxpayer but is probably one of the authors of the “mandate” letters to Cabinet Ministers who by now should be out there digging to make Saskatchewan a better place. If I were one of those Ministers, I would be ashamed to simply appear as one of the Premier’s “toads” after that many years on the job. What these letters seem to point out is that for the last 2½ years, we have a government that is strictly run out of the Premier’s office and has not been accomplishing what should have happened with all of the assets that Saskatchewan has available to develop.

And finally, we have the revelation of yet another one of Brad Wall’s personal long-time friends from his ministerial assistant days returning to Saskatchewan with a $50,000 moving allowance and landing a $210,000/year soft job at SaskPower. Within 3 months of being back, Mr. Doherty announced his intention of running as a Sask Party candidate in the next election. Coincidence? I think not. Not only that, it appears that he didn’t have to face a nomination and is acclaimed in one of the Regina ridings. As we are all too familiar, this group of individuals has a way of “fixing” so-called nominations. The sad thing is that this is all about political power and manipulation at the expense of the taxpayer. This is all about making Brad Wall happy – not about doing the right things for Saskatchewan – for the right reasons.

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

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