I’m sure everyone has been watching the goings on in Toronto this weekend. I am totally amazed that if we are spending $1 billion on security for the G20 conference that all of the known violent protestors in Canada could not have been identified ahead of time. We are now all blessed as Canadians with the spectacle of downtown rioting being broadcasted around the world. Why not rent Massey Hall or someplace and give these folks a forum for their issues, television coverage for their speeches and try and do something to look like a country in control of itself instead of someplace that is out of control. It is so un-Canadian. I hope that Canadian taxpayers get their billion dollars worth.
It seems that Saskatchewan politics is in for some fundamental shifting with the announcement by Mr. Gantefoer that he is not running in the next election and therefore, will probably not be our Finance Minister much longer. Rod Gantefoer is basically a decent human being and I think he tried to be honest and straightforward most of the time. I think one of his biggest problems is the little group of unelected hacks and flacks that cluster around the Premier and always want to have total control of the public and political agenda in Regina. I don’t think Mr. Gantefoer came up with the $2 billion miscalculation on potash all by himself. I fear that Mr. Wall and his friends will pick some real flunky to do their bidding this time. Speaking of nice promotions, it seems Mr. Gantefoer’s Chief of Staff has gone from his $150,000/year job to a $300,000/year job as the new head of the Crown Investments Corporation. No government experience required for the top Crown Corporation job in the province, just friends in high places. It looks like the Crowns will continue to be stripped of their assets for another year to try and get Mr. Wall re-elected. The Provincial Auditor will definitely have to keep a very close watch on the province’s finances to make sure that more crown debt is not hidden away.
I caught a little news item the other day which showed that Mr. Emsley’s farm land buying company is now FCC’s biggest client in Saskatchewan. In case anyone of you have forgotten, this is the same Mr. Emsley that the PC Party has been trying to get into court for the last 5 years so that our trust fund can return to its proper purposes. It is extremely bothersome to me and I am sure for many thousands of other farmers and farm families in Saskatchewan who have used Farm Credit to buy and operate their farms for several decades that this is now occurring. The PC government that I was part of made a significant change in how Farm Credit operated when we convinced the Federal Government to move the headquarters from Ottawa to Regina. This was done so that the clientele of FCC (the average farm family) would have greater access to the decision-makers and we hoped significantly alter the way that farm financing was done. The PCs were elected in 1982 with a mandate to dismantle the Land Bank that was set up by the NDP so that government control of farmland would end. Now our government turns around and finances a couple of former political hacks from Ontario whose ultimate dream is probably to flip a half a million acres of Saskatchewan farmland to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund or some similar entity and take it away from Saskatchewan farmers except as renters for forever and a day. I really wonder if all of our Federal Conservative MPs are aware of this and if they are not, they should be. FCC was never put in place to finance the likes of Mr. Emsley and Mr. Farquhar so that they can become millionaires on the backs of Saskatchewan farmers.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.