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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

I trust everyone is enjoying a nice long weekend. The weather has been mostly good for a change. The Swensons are still doing first cut hay on August 1st which has never occurred on our farm before so I guess that is a sign of the times in agriculture these days with everything being 2-3 weeks behind. But I am thinking favourable thoughts for all of you folks who are out at the cabin, riding around on a boat, walking the golf course or simply relaxing.

It is also a sign of the times that a lot of people are waking up to how badly the Sask Party government is managing some issues. In last Friday’s Leader Post, the editorial was strongly against what Brad Wall and his caucus have done to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer. The article takes serious issue with the way that Mr. Dave Wilkie has been treated and in fact, used the word “disgraceful” in describing the way the Sask Party has treated him. It also gives credit to the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan amongst other parties for standing up for democracy and for calling for a public inquiry into this issue. People all over Saskatchewan understand that we must have a fair and impartial electoral process and we cannot allow Brad Wall and his cronies to subvert fair elections by naming one of their friends to the position. It is nice to know that the media and others are beginning to recognize that the PC Party does contribute to the well-being of Saskatchewan.

It also came out this week that Saskatchewan has two areas where we are falling behind the rest of Canada. We had a significant increase in business bankruptcies in the month of June when in all other provinces, the numbers are decreasing. It was also reported that while job numbers are increasing everywhere else in Canada, they were significantly off in June in the province of Saskatchewan. Alberta posted a gain of 2.4 points, Ontario was up 4.9 points while Saskatchewan fell by 12.4 points. This is really more evidence of the failure of things like Enterprise Saskatchewan to have any significant impact on Saskatchewan’s ability to create long-term and stable employment. It also shows us that there has been really no difference between the Sask Party and the NDP for creating those long-term jobs. The Sask Party government got lucky when resource and agricultural prices went through the roof but that win fall has now been spent and as the stats show us, the job numbers are not being created and business bankruptcies are trending upward instead of downward. Certainly the devastation in rural Saskatchewan caused by this summer of storms is not going to make those bankruptcy numbers any better. Our government must be prepared to step forward and help our citizens through this time. Once a job leaves rural Saskatchewan, it is very difficult to get it back again.

I would like to commend the Premier for raising the MS issue and recognizing that Saskatchewan faces a heavy burden with this serious health issue that affects so many Saskatchewan citizens. I personally know several people who have MS and it affects their entire families in a way that most of us can’t imagine. If Saskatchewan can take steps that will help find a meaningful remedy for some of our suffering folks, than we should do everything we can to help out. As a cancer survivor, I am ever grateful to my fellow citizens for the support of their tax dollars. I hope this announcement is well thought out and not some attempt to grab headlines and votes. To develop the proper protocols to do this kind of research and testing is not a quick fix but if they can perform surgeries in eastern Europe and have success than we would be truly remiss to not spend some resources on finding if this surgery is the answer. It will be interesting to see how the government manages the docs and the College of Physicians and Surgeons on this one because they have been pretty much afraid of them on every other medical issue. This will take courage just like when the PC Party campaigned in 2007 on doing away with the health districts. Taking on our medical system is not for the faint of heart or for those who simply wish to play politics and look for votes.

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

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