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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

Friday night in Saskatchewan was a good news/bad news night. First the good news – the Riders finally got the monkey off of their backs by beating Calgary in overtime and scoring lots of points while doing it. The bad news actually came later that night/Saturday morning when most of the province experienced a very hard frost. The agricultural situation is already in dire straights and now has a new demon to deal with. Most if not all crops were affected. There will be significant down-grading of grades for most crops that were still green. That means producers will get paid a lot less when harvest is finally done – if ever this year. It really makes you wonder if a $430 million domed stadium in downtown Regina is where the government should be putting our scarce resources these days. If they were trying to hit the federal government up for $100 million of extra ag-aid, I don’t think anyone would be complaining. Building a sport stadium seems rather misplaced right now.

As I mentioned to you last week there would be a Progressive Conservative candidate in the upcoming Saskatoon Northwest by-election, that individual is Manny Sonnenschein, long-time Saskatoon lawyer and long-time Progressive Conservative member. Manny is the antithesis of the former member, Serge LeClerc. Manny is honest, has personal integrity and would serve his constituents in an honourable manner. Manny is looking forward to the campaign, the first by-election fight for the Progressive Conservatives in over 15 years. I am sure he is looking forward to talking to constituents about and explaining how PCs would do things differently and for the right reasons.

Speaking of right reasons, I am wondering if Serge LeClerc had not resigned, if we would have had the funding announcement made by the Premier late last week on the Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon. It seemed like there was no urgency by this government to fulfill the election promise made in the last campaign and now all of a sudden the money and the construction schedule have magically appeared. Coincidence – I think not. Maybe we could get a few more Sask Party MLAs to resign and maybe places like Moose Jaw, Humboldt and other centres that have been waiting for facility upgrades or new buildings would suddenly get their wish. With this Sask Party government, it’s always about politics and Mr. Wall’s personal popularity rather than some logical sequence of events.

It is great to see Saskatchewan students lining up two days ahead of time in order to get selected to attend the 2 year nursing program offered through SIAST. It is an indictment of both the NDP government and the current Sask Party government that they were so dismissive of our own young people that they were always looking elsewhere to fill the nursing requirements of this province. It is a sad state of affairs when our own students can’t get the necessary education to be health providers in our province yet the government is willing to bring in hundreds of foreign nurses to staff our hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities and then sign collective bargaining agreements that allow people to work ridiculous amounts of overtime, doubling and tripling their ordinary wages and putting patients at risk due to fatigue when a young Saskatchewanian should be given the chance to build a career in the health field.

On a final note for those of you that get the Maclean’s magazine, there is an article in the September 20th issue with a picture of yours truly and a story line entitled “The PC’s Trust Fund Fight”. The author didn’t get the story quite right (I was not called for an interview) but the fact that this issue is now across the country and that people will understand that there is an active PC Party of Saskatchewan is certainly good news for our cause and grief for Brad Wall and Dwain Lingenfelter. I hope and believe that other national media organizations will pick this story up and wouldn’t it be something if it became an issue in the Saskatoon Northwest by-election.

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

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