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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are enjoying this day with family and loved ones by your side. They say the average Canadian eats 9.4 pounds of turkey each year. I am going to try and look after my portion at supper tonight. Although we are not quite finished combining, all of us that are in agriculture have to give thanks for the past two weeks of great weather. I know there is still much to be done in many parts of Saskatchewan and hopefully another good week will but a bow on most of it.

I took a day off of combining on Thursday to go back up to Saskatoon and help Manny out once again. The Yachyshen’s (James and Cindy) put together a great brochure for Manny so we worked hard at it so that it will be on the doorsteps of Saskatoon Northwest voters tomorrow. Manny is out every morning at 6:30 AM waving to the voters as they go to work and he seems to be getting a real positive reaction. One week today is voting day and I will be going up to Saskatoon later in the week to help out.

Speaking of getting helped out, it seems that a few of the Premier’s personal friends and inner circle of cronies received big fat thanksgiving raises this past week. In fact, they were so fat that the Finance Minister Ken Krawetz didn’t know that they occurred and when asked about them by the media, he simply said you will have to ask the Premier about that. It’s absolutely shameful that some of these folks got up to $20,000 in extra pay per year and it seems like there was nothing less than $10,000 in raises. This is on top of salaries that were well over 6 figures to start with. When so many people around our province are having such a difficult year, it is incomprehensible why Brad Wall would be personally authorizing huge raises to people who are already over paid. The excuse given is that they have to compete with the private sector for people. I can almost guarantee you that none of these folks would get paid half of what they are currently getting working for Mr. Wall in the private sector. Once again, it is an example of how this Sask Party government sets priorities. I hope all of the voters in Saskatoon Northwest are aware of these big fat wage increases because if they are, I think there is a good chance of sending a Progressive Conservative to the Legislature.

I was deeply embarrassed last week to call Moose Jaw my hometown when the folks that run our local division of the Western Development Museum was forced to cancel their Halloween fundraiser. It seems they were going to duplicate a séance along with a ghost hunt and other Halloween-related events. Séances, palm reading, fortune telling, etc. were common events in the early years of our province’s history. And whether any of us believes in those things or not, our history is our history. Well it seems that certain church groups in Moose Jaw didn’t like this happening and leaned on their Sask Party MLA and the Board of Directors of the Western Development Museum (most of whom are political appointees) to cancel this event. It is absolutely unconscionable that an elected official like Warren Michelson would use the power of his position to lean on folks like this. If certain religious organizations don’t like events, they can certainly advise their membership not to attend. That is their right in a free and democratic country. They do not have the right to take it away from everyone else. We have always had a clear understanding in this province and country on the separation between church and state and it is something that I believe very strongly in. The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan will stand very clear on this issue if I have anything to say about it. I would look forward to any comments that you might have on this issue because I believe it is one that must be sorted out in this country.

Once again, a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you

Please note that Monday Morning Commentary will not be sent out next Monday (October 18th) as I plan to be in Saskatoon for the by-election. I will comment on it and other-related events the following day.

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