It’s the Monday morning after another Grey Cup loss. I was like everyone else in the province who was absolutely convinced our beloved Riders would prevail this time. Unfortunately, it was not to be. If you listened to our Sask Party Premier, the Riders won in 2007 because the government changed. Maybe it’s time we change the government again so that the Riders can win again. But we will all wait until next year and hope again.
Speaking of things our Premier doesn’t want to talk about – the Conflict of Interest Commissioner Justice Ron Barclay – brought down his report on the Serge LeClerc affair. It’s really unfortunate that this report and the addition that he made a day later was not released before the Saskatoon Northwest by-election. Justice Barclay said very conclusively that the tapes of Mr. LeClerc’s extracurricular activities while serving as an MLA were authentic. He stated that Mr. LeClerc acted unprofessionally and used illegal substances and the fact that he destroyed government property to cover up the evidence, indicated that Mr. LeClerc misled the people of Saskatchewan. I believe though what was far more damning for Mr. Wall and his government was the additional report he did upon request of the Opposition. We all saw Mr. Wall state that he could not know what was going on in the heart’s and mind’s of other Members of the Assembly and therefore, could not be held responsible for Mr. LeClerc’s activities. What the second report showed was that Mr. LeClerc’s staff members were spending up to 60% of their time working on Mr. LeClerc’s private businesses – things like booking his motivational speaking tours, his book writing and other activities which were garnering Mr. LeClerc around $100,000 a year. Those staff people were paid by the taxpayer and there had been rumours and allegations of this activity for many months and years prior to Mr. LeClerc’s resignation. I had heard rumours of this activity from people in Saskatoon many months before and had even passed it onto the media to see what they knew. Obviously people in senior staffing positions in the Sask Party government whose responsibility it is to watch over all of the politically-appointed folks would have been aware of these allegations. It seems the attitude of this government is “get away with it as long as you can – and then plead ignorance”. This sense of entitlement to the taxpayers’ money must come to an end or people will lose all faith in our electoral system.
It is refreshing to see Saskatchewan people once again talking about the possibility of used uranium fuel coming back to be stored in our province from which it originated. The English River First Nation in northern Saskatchewan has been in discussion with the Federal Government and people in the uranium industry. They have been exploring the possibility of a nuclear storage facility on their First Nation. As most of you would be aware, the PC Party of Saskatchewan has championed this issue since we formed Cameco in the early 1990s. We raised the issue and campaigned on it in the 2007 election and spoke about it in our presentation to the nuclear power hearings commissioned by the government approximately 1½ years ago. That report and the public hearings around it were too focused on using nuclear power for electrical generation rather than how Saskatchewan could benefit from using the full cycle of our uranium resources. This Sask Party government is so politically afraid of the anti-nuclear lobby that they choose to ignore components of the uranium fuel cycle which Saskatchewan could afford and which would be far more profitable to the taxpayers of this province than power generation. In fact, I believe we have a moral responsibility to take ownership of our uranium resource after it has served its purpose in commercial power generation around the world. What better way to safeguard our world from the many nut-cases who would love to get their hands on some nuclear material and try and cause harm to thousands of people. Putting it back in safe storage in the Precambrian Shield would keep it out of the hands of these folks forever and a day and provide the most environmentally-sound environment for its safe storage for eons to come.
The next Monday Morning Commentary will be sent out on Monday, December 20th.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.