I hope that Santa was good to all of you and I am sure everyone did their best to decimate the turkey population. I know we did at the Swenson household – eating far more than a person should for good health. And for those of you that were brave enough to go out and stand in line for the Boxing Day specials, I hope you got what didn’t come under the Christmas tree.
2010 has certainly been an interesting year. We have had everything that Mother Nature had to offer and along with that offering have come a whole host of problems for Saskatchewan people to deal with. Many of those problems have not been solved and in fact, some will take years to rectify. These kinds of problems are why we have senior levels of government who can marshal the resources of large numbers of taxpayers so that folks in need can be helped over the rough times. It’s a principle that became well established after the devastation of the 1930’s. No province felt that devastation worse than Saskatchewan and ever since then, we have understood that we must all pull together in order to help ourselves out of a mess. I hope our Sask Party government remembers these principles as we go into 2011 because we still have much to do to clean up the messes of 2010.
The PC Party of Saskatchewan continues to fight the good fight – barely keeping its head above water some days – but still trying to bring a different message of how we govern ourselves to the people of Saskatchewan. I believe we have a message that is both relevant and different from the current political mix in Saskatchewan. It is a voice that can claim many successes in the past but also one that has learned some very hard lessons on its road to recovery. I see many of the mistakes that were made in the past being repeated by this Sask Party government today. The Sask Party’s mantra of “you have to vote for us or you will elect the NDP” is an excuse that leads to the abuse of power and an abuse of the taxpayers’ dollars. It is a mantra that is quickly adopted by those who like to quickly jump on the government’s band wagon so that they can get advantage for themselves and their friends and begin to fill their pockets with taxpayer largess or find ways to manipulate the system. We have all heard stories that are circulating around after 3 years of Sask Party government about this being the case. When you don’t stand for a set of principles and simply stand for power and glory, government quickly degrades into a “grab as much as you can in as short of a period as you can” mentality. I would like to think that this hard-learned experience that the PC Party has gone through will make us a better party and a better government when we finally earn the privilege of governing again.
2010 marked another challenging year as we wind our way through the intricacies of the Canadian judicial system. We were finally able to get the Sask Party dragged into the Court of Appeal where the PC Party won a unanimous verdict from the 3 judges on the Court of Appeal. We now have finally got the Sask Party and its supporters who have controlled the PC Party Trust Funds to the point where they now must go to court and answer for their actions. Unfortunately in our system, that will not happen tomorrow although that would be my fondest wish. I am sure they will use their huge war chest of money, the interest from the PC Party Trust Fund and a bevy of lawyers to try and delay this court case as long as possible. This case has never been about right and wrong. It has all been about delay, delay, delay so that the Sask Party political agenda can move forward. But it was nice to finish off 2010 on a win and all we can do now is push the judicial system and public opinion as hard as possible in 2011 so that these people can no longer hide.
It was truly disappointing to hear that our Premier was named newsmaker of the year for his salvation of our potash industry. It shows me how truly uninformed the national media are. This means that we will continue to enjoy potash royalties which were last updated for the benefit of our people in 1994. This means that Bill Doyle, CEO of Potash Corp. will continue to enjoy one of the most obscene salaries and benefit packages given to a company head anywhere in the world. This will mean that Mosaic potash will continue to enjoy moving its office employees around courtesy of $100,000 tax credits from the people of Saskatchewan. And finally, it means that we have a Premier who has been messing around with another Party’s $3 million Trust Fund while being the saviour of Saskatchewan and its democratic traditions at the same time. This kind of salvation is not something the province of Saskatchewan needs.
2010 has clearly shown everyone in this province that Dwain Lingenfelter is clearly stuck in the 1990s and has not been able to grab the imagination of anyone in this province except diehard New Democrats. Mr. Lingenfelter has been presented opportunity after opportunity to present a new and revived NDP but has failed miserably. It is becoming apparent that the next election will be a coronation for Mr. Wall and his inner circle and it is therefore apparent that there must be other alternatives presented for good government in this province.
A few weeks ago I appealed to the viewers of this commentary for donations in order for us to keep on rebuilding and growing. The PC Party will be unveiling a new logo and website in the new year. It is extremely important that we have the ability to communicate that knowledge to all of Saskatchewan’s voters. I want everyone who has a computer to be able to look at the PC website and view the things we stand for, view the progress in our court fight and find that there is an alternative to the Sask Party for solving Saskatchewan’s problems. Just one advertisement in the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspaper Association costs approximately $350.00. I would like each of you to consider making a tax-receipted donation which would allow the PC Party to run an ad across this province. A $400 donation will only cost you $100 because you will receive a tax credit for $300. That means our message and our website can be seen by thousands of people each week. Thank you for your attention in 2010. Thank you for those of you who have renewed your $10 membership. And thank you for the feedback and ideas which have come back to me each and every week.
On behalf of my wife Joanne and myself, we wish you a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2011. May you be blessed with good health and happiness for you and your families.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.