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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

Now we know why Mr. Wall turned his backbenchers loose on the Provincial Auditor. The third quarter financial statements were released on Friday showing that the government is out by at least $600 million on their projections and that there is probably more bad news to come whenever they find the courage to tell us. As you know, our Auditor has been very vocal in her comments about Saskatchewan being the only province left in Canada not using summary financial statements to report back to its citizens.

Our Sask Party Finance Minister is now up to the same old tricks that he and his colleagues criticized the previous NDP Finance Ministers for. That method of NDP operation was to “go and plunder the Crowns” when you have mismanaged the budget. So now we will all be back-door taxed through the Crown Corporations. The Crowns will have to go out and borrow more money to keep their infrastructure up and the provincial debt will continue to climb but Mr. Krawetz won’t have to talk about it because he is only using the consolidated fund.

The Sask Party government was warned a year ago that their projected income from various resources was far too high. They ignored that advice, took the advice of a few CEOs of large companies and told us all to just be happy and mind our own business. Until the government of Saskatchewan uses summary financial statements and only summary financial statements, we will not have a complete picture of what the government is up to in Saskatchewan.

It appears now that the motorcycle industry will be following the path of the motion picture industry. I use this example because this has been the approach of the Sask Party government to “shoot from the lip” first and then try and pick up the pieces later. SGI has just announced that the cost of licensing motorcycles will nearly double because they claim that the owners of motorcycles in Saskatchewan have not been paying their fair share of the cost of insurance. They claim that all other drivers have been subsidising the cost of repair and liability claims that are being filed.

SGI, of course, is one of our Crowns which will have to find millions of dollars in order to prop up Mr. Wall’s government. If there is a problem with Saskatchewan motorcycle owners and operators being out of sync with the rest of western Canada then it would be reasonable over a period of time to rectify the problem - not try and grab it all in one year causing undue hardship to owners and the large industry that services those owners across our province. If there is some kid on a crotch-rocket weaving in-and-out of traffic at a 100k in a 50k zone and then hitting a parked car than that is an enforcement problem – not an insurance issue. If the training and licensing of new riders is not up to snuff that is an administrative problem of those in charge of licensing. There are thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts who have been riding for their entire lifetime and have never had a claim or an issue with the law. The majority needs respect for conducting themselves accordingly.

When you have the enforcement and administration issues cleaned up, it is then reasonable to talk about incremental rate increases for the 95% of motorcycle owners and all of the retail and service people who rely on those owners to begin paying insurance rates that are commensurate with the industry. Motorcycle owners and enthusiasts in this province should be outraged with this type of policy making. This is not about good insurance – this is about the crowns feeding the politicians.

This type of public policy development is why we no longer have a film industry in this province when the government took the short-term view and too much ideology rather than looking at the bigger picture and what that industry did for our province. Now it is the motorcycle industry and owners turn. Whose turn will it be tomorrow? Which of the Crown Corporations will be next to dip into our pockets in order to get much-needed cash which has been demanded by Mr. Wall and Mr. Krawetz because they can’t manage in a boom without back-door taxation?

Your feedback is welcome on anything you see in the Monday Morning Commentary. Please send your comments to contact @pcsask.ca. If you know of anyone that would be interested in receiving this by email, please forward me their email address. Also – don’t forget to check out our website at pcsask.ca.

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

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