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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

It is supposed to hit +25C today here in Moose Jaw. What a welcome change! I wish I had the time to just go outside, sit in a chair, read a book and enjoy soaking up the rays that have been missing for the past 6½ months. That probably won’t happen because today is May 6th and normally I would have been in the field a couple of weeks ago. There is much to be done on this farm and every other one in Saskatchewan with the late spring. Let’s hope there are no more delays.

To no one’s surprise, our Provincial Auditor Bonnie Lysyk has released her annual report with another scathing commentary on the government’s use of 2 sets of books when reporting the province’s finances to the taxpayers of this province. Ms Lysyk correctly pointed out that Saskatchewan would have shown deficit budgets 9 out of the last 10 years if Saskatchewan governments would have been reporting their budgets the way that all other provinces do. Obviously both the Calvert and Wall governments were more interested in their political hides than the well being of Saskatchewan taxpayers who could not properly adjudicate this province’s budget choices because they didn’t have the proper information.

Our province’s current Finance Minister, Ken Krawetz, even has the audacity to say that Saskatchewan people like two sets of books. In my view the only people that like to keep two sets of books are people or organizations that are looking to scam someone or hide something. The other motive of course if you are a politician is to try and make yourself look good in the eyes of the voter whose pocket you are actually picking. The reason that we need summary financial statements and only summary financial statements is so that all of us can make well-informed decisions about the choices that government makes with our money. This is the foundation of a well run democratic society. If we do not like the choices that government is making on our behalf, then we replace the government with one that makes different decisions with our money. This whole two sets of books style of governing is all about politicians being able to move money in-and-out of so-called “rainy day funds” or using back door taxation through the crown corporations to come up with more money to make up for poor decision making or bad economic choices.

The question that I have after another such damning report is the almost total lack of comment or condemnation from the business leaders and business organizations of this province. None of these individuals or organizations would put up with or be allowed to carry on their own financial affairs with this type of financial stewardship. It is truly sad that the political divide in this province has gotten so large that the very people who should be condemning governments of all stripes but particularly the Sask Party government are silent on these matters.

Brad Wall and company deserve this condemnation because they were so vocal and so strident on this issue while in Opposition. The NDP because of their philosophical belief in using the Crowns as instruments of taxation can be understood in these matters. The Sask Party who is supposed to have such strong business ethics cannot be forgiven.

The PC Party since coming out its self-imposed hiatus in 2006 has been the only Party in this province to consistently call for the use of one set of books. We must obviously do everything in our power to broadcast this message and the soundness behind it to the taxpayers of this province. This is a matter that should transcend all political parties and their philosophies. The fact that we have politicians in this province who care more for their own political well-being and their parties and friend’s well-being over the best interests of the taxpayer is beyond my comprehension. My congratulations to Bonnie Lysyk and the people that work for the Provincial Auditor in having the courage to do their job and tell the truth.

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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