It’s hard to believe that today is July 2nd already. It seems winter just ended and yet our days are already starting to get shorter. Like most people in Saskatchewan, I just crave sunshine and being outdoors with good weather. I guess we will just have to cram in as much sunshine as possible in this incredibly short summer of ours.
Speaking of summer activities, as a life-long hunter and fisherman I now have to go through the exercise of getting a HAL number from my Sask Party government. No longer are the days when I can pull up to my local gas station to purchase my fishing license and leeches. Because of this new system the Sask Party implemented, everything has to be done on line or a 1-800 call to the Ministry of Environment. I made a phone call to the Ministry of Environment to find out if there were any businesses where I could still purchase a fishing license and speak to a real person.
In the Moose Jaw area, there is only the local Environment department office which of course is Monday to Friday, 8 to 5, the head office of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (also Monday to Friday) and thankfully, the Canadian Tire store.
I know that computers play an ever-increasing role in our lives and I certainly don’t have any problem with computer technology but it really surprises me that the government would want to remove the ability of citizens of our province or the many thousands of visitors to our province being able to access a fishing license over the counter especially on weekends. There were many small vendors in my area and I am sure in every community around this province who were there to assist people in obtaining licenses. Why the government would view this as “wrong” or “obsolete” is beyond my comprehension. This is called customer service.
I suspect this is all about the “bottom line” for our big spending Sask Party government. Every vendor had to get a piece of the action on the license fee for doing the government’s work. This way the government doesn’t have to divide the pie up so many ways. It is very unfortunate when you can’t balance a budget with all of the resources that this province has been blessed with and you have to resort to nickel and diming fishing licenses to keep your head above water.
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These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.