Happy Thanksgiving Monday to everyone! I hope this weekend and its great weather has provided all of you the opportunity to get together with family and friends and celebrate all of the things that we are blessed with in this province. This Thanksgiving Monday is a very special one for Joanne and I as this is our wedding anniversary as well. It is also the 1st birthday of my youngest grandson and yesterday we officially filled every grain storage facility that we have on the Swenson farm to the roof and we still have 60 acres of flax to go. There is much to be thankful for on this beautiful, sunny October 14th.
There are many issues that I could comment on today particularly in the health care field but will resist the temptation until another week goes by. What I would like to talk to you about today is the many things that we should give thanks for. One only has to look around the world and see how blessed Saskatchewan and Canada truly is when we compare ourselves to the unfortunate circumstances of others.
We live in a country where all of our basic freedoms and institutions are well respected and where the rule of law ultimately prevails. Contrast this to daily news reports from around the world where people have none of the above and even our neighbours to the south – one of the greatest democracies the world has ever known – has basically had its federal government shut down for 2 weeks because of partisan political wrangling.
Canadians and Saskatchewanians have one of the lowest ratios of earned income used to buy basic food items of anyone in the world. Canadians have access to abundant supplies of meat, carbohydrates and vegetables even with our cold winter climate for half of the year. If people are going hungry in this country and in this province, it is because of personal life choices or bad policy decisions of government not because we do not grow the food here. Food produced in Canada has some of the highest quality standards of anywhere in the world and we should be proud of that.
The same can be said for our educational and health care systems. There obviously needs to be constant improvement and innovation in both areas but citizens are denied neither in all parts of this country. Once again, public policy decisions and poor personal choices get in the road of service but the undeniable fact is that Canadians have greater access than almost anywhere in the world.
So as I said at the beginning, we have much to be thankful for in this province and in this country. That is why many of us find it so maddening when we see politicians, bureaucrats and special interest groups doing dumb things or advocating positions that only help their own narrow focus rather than the broader public good. We must constantly strive, as a society, to make our world a better place in which to live, raise our families and peacefully co-exist with one another so that future generations will have much to be thankful for in Thanksgivings to come.
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These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.