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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

Yesterday, Sunday January 5th, was a bit of a reality check for all of us who call this place home. When Joanne and I went down to chop the water hole for the cows, it was -50C with the wind chill. In fact my cows didn’t even go down for water yesterday because they had to walk a couple of hundred yards into that wind. Thank goodness for modern day clothing which helps to mitigate our weather conditions. It really makes you think about people in our province, our country and elsewhere who don’t have the good fortune to have the best clothing or housing when dealing with conditions like yesterday. We are fortunate in Saskatchewan that we have had no power outages like Ontario, Quebec and parts of the Maritimes. The news this morning said there were over 20,000 Quebecers without power today and you have to feel for anyone going through that circumstance.

It really makes you wonder why in this province with the good economic times we have had over the last 7 or 8 years that there has not been more attention paid to new generating capacity. We are ploughing hundreds of millions of dollars into so-called clean coal technology so our Premier can have a legacy project and after all is said and done, we will still be relying on dirty coal to provide most of our electrical needs. All of you who read this commentary know that I have a nuclear power bias and I am not ashamed of it at all. I also believe that there are many opportunities with natural gas that have not been properly addressed. Western Canada has hundreds of years of supply of reasonably-priced gas that is much cleaner to burn than coal and is able to be strategically situated throughout the province for generating capacity. I would hate to wake up one morning and learn that there was no power on my farm or that a significant part of Saskatchewan was without electrical power in the midst of a -50 degree day because our governments cannot manage their basic priorities.

That is why the Auditor of our province has pointed out to everyone that the government’s books cannot be believed and that if we as taxpayers are to set the proper priorities for our government, we need to know what the true financial picture is. If the Sask Party government and the NDP government before them were and are stripping too many dividends out of Sask Power to play their little shell game of supposedly balanced budgets, we need to know about it.

Sask Power’s only job should be to provide long-term, cost-effective power to individuals and businesses to keep Saskatchewan’s economy moving forward in a safe and secure manner. Sask Power’s job is not to backdoor tax us for the whims of politicians like Brad Wall and Ken Krawetz. Sask Power’s only priority should be power rates that provide enough money to ensure that their infrastructure is adequate to look after all of us no matter what conditions Mother Nature throws our way. If the politicians are doing something else than we should throw them out and make sure our power stays on.

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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