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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

A pleasant Victoria Day holiday to all of you across Saskatchewan! Unfortunately for everyone in southern Saskatchewan, we are having a rainy day which puts a huge damper on all of the outdoor things that we would like to do on this weekend like camping, golfing or planting the garden. This weekend which is our first holiday weekend after a long and bitterly cold winter and spring is supposed to be the one where we enjoy the green grass and the new growth on the trees. My preference would be to be on the tractor today pulling my air drill through the fields getting some spring seeding done and trying to catch up on an already late start. I am sure my feelings are shared by thousands of other farmers across the province.

Late last week, the PC Party of Saskatchewan finally received a response from the Farm Land Security Board regarding our questions on the sale of over 700 quarters of Saskatchewan farmland to the Canada Pension Plan. As I mentioned before, we requested the legal basis for allowing this sale and any other relevant information that would allow this sale to go forward. The response we received was one short paragraph which basically says that it wasn’t the Farm Land Security Board’s problem because under their legislation, they don’t deal with other Canadian entities.

I expected there to be some type of weasel words that would try and absolve them from any responsibility but this response is a total dereliction of responsibility. Two different Cabinet Ministers in response to our questions mentioned that there were legal opinions which supported the government’s views on this matter. Why were those legal opinions not released to answer these well-deserved questions from Saskatchewan people?

I cannot believe for one minute that because of the nature of this transaction which is precedent setting and of such a large magnitude that the Board did not do extensive due diligence. That material must be released to the public. The letter in its entirety will be on the PC Party’s website for all of you to view and you can be rest assured that we will be pushing to have full disclosure of all opinions and documents related to this matter. This confirms my view that this transaction has taken place without proper due diligence and public accountability and puts at risk the future of Saskatchewan farmland for generations to come. Farm families need to know why they will be competing against their own pension funds in the long-term future.

The Legislative Assembly shut down the spring session this last week with not much being accomplished. We did learn that many members of the Sask Party government have a strong sense of personal entitlement and a careless approach to spending taxpayers’ money. Needless to say, some of these individuals have announced they will not be seeking re-election. It seems to always be the case that when politicians stick around for too long, this sense of entitlement creeps in and many a career ends on a sour note. Perhaps it is time that the discussion about term limits is held again as a way of ensuring that people keep their focus when elected to public office.

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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