I hated to cancel last week’s commentary as there were a number of topics which really peaked my interest, however, the opportunity suddenly arose to fill the contract on my 2013 spring wheat contracts and that became priority #1 on the Swenson farm. I had contracted my 2013 spring wheat crop to the CWB because I was able to get higher protein premiums from that company as my crop had graded #1 – 14.5% protein. We all know now what happened to the delivery opportunities for the 2013 crop in western Canada when Canada’s railroads all of a sudden decided that Canada does have winter and they would rather haul oil during the winter months rather than grain.
Fortunately for me, the CWB was keeping the annual pool for the 2013 crop open well past the beginning of the new crop year. By working with my local producer-car loading facility, BGL Grain at Briercrest, Saskatchewan, I was able to access producer cars and move 90% of my contract. This meant that I was able to get into the better prices of last year and also to have some space available for this year’s crop which otherwise was going on the floor in my machine shed. This is a dilemma facing many of neighbours who also have portions of their 2013 crop on hand. Consequently when my friendly trucker called Sunday night and said he would be here Monday morning, there was no time for my commentary.
One of the topics I would have covered last week and fortunately a week’s delay didn’t make much difference to the ongoing saga unfolding at SaskPower. As you all know, we have had the smart meter fiasco which has put tens of millions of dollars of Saskatchewan people’s money at risk. We’ve had the revelations that SaskPower’s headquarter building in Regina was being studied for a major upgrade which could have included some absolutely ridiculous creature comforts for the already well-paid staff. Many people are wondering why with all of this going on at our monopoly electrical utility that some of the upper level management have not been sent dismissal notices. This type of behaviour and expenditure would not be tolerated in most private sector operations.
I think the reason that this has not occurred is that the politicians who are supposed to be overseeing this particular crown corporation are looking for the opportunity to lay the cost over runs at the Boundary Dam Power Station onto the management of SaskPower and therefore will be able to justify the outrageous severance packages that these people will enjoy. These severance packages would be the very ones put in place by the aforementioned Sask Party politicians.
When all of the facts and figures are finally revealed, it will not be surprising if Mr. Wall’s carbon capture project will have grown close to $2 billion from the original $1 billion plan. This plant may capture some of Saskatchewan’s carbon emissions but at what cost? When the taxpaying public of this province and all of SaskPower’s “captive” ratepayers are confronted with these new bills, there will be justifiable outrage. The Sask Party government, I believe, will use these revelations at the appropriate moment to start relieving some of the folks at SaskPower of their employment. Many of these individuals were moved into their current positions by Sask Party politicians and the Sask Party appointed Board of Directors. If I am wrong, I will be happy to admit it publicly. Stay tuned - the soap opera at SaskPower is not over.
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These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.