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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

This coming Wednesday marks a special day for the PC Party of Saskatchewan. The Party will be holding its nomination meeting for the Wood River Constituency in Assiniboia at the Prince of Wales Centre at 7:00 PM. Mr. Brian Archer, Councillor for the town of Mossbank, is seeking the nomination and if successful, will be a great addition to the PC team. Brian is the type of young go-getter who can make a difference to Saskatchewan if they get the opportunity to go to the Legislative Assembly. I very much am looking forward to speaking at this meeting and formally starting the process which will field a full slate of PC candidates in the next provincial election. If you have a chance to attend the meeting, please come out and get to know Brian and talk about Saskatchewan issues.

Today the PC Party is embarking on another round of radio advertising across the province which highlights our opposition to the sale of Saskatchewan farmland to the Canada Pension Plan. We have learned that over the summer time, many more thousands of acres of Saskatchewan farmland has been added to the CPPIB portfolio. This time around, there were no public announcements and in fact if you ask around, it is very difficult to find out anything about this organization. We did find out that the top 6 individuals who run CPPIB are paid in excess of $21 million in salary for their efforts, all of which of course comes out of the Canada Pension Plan monies that you and I contribute.

A research paper done for the Fraser Institute by a former employee of the Canada Pension Plan says that Canadians are not getting value for their money and their pensions with these high priced individuals and yet for some reason, the Wall government wants these people to be using our own pension money to compete against ourselves in our agricultural endeavours.

The PC Party will be running ads on 5 radio stations across the province for the next month and a half and is contemplating, if sufficient funds can be raised, to also do some television advertising near the end of this campaign. This issue is not just a rural issue although the impact there is certainly felt to the greatest degree. All people in this province who pay into the Canada Pension Plan want to know that their money is being invested in the best interest to themselves but also in the best interest of their community and of their province. We do not feel that this is the case. We do not feel that this passes a moral test or the legal standards that are set in legislation and are supposed to be administered by the Farmland Security Board.

The PC Party has repeatedly asked these individuals who are in charge of safeguarding our land resource for their legal opinions. None have been offered. We know of individuals who have asked the same questions and asked why the Board is not conducting hearings and providing evidence that allows these sales. The Board’s silence on this matter is truly astounding. This is an absolute dereliction of their duties. Clearly this silence from the Farmland Security Board and the assertions from Cabinet Ministers that because these land sales do not amount to a large amount of land in their view, one can only conclude that the government is simply allowing the commercial interests of some political friends to go ahead. This attitude and the precedent that is being set is a horrible one for rural Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan farm families.

I can assure everyone that this opposition of ours will grow every day, every week and every month leading up to the next provincial election. I have not run into one individual in my travels around rural Saskatchewan who thinks this is the right thing for our province and I and other PC candidates will be looking forward to the opportunity to explain the PC Party’s stand on this issue to anyone who will listen.

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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