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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

Well it looks like we are going to have to drag out the long underwear for a few days. Saskatchewan goes from one extreme to another so we will probably be taking it off again next week. Let’s hope so because I still have 70 acres of soybeans to combine.

Please remember that tomorrow is Remembrance Day and this year, Canadians have much to be thankful for when it comes to the people who serve in our Armed Forces. We have the sad reality of recent funerals of individuals who stood up for their country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. We must remember them and all of the others that have gone before them.

The PC Party of Saskatchewan held its Annual General Meeting this past weekend. We had a good turnout. Our guest speaker, Brent Rathgeber, gave the delegates much to think about on the issues of democratic reform. A new executive was elected for the coming year and to guide us through the next election. Congratulations to new President Grant Schmidt, Vice President Randall Edge and now Past President Lori Isinger.

I think a highlight of the meeting was the unveiling of the first television ad run by the PC Party since the 1995 election. In fact, some of the delegates liked it so much that we were able to raise over $2500 from the delegate body to make sure that other television stations around the province carried the message. The current ad will be viewed on Regina CTV over the coming month and it is now a certainty that it will be expanded to other stations. The ad takes full aim at the Wall government’s decision to allow the Canada Pension Plan to purchase large quantities of Saskatchewan farmland. The ad will be available this week on the PC Party website and I would encourage all of you to take a look at it and if you feel this issue is of great importance to our province as we do, please think about taking the opportunity to give a tax-deductable donation to the Party so that this ad campaign can be run on every tv station in the province.

It was revealed in the last week that food bank usage in Saskatchewan has gone up by 21%. One of the major banks has now forecast that Saskatchewan’s GDP growth will be more like 1% rather than the previously forecast 5.5% and the price of oil is now in the low 70 dollar range US. All of these indicators tell us that we will need prudent management of our dollars both in our individual households and certainly by our elected officials.

So what do we hear from our Sask Party government for their big announcement prior to their convention last weekend? We get a survey on how and where we want to buy our liquor. I don’t know about your household but in ours and the one that I grew up in, the purchase of liquor and its consumption was always considered a luxury item – not a staple. I think today most people would consider liquor to be a luxury item and not something that is included in the household budget on a weekly basis. So it is a sad commentary from our government when their focus is now on how we spend our luxury dollars rather than putting food on the table, a roof over our head, how well our children will be educated and whether our medical facilities can cope with their massive infrastructure deficits.

I suspect this strange choice in priorities is simply Brad Wall’s old tactic of baiting the unions so they will jump out, say stupid things and then the Sask Party can lead them around by the nose up to and through the next election campaign. The government has already admitted that they are not getting out of the liquor business. They will maintain the wholesaling, the warehouses, the pricing and all the liquor consumption taxes that go along with that. In fact I would suggest, this Sask Party government will need every dime they can find out of the liquor business to try and balance a budget that will be difficult to balance – if not impossible.

It will remain to be seen if SGEU and others can ignore the red cape being flashed in front of their faces and talk about the real issues instead of the nonsense about underage people being served by the private sector and minimum wage jobs. I guess time will tell. The simple fact is….there are only two of the five Brad Wall options that are even relevant and I suspect he has already picked one of those. At the end of the day, there will not be cheaper booze for you and me and you won’t be able to buy it at the 7-Eleven store on the corner. Hopefully most voters in this province will not be distracted by Brad Wall’s slight of hand and will want to talk about the real issues in front of us.

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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