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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

Like a lot of people in this province, I was glued to my television set Sunday afternoon hoping that the Saskatchewan Roughriders would turn around the second half of their season by posting a playoff victory in Edmonton. This team had the tools to get the job done but like most games over the last three months, it was too little too late and too many turnovers.

Now we have to wait for next year. In this province we are very used to doing that because we are already hoping that next year’s crop will be better than this one. We are hoping that next year’s oil prices will be better than they are right now and that the Riders will once again challenge for the Grey Cup.

Speaking of next year’s country, I am wondering why all talk of using our uranium resources to generate electrical energy has disappeared off of the map. My own views on this matter since the days of being Saskatchewan’s Energy and Mines Minister has never waivered. Saskatchewan’s abundant uranium resource and our ability to deal with all of the issues around spent fuel makes this the ideal location in Canada for generating some of the greenest energy the world knows.

The PC Party, when in government, started putting in place the processes necessary for this to happen. Community leaders, school children and others were being exposed to the concepts of nuclear energy and were asked to give their views of what they had seen and heard during mine tours and other opportunities. Our academic institutions were being prepared to educate the necessary high-tech workforce that would be needed to run such an enterprise and I think a lot of the business community were looking forward to the opportunity to supply goods and services to a business that would last for decades.

Even during the course of 16 years of NDP government, there were discussions held about furthering these concepts. It was hoped that once the NDP government got control of its Peter Prebble fringe-group, there would be an honest discussion about meeting Saskatchewan’s future energy needs with our uranium resource.

The Sask Party government made one feeble attempt at public discussion in its first term of office and then turned tail and ran. This is unacceptable in my view. Nation-states around the world are committing to long-term treaties and monitoring to address the issues around global warming. Whether we believe global warming is a reality or not, we do know that using forms of energy that do not cause pollution both atmospheric and otherwise, is the right thing to do.

Saskatchewan is triply blessed because we not only have a world-class uranium resource but we also have the ability to develop wind and solar energy sources way beyond what we have today. Solar energy has made leaps and bounds in many areas of the world that are blessed with long hours of sunshine. Saskatchewan is one of those places. Our monopoly electrical provider, SaskPower, must have its fixation on burning dirty coal refocused to other opportunities in my view. Individual homeowners, businesses, farmers, etc. should be encouraged to adopt new forms of energy generation and their hook-ups to the power grid become available at the lowest cost possible which isn’t the case today.

Nuclear energy is a long-term proposition which needs the commitment of both federal and provincial governments. This large majority Sask Party government has no excuses for not moving forward on this file.

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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