One of the great joys we have in life in the Swenson household is growing our own garden. We had the first new potatoes this week which went into a big pot of beef stew. Those potatoes were joined by garden peas, carrots, onions and beans. It doesn’t get any better. I’m amazed how few people these days grow their own gardens. In a province like Saskatchewan where we have lots of available land – even in our urban areas – I think it is something that should be encouraged by our educational system, by government agencies and by community groups as a way for people to grow nutritious food and reconnect as families.
Speaking of reconnecting – the release this past week of more budget deficit numbers by the Sask Party government – shows how unconnected to reality these people are. If you remember just a few short months ago during the recent provincial election campaign, the PC Party predicted that the provincial deficit in 2015/16 would be much higher that what the government was telling us and would be fueled by the south Regina bypass.
The Sask Party government originally predicted a surplus budget in 2015/16. It is now in a deficit of $675 million. So we have gone from $107 million surplus to a deficit of $675 million. How in the world can you be out by $800 million and probably growing and not know that you are telling a big fat lie to the taxpayers of this province?
The price of oil has been sitting just south of $50 for over a year. They have known that potash was going to be under $300 a ton for a long time. The companies know it because they have been laying workers off by the hundreds for months now. What this Sask Party government does not want to admit and which the PC Party pointed out in the campaign is that these extra deficit costs are related to the south Regina bypass and how it is being constructed.
We will probably not know the truth for a long time because this government will not open the books. The true costs of this bypass boondoggle will probably not be revealed until this bunch is finally thrown out of office. What we do know is that we will be paying for this thing for well over the next 30 years.
I predicted during the provincial campaign that the true deficit would be a billion dollars and I’m getting awful darn close to that number. We will see what other unaccounted for money comes crawling out of the woodwork over the next few months. You can bet that any bad news numbers will be released on a Friday before a long weekend or some other diversion for the general public not to take notice.
Unfortunately, this is what happens in our style of government when you get weak and ineffective oppositions facing governments run by a few select cronies. It amounts to one-man rule and it is not good democracy for our wallets.
There will be no Monday Morning Commentary next week as I hope you will be enjoying the August long weekend with friends and family. I know I will be.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”