Like many of you later tonight, I will be tuning into my television at 7:00 PM to watch the first Presidential debate of the US election campaign. The media types are speculating there may be a world-wide audience of 100 million people. Unfortunately people will be drawn to this spectacle for a lot of reasons other than how the United States is going to get out of the mess that it is in.
It is absolutely mind-boggling to me that this is the best two individuals they can find out of 330 million people to run the country. It is important for a country like Canada which shares over 4,000 miles of border, huge trading relationships and in fact many family relationships to watch this process unfold with keen interest.
Speaking of watching with keen interest, another one of the PC Party's policy proposals is making more sense each and every day. We are now having almost weekly reports of serious crimes being perpetrated on innocent civilians across rural Saskatchewan. We are seeing the inability of the RCMP to provide adequate policing and in fact, have serious revelations of understaffing and morale issues in our national police force.
We know as a province that policing costs have not gone down and in fact, most taxpayers in rural RMs would tell you that they are going up with corresponding less service. I believe it is the right time to have a serious look at the formation of a provincial police force which would see the combination of provincially regulated crime i.e. the issues handled by the provincial court combined with the our wildlife officers and our highway enforcement officers all wearing the same uniforms while specializing in their respective areas.
I believe there could be common training regimes with individuals selecting the speciality they wish to serve in at some time in the courses and that we begin to put in place a policing function that could truly cover this province from boundary to boundary. I believe that many First Nations would look at this as a positive step and indeed could be willing partners as crimes of violence and property are a huge issue there also.
At one time Saskatchewan did have a provincial police force that was abandoned in favour of the RCMP because of conflicting jurisdictional issues. I believe today those things would be much easier to handle with modern technology and communications and the fact that Ontario and Quebec have very successful provincial policing organizations in order to draw experience from.
There is nothing more fundamental to the well-being of any society than the ability to govern itself in a responsible way and offer its citizens the sense of security and well-being they need in order to successfully manage their family affairs. The idea of people having to carry firearms at all times is totally foreign to our culture and not something we want to adopt. We only have to look south of the 49th parallel to see the problems that exist in a society where nearly everyone can be armed if they so wish.
This is another one of the issues that should have been addressed by the Wall government when times were good and Saskatchewan's economy was hitting on all cylinders. Much of the necessary infrastructure for such an organization could have been put in place with the budget surpluses if this Sask Party government had any long-term vision. Tough economic times always bring about an increase in criminal activity for all sorts of reasons which are well documented.
This is once again an indictment of this government's inability to see past the four year election cycle and its own political self-preservation. I believe it's time even in the face of tough economic conditions for us to have an open and honest discussion about this proposal and the divisions of responsibility which would occur between the federally regulated RCMP and the province of Saskatchewan and what kind of services Saskatchewan taxpayers deserve when it comes to their personal and family safety.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”