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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

Last week I mentioned that we were getting our first taste of winter. Well it seems the first taste turned into the second taste and the third taste. We have had over 4 inches of moisture on our farm in the last two weeks. It's going to take a lot of sunshine and some heat to dry the ground out enough for people to start harvesting again. It may be, in some places, that the ground will have to freeze before combines and swathers and grain hauling can begin again.

Some of you will think it extremely odd that my next comments will be about drought. We do know, however, that in our global economy that adverse weather in other parts of the world can dramatically affect what happens here. Last week, there was a group of climatologists and scientists who got together and released a report on the drought in the southwest United States. Some of these people believe that states like California, Arizona and Nevada could be in a 100-year drought cycle. There is historical evidence to show that this has occurred in the past.

I'm sure some of you saw the pictures on TV of crops being left to wither away while farmers made choices of what to do with the little water remaining. This has the potential for a huge impact on Canadians because so much of the supply of our fresh vegetables and fruit come from this region during the winter months. The pictures of major storage reservoirs like Lake Mead with dramatically reduced storage levels tells us that this supply of a good portion of our grocery carts is in jeopardy.

This reinforces the policy proposal of the PC Party of Saskatchewan during the last election campaign which said that we should be using many waste heat sources in Saskatchewan to produce fruit and vegetables year round in this province with dramatically increased greenhouse production. The recent events surrounding the announcement of carbon pricing and taxation in Canada reinforces that policy statement. There should be rewards for individuals and companies that use science and technology to capture waste heat and to cycle CO2 through food producing situations which will benefit us all.

Greenhouse production in the winter time can be a very large user of CO2 because it is essential to the well being of plant growth. As I have mentioned before in my commentary, 200 permanent jobs are created for every 10 acres of greenhouse space according to the Ontario Greenhouse Growers Association. This does not include jobs in the down streaming processing industries that go along with it. Think how much diesel fuel would not be burned trucking vegetables from Arizona or California to Saskatchewan if the PC policy was implemented.

My message to the Sask Party Premier is to quit your political grandstanding and trying to find a political diversion to take people's minds off your own mismanagement of our economy and get on with finding Saskatchewan-made solutions to climate change. Don't waste money on senseless court challenges with the federal government but simply get on finding ways to reward the ingenuity of Saskatchewan people in managing our carbon emission challenges. Show some vision for the future and real leadership for a change.

Your feedback is always welcome on anything you read in the Monday Morning Commentary. Please send your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you know of anyone that would be interested in receiving this by email, please forward me their email address. Don’t forget to check out our website at pcsask.ca as we hope to do more social media in the coming months.

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