This past weekend, it was good to sit down with old friends and make some new acquaintances at the PC Party Annual General Meeting. It was my opportunity to give a Leader's report on the past election campaign and the issues that now face Saskatchewan. We also had a very informative policy discussion which included presenters from the oil and gas industry and the solar energy industry.
Both of our presenters are on the leading edge of environmental stewardship and how to make a dollar while being environmentally responsible. They were great additions to the PC Party's discussions in dealing with the carbon emission issues and fair taxation for Saskatchewan citizens. We also talked about the deficiencies in the current policing structures in Saskatchewan and the lack of job opportunities and new industries.
It was truly a pleasure for me because of the platform the PC Party ran on in the last election and how many of the issues that are front and centre with the public like health care, the GTH and the Regina bypass are very topical today. In fact so topical that they dominate Question Period every day in the Saskatchewan Legislature. If the Sask Party Finance Minister every finds his courage to report the true state of Saskatchewan's finances to the people of this province, we will also find out that the predictions made by the PC Party in the last election campaign are coming true about Saskatchewan's deficit.
Mr. Wall has so many monthly rental payments to make over the next 30 years that there is no way we can run anything but deficits under the current economic circumstance. So much for squandering a boom! The latest unemployment numbers are the largest month over year increase in Saskatchewan history. That is so unfortunate when you think about the billions this government has squandered that could have been adding value to our economy and providing jobs for our young people if there had been any vision at all except Brad Wall's re-election.
It was also the opportunity for me to reflect on the past 10 years as Leader of the PC Party and come to the conclusion that it is absolutely necessary for my party to get younger, get new ideas and get with it on new forms of mass communication so that the PC message touches a lot more people in this province. I therefore asked the Party President, as most of you will be aware by now, to call a Leadership convention before the next general election in 2020. I will not be a candidate in that contest. This was not an easy decision for me to make.
This doesn't mean in the short-term that I am leaving my responsibilities and my thirst for getting to the bottom of issues like the GTH land scandal and why the Regina bypass project ballooned from a $400 million project with the Feds paying half to a $2 billion project with the Feds paying a tenth.
I also want to be here to comment on whatever the Premier's "transformational" change amounts to in health care and other government agencies. This Sask Party government seems to be doing nothing but dithering on this issue when our budget and the people who use our health care system cry out for fundamental change. The Sask Party bureaucracy and political appointees must be gone.
So you see, there is still much to do to set the table for the next Leader of the PC Party of Saskatchewan. I guess if I am too rough around the edges on some of these things, the public and people like Bill Boyd and Brad Wall will just have to put up with me until the Leadership convention.
I've been saying for years that Saskatchewan needs a strong opposition and I and the PC Party will honestly and sincerely try to keep providing that as these issues unfold. Saskatchewan needs a third alternative to how we govern ourselves.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”