Congratulations to David Prokopchuk of Saskatoon for accepting the PC Party's nomination in the Saskatoon Meewasin by election which has been called for March 2nd. I have known David since our days together in the PC Youth organization and I know his experiences working on Parliament Hill for a Quebec MP, working for the City of Saskatoon for many years and running his own financial investment business will put him in good stead with the voters of Meewasin.
I look forward to door knocking with David and talking to the people of Meewasin about the record of the Sask Party government and why it is time to have a more effective opposition in our Legislature. With new revelations coming out of the CBC this past weekend on the ever-expanding circle of Sask Party players in the GTH land scandal, it is absolutely incumbent that we bring accountability back to our governing processes. If you can find the time to give David a hand for a day or two, please come out and join us in the Meewasin by-election.
Speaking of people joining together in common cause, President Trump's travel ban on the citizens of 7 predominantly Muslim countries has certainly done that both in the United States and around the world. Canadians of all political stripes and I am pleased that our Premier was one of them have gone on record to say that individuals caught in this presidential edict would be welcome to find refuge in our province and in our country.
There is a wide cross section of Americans including many prominent Republicans who find Donald Trump's way of doing business to be unethical, unprofessional and maybe even unconstitutional. I think the newly-elected US President should spend a little bit more time consulting with people in his administration about how the world works before flashing his pen on presidential edicts or taking to social media with his personal thoughts. Governing is not about satisfying your own personal whims but it is doing what is best for the citizens you represent.
For countries like the United States and Canada which were built on the strengths of many different classes of immigrants, this is a step in the wrong direction. Many of our freedoms are based on the experiences of these people who came to our countries because of the unliveable conditions they faced in their homelands. Their thirst for freedom was built into many of the pillars of our society which we take for granted today.
My final comment for today is on our directionless Sask Party government. This is a government which has managed to squander an economic boom and now faces billion dollar a year deficits. In their attempts to address this mess of their own creation, they are telling us that there are going to be "transformational" changes to our society. The PC Party told them that they needed to do that in the last election campaign when it came to health care. Unfortunately, it appears against all of the feedback that they have received, they believe the same thing should happen in education. I believe they are wrong.
Certainly you can always find better way to do things and getting rid of top-heavy administrative jobs is one of them but amalgamating Saskatchewan school boards into a single unit with politically-appointed boards would be a huge mistake. One huge difference between health and education is that the health boards were political appointees and the people running our school boards are elected by parents and taxpayers. Many medical technologies can be delivered in vastly changing technological ways. You can only bus little children so far.
School boards, parents, communities and educators have made it very clear to this Sask Party government that further amalgamations will not achieve the savings the Sask Party Minister keeps talking about and will only be a detriment to the education of our children. I would suggest to the Minister and his colleagues that they look to clawing back some of the GTH land scandal money paid to their political friends, delaying some of the Regina south bypass construction and getting rid of the extra MLAs and political staff they foisted on us during the last election campaign as a good starting pointing. Let's see if they have the courage and wisdom to look past saving their own political hides and do the right things for the right reasons.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”