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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

This past weekend, Joanne and I had the opportunity to travel to Medicine Hat for a family event. I believe I mentioned in this commentary exactly 1 year ago about having the experience of stopping at a greenhouse on Sunday morning and buying fresh vegetables. We did the same thing this Sunday morning after leaving my sister-in-law's house in the south end of Medicine Hat.

You simply drive into the greenhouse operation where they have a small attached structure no larger than your average garden shed. There is no attendant there to serve you. You simply select from the various types of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and lettuce. This particular one also had farm fresh eggs for purchase. Everything is pre-priced and pre-packaged. You simply drop your money into the box attached to the wall - all strictly on the honour system. I didn't notice a security camera but apparently there is one somewhere in the building.

There was a steady stream of shoppers stopping by and this is just one of many greenhouses in the area with the same set up. This begs the question ... why hasn't our government taken a serious look at the PC Party's proposal from the last election campaign to use waste heat sources across Saskatchewan to start a new industry growing our own fruits and vegetables? I believe the demand is there and that people would definitely support locally grown products. Talk about reducing our carbon footprint!

Maybe the Sask Party doesn't want to look at this alternative way of doing things because it would give our Premier less opportunity to pick fights with the Prime Minister on carbon issues. Or maybe they don't want to look at this because it was a campaign promise of the PC Party. Once again, our Sask Party government demonstrates a total lack of vision for the future of our province.

On another topic, I don't know about you but I am totally mystified how computer hackers from unknown places and unknown nationalities can hack computers all over the world to the point where entire operating systems are inoperable. They can compromise Fed-X - one of the largest delivery companies in the world - they can shut down major hospitals in Britain and they can get the databases of financial institutions across the globe and ask all these entities to pay a ransom or else.

This is extortion in the broadest terms and yet our governments don't seem to be able to identify these people or groups and hold them to account. These hackers are potentially costing people their lives when they mess with medical records. In my view, that is a capital offense. If this is some sort of states-sponsored terrorism by a particular country, then there must be world-wide condemnation and retribution.

Technology is supposed to be used for the good of mankind. But if this mess is not cleaned up, people will grow suspicious and will not trust the technological advances necessary for our civilization to keep moving forward. We can only see what has happened with the controversy around GMO and non-GMO crops and the corresponding food issues that arise from that. Personally I have no problem with GMO crops but I know many others that do and that's mostly the fault of the people who did a poor job explaining the technology. It's time for world-wide action on this account before it gets totally out-of-hand.

My final comment of the day is that I am pleased to see that our government came to their senses on two issues. The first one is restoring the funding to our provincial library system so that the process of lifelong learning in this province can continue and not blocked by political stupidity. The other is that the government is putting some serious resources, time and effort into a campaign against drinking and driving. Those are real families who have suffered tremendous personal loss who are now giving their time and effort in these advertisements. Their sacrifice must be recognized and remembered by all of us.

We have the May long weekend coming up which is always a huge celebration of spring in our province. Along with that celebration, must be personal responsibility to ensure that our roads and streets are safe for everyone. A drunk driving home from a May long weekend party is a disaster waiting to happen if we are all not vigilant and demand responsibilities from our peers. Enjoy the long weekend and please be safe.

The next commentary will be sent out next Tuesday.

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