It certainly wasn't the warmest May long weekend but I think conditions allowed people to get out in their yards, go camping and start to enjoy the wonderful Saskatchewan landscape. In farm country, however, this is a time of seeding and long days. This is also attempting catch up on all the jobs that didn't get done last fall because of all the wet weather. It appears that we have gone through this long weekend with no major incidents in our provincial and regional parks which is great to hear and hopefully the message against drinking and driving will continue through the summer months so we can all enjoy travelling the roads of Saskatchewan.
The spring legislative session wrapped up this last Thursday and I'm sure most of the Sask Party government was glad to escape from what has been an ordeal of bad news, mixed messaging and poor implementation by most of the Ministers of the Sask Party government. I thought the addition of Ryan Meili might have given the NDP opposition a major boost in their ability to hold the government accountable. Unfortunately, question period in my view still lacked the pointed questioning necessary of the government in order that we taxpayers can get answers to some badly delivered Sask Party programs.
The Sask Party government has still not allowed Bill Boyd's chief negotiator and now Deputy Minister of the Economy to be questioned in Public Accounts about the GTH land scandal. I can never remember when a Deputy Minister of ANY government department could not be called to Public Accounts. This is a person whose salary is entirely paid by you and me. They are a person supposedly delivers programs and manages other bureaucrats on our behalf. Their Ministers come and go but they work for us - not the Minister.
I cannot believe that the NDP opposition could not do something to insist that this person testify. They cannot make people tell the truth but they can use every method possible to make our system of government work or make the government pay the price. The same can be said for the recently revealed CPR land deal at the GTH. This is the same CPR that a short 3 1/2 years ago refused to haul our grains and oilseeds in a timely manner which resulted in a $5 billion loss to the people of Saskatchewan.
Farm families took the brunt of it but the loss of that money reverberated through every community in Saskatchewan. A few short months after this, Brad Wall's government was handing over a piece of land worth over $50 million besides millions of dollars in infrastructure including paved parking lots to this same CPR. The City of Regina was paying top dollar for a few acres of CPR land downtown while we users of SaskPower were being asked to pay for $25 million worth of land at the GTH right next door to the land the Sask Party was giving the CPR.
The details of this whole shameful agreement should have been made public in this session of the legislature so that we taxpayers can judge how our money is being spent. The NDP opposition once again failed to push the government on this file.
The real opposition in this province over the last few months has been provided by Saskatchewan people banding together and voicing their displeasure over things like the cuts to our library system. Ordinary citizens caused the government to back down and restore library funding. I guess ordinary citizens across this province are going to have to put enough pressure on this Sask Party government to reveal the true costs around the GTH and other Sask Party boondoggles in order to get to the bottom of the matter. We also need to insist that our public servants understand that they have to be open and accountable to the taxpayer not to whatever Minister happens to be sitting in the chair.
You've heard me say many times in this column - it's a good opposition that makes for a good government. In my view, we have neither right now.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”