It grieves me to say "I told you so" but with the release of the province's public accounts last Friday, it clearly shows that the numbers don't lie. Saskatchewan's deficit for 2016-2017 is $1.22 billion and the provincial debt has climbed to $10 billion. One week before the last provincial election, PC Party President Grant Schmidt and I stood on the steps of the Legislature and told the gathered reporters that Saskatchewan's debt would be $1.2 billion.
Grant and I were able to come to that figure simply by looking at all of the deals the Sask Party was doing and their reckless expenditures of taxpayers' money. The Sask Party's spokesperson, Kathy Young, was quick to refute that figure and said that the PC Party's numbers were all wrong and that Saskatchewan's deficit would be as forecast. I think Ms Young and the entire Sask Party government owe the PC Party and the taxpayers of Saskatchewan a huge apology.
The Finance Minister claimed he consulted with all of the experts on resource revenue projections and they were all wrong. I would suggest to you that this was just a smoke screen by Kevin Doherty because if Grant Schmidt and I could figure it out with no experts and no access to the government's books than I'm sure Brad Wall and company also knew the true state of affairs. You know how the old saying goes "the figures don't lie but liars figure". I wonder how much longer the people of Saskatchewan want this bunch fooling away their money.
Speaking of an opportunity to change things, we will be having a by-election in the constituency of Saskatoon Fairview. The PC Party is holding its nomination meeting for this riding on August 3rd at the Cosmo Civic Centre, 3130 Laurier Drive at 7:00 PM. I will have the opportunity to speak at this nomination which so far has one declared candidate for the position. This will be a great opportunity to meet some new people and talk about the issues facing Saskatchewan. If any of you get the chance, please come out that evening as we nominate a candidate for the by-election and talk about new ideas for solving Saskatchewan's problems created by the Sask Party government.
On a sad and final note, one of the people that helps me put this commentary out every Monday is leaving the PC team. Executive Director, Stu Esson, is stepping down as of August 1, 2017. Many of you who were involved in the last provincial election campaign, had the opportunity to meet Stu or talk to him over the phone as he worked extremely hard to keep the PC team on the right path. Being Executive Director and only employee of the Party is a heavy burden to shoulder and Stu who had very little in the way of a political background, worked very hard to understand a very different kind of business while meeting the political demands of a very diverse kind of political party. The PC Party of Saskatchewan has always been a big tent type of party which includes people with a wide variety of political interests and ideological positions.
I'm sure all of us will miss our chats with Stu and wish him well in his future endeavours. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone sometime this week and say farewell to Stu. The PC Party thanks him for his years of service.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”