This past week brought about a number of shocks to our system. Old Man Winter arrived much earlier than usual and with a real mean streak. When the thermometer gets down to around -20 celsius, the wind is blowing and you've got snow drifts up around your knees, it really makes you think about what the next five or six months might be like. Saskatchewan has been really spoiled the last few winters and you and I and my cows have forgotten what winter can be really like when it starts as early as Halloween night. Let's hope for some sunny and warm days ahead before we know it's here to stay.
Another big announcement this week was from our monopoly electricity provider, SaskPower. SaskPower has decided that they probably won't go ahead with any more carbon capture systems at Saskatchewan's coal-fired power plants as they are too expensive. Surprise, surprise! Another one of Brad Wall's legacy projects which has cost the taxpayers of this province dearly will be nothing more than a grand experiment which you and I will pay for on our electrical bills for the foreseeable future. Whether it will take the next 30 years to pay for it like the Regina bypass, it's hard to say. It may simply be mothballed as SaskPower moves on to a new vision.
It was one of the things that the PC Party at its AGM this past weekend talked about. If you remember during the last election, the PC Party campaigned on using waste heat in our province to do multiple things. One of those things was to use flair gas which currently simply pollutes our atmosphere to generate electricity and to provide heat to grow food.
I am pleased that SaskPower has just begun receiving electricity from a flair gas generation project in the Kerrobert area. Southeast Saskatchewan could easily supply enough flair gas for some type of electrical generation. Coal gasification has been talked about for a very long time. We must find ways to use our resources in a smarter and ecologically friendly manner in order to maintain valuable jobs and income in southeast Saskatchewan. We need to do it in a more cost-effective manner than the CO2 capture thing at Boundary Dam which it appears SaskPower is already writing off after $1.4 billion of expenditure.
It was great to get together with candidates and their supporters from the 2016 election and look at the impact the PC Party made in that election campaign. The GTH waste and mismanagement cannot be hidden under the carpet of Sask Party secrecy any longer. The Regina bypass expenditures will be questioned long into the future. Health spending accountability is becoming a reality with the disappearance of the regions and the true debt of the province of Saskatchewan has been revealed to the taxpayers because the PC Party would not let it go unrevealed in the past provincial election.
If anyone thinks that smaller third parties can't make a difference, just look at the record of the PC Party in 2016 and the very capable 18 candidates who stood for election. This will probably be my last AGM as Leader of the Party and I couldn't be more proud of the people I have served with and the fight that we have carried on, on behalf of the people of this province to bring accountability back to the government and some long-term vision for the future of our province.
I will not be doing this commentary for the next four weeks as I take a little break from politics and farming. President Grant Schmidt and others will be filling in with reports and ideas. I hope you take the opportunity to check out some of new ideas and thoughts that he and others will bring to this space. See you in December.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.