It is very seldom that I've ever let weather events get in the road of jumping in the truck and going places. I fully intended on attending Crop Production week in Saskatoon as I have for many, many years. Last Tuesday's rain and snow storm stopped me in my tracks. The idea of driving in those conditions was too much for his hardened Saskatchewan farm boy. I'm sure many others felt the same way.
By all accounts, the show was a tremendous success and a showcase for Saskatchewan agriculture and innovation. My hat is off to the people that work so hard to make this happen each and every year in Saskatoon.
I particularly wanted to see some of the information that was available to producers on the subject of inter-cropping. This is the growing practice of sowing two different crops together and harvesting a mixture that has a greater potential for monetary reward and building soil health.
When you combine this with some of the new opportunities developing with cover crops, it is an exciting new development to strengthen our agricultural base. Combining the livestock sector with these new developments can only make western Canadian agriculture an exciting and profitable place to be for many years to come.
The PC Party has always been a strong proponent of agricultural diversification and value-adding our agricultural production. Along with protecting our land base from unscrupulous outside investment schemes, we as a Party have always believed in the entrepreneurial spirit of our farming and ranching families. One of my great disappointments has been the lack of efforts by our current Sask Party government during the best of economic times to do things like expanding our irrigation acres and expanding our value-added processing. Irrigation has proven to be one of the cornerstones of value-added processing. You only have to drive through southern Alberta to view the results of concerted policy initiatives in this area.
The taxpayers of Alberta have been amply rewarded for putting their faith in these public policy initiatives. Our Sask Party government under Brad Wall was so enamoured with the spike in raw resource prices and the easy money flow that resulted that they forgot about what it takes to pay the bills when times get tough. All we have left now is the prospect of the various taxes we pay going up on an annual basis along with crown corporation utility hikes to make up for this lack of long-term vision and discipline.
Today I once again drove through the seven overpass boondoggle at Pinkie Road and the TransCanada highway west of Regina. I can only imagine what those precious dollars could have done to guarantee the long-term viability of Saskatchewan's job creating industries instead of creating a roadway for trucks from the Port of Montreal going to the Port of Vancouver and not stopping to load Saskatchewan products as they drive on our taxpayer-built roads.
No wonder Brad Wall has decided it's time to get out of Saskatchewan politics before the public fully understands what has been left behind.
These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.