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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

This last week was a good news-bad news week for me personally and for the province politically. The good news on the Swenson farm is that we have had over 2 inches of rain in the last week.  It was so badly needed.  The bad news on the Swenson farm is that I'm not done seeding. 

Two break downs cost me a day and a half and that's what it would have taken to finish off the seeding. The good news is when I finally get the peas and the rest of the flax sown, they will jump out of the ground right away instead of laying in dry dirt.  I'm sure many other farmers are in the same boat.  I know there are many across Saskatchewan who are still looking for rain and they are really beginning to worry about pasture for their cattle and growing enough crop to pay the bills.  Let's keep hoping for rain in June because the summer forecast is hot and dry.

On the political front, last week's announcement by the Federal government to build the Kinder Morgan pipeline is good news. Having the taxpayers build it is the least preferred option.  I can tell you from my days as Energy Minister in Saskatchewan that having taxpayers invest in pipelines instead of shareholders is not a great option and should only be used as a last resort.

Unfortunately, Mr. Horgan and his Green Party allies in British Columbia have placed their political well-being ahead of Canada's interests so my congratulations to the Prime Minister for making this happen. It is time to demonstrate leadership on our energy resources and their value to Canadians. 

I attended the last sitting of the Legislature last Thursday and unfortunately, the rest of my commentary is bad news for Saskatchewan taxpayers. SaskPower has announced that the carbon capture plant at Boundary Dam is financially unsustainable.  Surprise!  Surprise!  Another one of Brad Wall's legacy projects at $1.4 billion and counting is not working.  It has not been working for years.  SaskPower just couldn't say so because of who sat in the Premier's chair. 

Premier Moe announced that he is going to Washington this coming week to help lobby against Trump's steel tariffs. I wonder if he is going to use the same PR firm that Mr. Wall used.  Remember the one we hired for over $400,000 a year when Mr. Wall and his Senator-friend Lindsey Graham were touting the virtues of Mr. Wall's carbon capture plans?  I wonder if this same firm contributes to the Senator's re-election efforts or was it just about Mr. Wall having big name friends from Washington, DC that he could parade around his plant at Estevan?  I don't think we have seen a lot of return on investment for our money other than some nice dinners for Mr. Wall and his friends.

I watched from the Gallery as the NDP Opposition asked Premier Moe if he would commit to investigating all of Bill Boyd's actions while he was in government. The Premier was evasive on the question.  I believe the Chinese government's involvement in the Yancoal potash venture should be added to the long list of Mr. Boyd's endeavours under investigation because it now appears senior public servants with ties to China were advising Mr. Boyd prior to his last visit as an individual selling his irrigation for citizenship scheme to wealthy Chinese citizens.

Let's hope next week is a good news week. Let's hope that the wildfires in northern Saskatchewan get under control.  Let's hope the G7 Summit in Quebec City convinces Mr. Trump to regain his economic sanity.  And let's hope the Petro Canada refinery in Edmonton finally comes back on stream so that we are not paying these outrageous prices for gasoline and diesel fuel.  Maybe those are all just hopeful wishes of an optimistic Progressive Conservative that knows we can do better. 

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