I was fortunate over the past week to be able to attend Agribition on parts of three days. As you all know, this venue attracts thousands of people from all over the province and is an excellent place for a politician to hang out and see what is on people's minds.
One of the questions I wanted answered was whether people thought I was being too hard on the Sask Party government with the PC Party's advertising campaign against the south Regina bypass. Not one person I talked to thought the south Regina bypass at $2 billion dollars was a good idea and no one thought the PC Party was out of line. In fact the response I received the most from rural people was to kick them harder. We certainly intend to do that.
This week is a very special week for livestock producers in the province and a big week for agriculture in general because this is the 45th edition of Agribition. Agribition is the place where Saskatchewan livestock producers and producers across western Canada get a chance to showcase their hard work and dedication to the industry. People from around the world come to look at and purchase some of the best livestock genetics in the world.
Many Saskatchewan manufacturers also take this opportunity to present their latest inventions and sell their innovative products to the people from 70 different countries which will be attending Agribition along with tens of thousands of interested spectators. Joanne and I will be part of that crowd. If you get the chance, please take the opportunity to attend and support Saskatchewan's agricultural excellence.
This is my first opportunity to comment since the swearing in of the new Federal Liberal government. Congratulations to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on appointing what appears to be a highly-qualified and gender-balanced cabinet. Congratulations also to the Honourable Ralph Goodale for once again being appointed to cabinet and Saskatchewan's representative around the cabinet table.
With the Prime Minister's commitment to bringing thousands of Syrian refugees to Canada in the next few months and the recent events which unfolded in Paris, France, means Mr. Goodale has his work cut out for him regarding national security. Ralph Goodale has shown a steady hand in whatever cabinet portfolio he has held in the past and I am sure he will dedicate himself to ensuring that his new role as Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness will ensure the safety of Canadians.
Rick is on a short holiday to regenerate energy to continue the campaign. When he returns, he will lead us into the 2016 Election.
As your party President, I put myself in campaigning mode on November 1st. We are now working to get our small but growing party ready for the election. I hope you have seen the new ads on the Regina truck route mismanagement.
In my first Monday Morning Commentary, I want to answer a question we often get. Why do we need a PC Party?
This past week, the PC Party launched a television and radio advertising campaign province-wide promoting our views on the Regina bypass issue and calling on people across this province to join with us in opposing the Wall government's $2 billion south Regina bypass plan.
The costs associated with this south Regina bypass have escalated beyond anything taxpayers could have imagined over the last two years. Besides the out-of-control spending by the Sask Party government, the whole plan is full of contradictions. What was supposed to be a bypass is now practically just another city street with high-cost housing and commercial development right up against the bypass. At the same time, the Sask Party's plan wanders around in the mud many miles south of Regina with huge construction costs attached to it.
I know I am a day late again and I don't have the excuse of a federal election this week, thank goodness, but there were two current issues I needed more clarification on. Both of these issues involve our Premier's pre-occupation with misguided mega projects and the spending of taxpayers' dollars for years to come.
I will deal with the south Regina bypass first. Anyone driving on the east side of Regina would notice the large trucks hauling dirt. Are these trucks hauling dirt to make the new overpass at White City where there have been serious safety considerations for many years? Are they hauling dirt for the new overpass at Balgonie so that heavy truck traffic can access the industrial area of Regina and also has safety considerations? The answer to the above is "no". They are hauling dirt from land that was owned by Cabinet Minister Christine Tell's family to the Tower Road location.
Well it's the morning after and Canada is definitely a different colour on the electoral map.
My comments yesterday about the polls calling for a Liberal minority were obviously a little out of touch with Canadians. The same can be said for Stephen Harper and the brain trust in the PMO. It seems that most Canadians did not appreciate that style of government and the attitude that you win at all costs in order to make your political agenda go forward.
I think I and a lot of other Canadians really don't have a clue how Justin Trudeau will fill the Prime Minister's chair. We definitely hope that he is not like his father. To give Justin Trudeau a lot of credit, he started in third place. He told Canadians about a different vision for our country and he was able to articulate that in the various debates. I think Canadians were impressed that even in the face of intense attacks from his political foes, he was not afraid to consistently voice those beliefs. Mr. Trudeau and the Liberal Party ran one of the best political campaigns I have seen in a very long while and tapped into the progressive nature of Canadians.