I had a good New Years and Christmas holidays. A shipping error, in my favour, was perhaps the most notable event. The weather was cold, and it’ll be -25 or colder at night this week, which hasn’t happened that long since perhaps last January.
Was too busy to blog, but there was a letter in the local paper that summed up the state of Saskatchewan politics very, very well. The big problem may be that there’s no perception out there that anyone else would do much of a better job than Wall, even though the contrary is probably the case.
Just remind me again why Brad Wall is so popular?
Regina and Saskatoon have the highest crime rates in the country. The overall provincial crime rate is twice the national average. We have the highest homicide rate in the country. Our rate of incarceration is double that of every other province in Canada. Our criminal justice system ranks ninth among the 10 provinces. Racism is rampant and street gangs are on the rise.
We have the highest rate of impaired driving in Canada, and the highest rate of domestic violence in the country. Saskatchewan teenagers perform worse in science, math and reading tests than their peers in all other provinces.
There are not nearly enough child care spaces to accommodate the needs of working parents, and unfair taxation methods severely hamper those few in existence.
Last month 7,200 construction jobs were lost. The number of people needing social assistance has doubled in the past year.
The GTH is a putrid scandal and Wall refuses to explain how Sask. Party supporter Anthony Marquart made $5 million, and Robert Tappauf made $6 million on the deal. Auditor Ferguson has stated unequivocally that she “did not conclusively state there was no conflict of interest, fraud or wrongdoing with respect to land transactions related to the GTH.” It is clear that Wall’s challenge to the federal carbon tax is simply a way to deflect attention away from the GTH fiasco.
The privatization of MRIs is contrary to the Canada Health Act. We have more doctors from India, Nigeria and Pakistan than any other province in the country. We spent $50 million on a “lean” program sold to us by an American who imports Japanese instructors to increase employee productivity, as they purportedly did in a Toyota automobile plant. Health care in Saskatchewan is a mess. Home care is non-existent.
Although Saskatchewan has the highest per capita carbon emissions in the country, Wall refuses to acknowledge that climate change is a reality and our greenhouse gas emissions are a problem. We have spent more than $1 billion on a coal carbon capture plant that is not fully operational, and countries that Wall says we can sell to already get 25 per cent of their energy from clean sources with plans to achieve 50 per cent in 15 years. Due to the plant’s failure to provide enough CO2 to Calgary’s Cenovus Energy we have paid them more than $20 million in penalties. The Sask. Party has received more than $3 million from Alberta oil companies, and Cenovus is their biggest donor.
The privatization of liquor outlets was conducted in a shameful partisan manner, with Sobeys getting the lion’s share. Sobeys is a Maritime company and that’s where their profits will go.
The cost of failed SaskPower smart meters was $47 million, and now we’re going to try them all over again.
Wall refuses to release Husky oil spill records in spite of the privacy commissioner urging him to do so.
We have a $1-billion deficit and have borrowed another $4.6 billion just to cover operating costs. The 2016-17 budget is titled “Keeping Saskatchewan Strong.” The only thing strong in Saskatchewan today is the corrupt stench of a government’s failure to govern.
Sandra G. Mitchell, Regina