Saskatchewan - Commentaries
Imagine a Saskatchewan without handouts
November 08, 2006
The Saskatchewan government has launched yet another expensive advertising campaign. This time the goal is to persuade you, dear taxpayer, to be very upset about how the federal equalization formula rips off Saskatchewan.
The province plans to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to put pressure on the federal government and they're not afraid of exaggerating a little to make their case.
More shell games from NDP government
November 04, 2006
For years, the government has attempted to hide deficit budgets by withdrawing from something called a "fiscal stabilization fund." When the government spent more than it earned in a given year it would "withdraw" from the fund to call the budget balanced. In reality, however, the province was actually going further into debt. And it still is!
You see, the fiscal stabilization fund was an accounting trick aimed at solving a public relations problem. Taxpayers - and importantly voters - don't like deficits.
Meadow Lake mill to be sold
October 24, 2006
There is new hope that the longest-running nightmare for Saskatchewan taxpayers may soon come to an end. Reports have surfaced in recent weeks suggesting there may be one or more businesses interested in purchasing the Meadow Lake Pulp Mill before the end of the year.
If this really happens, it will be welcome news for weary taxpayers.
Time to stand up to the unions
October 04, 2006
A recent caller to Murray Wood's show on Newstalk 980 summed up the issue of government-run liquors stores best when she said "I cannot believe that in 2006 we are still having this argument."
Indeed, it's astonishing that in this day and age we still buy most of our liquor from a government retail outlet. As Murray Wood later pointed out, government liquor stores are a throwback to a more puritanical time. People still remember having to fill out a slip of paper and hand it to a government worker, who would then assemble the order.
Sweden not all it's cracked up to be
September 24, 2006
Sweden is often held up as a model for other western democracies to follow. Its fans point to a modern economy, rich with high-tech industry. They admire her cosmopolitan society and cradle-to-grave welfare programs.
It's often pointed out that Sweden has one the highest standard of living in the world. The British newspaper The Guardian recently said Sweden had the greatest society the world has ever known.
The Swedes have enjoyed enormous economic success despite having the highest taxes in the world.
Taxpayer three-pack: Government waste, riches and debt
September 07, 2006
Government waste: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) stood alone a few months back in opposing a $3.5 million bailout package for World Wide Pork in Moose Jaw. The struggling pork plant had been shut down for months when the government made an 11th hour cash offer to re-open plant doors.
The logic was simple: If private investors weren't willing to risk their own money, why should the government risk our tax dollars
Ignatieff wants us to pay more for gas
August 14, 2006
Liberal leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff announced his climate change policies and they include more of the same - more government, higher taxes and more regulations.
Don't worry, though, because Ignatieff has extensively consulted with "climate change experts and other stakeholders to pull together some of the best thinking on climate change policy in Canada."
Who fits under the category of "other" It's obviously not taxpayers or anyone who drives a vehicle.
Support the Chief, get your house fixed
August 10, 2006
Yet another story of alleged band corruption is unfolding on the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation near Janvier, Alberta. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-familiar scenario that has played out across the country.
According to the Fort McMurray Today (Janvier is 75 miles southeast of Fort McMurray), 80 per cent of band members voted to remove Chief Walter Janvier from office.
Photo radar: Coming soon to a road near you
July 27, 2006
Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco officially announced he will "push hard" to accomplish his new goal. No, that goal is not to fill potholes and cut taxes. Instead, Fiacco wants to install photo radar cameras on Regina roads. If he successfully lobbies the province to legalize photo radar, speed cameras will appear across the province.
The politicians say photo radar is all about making our roads and highways safer. And sure enough, it starts out that way. But the lure of easy cash for municipalities and police forces soon overwhelms any interest in public safety.
The MLA cash grab
July 13, 2006
A few years ago Saskatchewan politicians found themselves in a bit of a pickle. Due to a soaring deficit and sluggish revenue growth, the government decided it was time to control spending.
They announced a "zero, one and one" wage mandate for all civil servants. The formula meant that all the unions who had contracts up for renegotiation would receive no raise in the first or second years and a one per cent raise in the third. The unions complained a lot but eventually the SGEU, the largest public sector union, accepted the conditions.