Saskatchewan - Commentaries
Meadow Lake pulp mill debacle worse than Spudco
May 02, 2005Whenever the Official Opposition raises Spudco in the legislature it's met with a chorus of groans and cat calls from NDP MLAs and Cabinet Ministers.
To government members, the loss of $35 million tax dollars on a failed, soviet-style foray into the potato storage business is old news, and the taxpayers should just "get over it."
The government loves to point out that an election has been held since the Spudco bomb was dropped and they came away relatively unscathed. Water under the bridge, they would have us believe.
Politicians need to do some health care soul searching
April 25, 2005Talk to any politician about health care, be they Liberal, Conservative or New Democrat, and they'll likely tell you that health care should always be public and people should not be given the right to pay for their own medicine. A new national opinion poll by Montreal-based Leger Marketing shows that most Canadians disagree.
Taxpayers deserve straight facts on teacher salaries
April 05, 2005Saskatchewan Teachers Federation and government representatives are putting their heads together to try to hammer out a collective agreement and avoid disruptive teacher job action. Taxpayers remain in the dark as these discussions are held behind closed doors.
The sublime hypocrisy of MLA pay raises
March 29, 2005It's not the fact that Saskatchewan MLAs voted themselves a 4.5 per cent raise that sticks in taxpayers' craw. Rather, it's the principle of the raise and the unavoidable long-term consequences of this action.
Last year's budget implemented a number of so-called "austerity measures" aimed at holding the line on spending. It was hard not to laugh while writing that last sentence, because none of those measures actually saved taxpayers a nickel. On the contrary, program spending in 2004-05 surpassed budget forecasts by an estimated $300 million.
Saskatchewan's big, fat, obnoxious budget
March 23, 2005There's a lot not to like in this year's provincial budget, but the sheer magnitude of it is jaw-dropping.
Budget 2005 shows that the government collected astronomical revenues in 2004-05, and managed to spend every single cent. Revenues exceeded last year's budget forecast by more than a billion dollars, but none of that comes back to taxpayers in the form tax relief, and only $179 million went to permanent debt reduction.
Tax relief movement has legs
March 09, 2005The fight for lower taxes, less waste, and accountable government is a war of inches. We will not wake up one morning and discover that Canadian governments have suddenly reduced our tax burdens to a tolerable level, eliminated waste and have become fully accountable to the people who elect them.
We can, however, realize small victories along that way which move us closer to the ultimate prize. Like the old proverb says: the journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
Taxpayer irritants abound
February 24, 2005Whenever the Saskatchewan government is confronted with justified calls for tax relief they dismiss them by citing increased spending demands. Politicians need to stop talking about how much tax cuts "cost" the government, and start talking about how much taxes cost Saskatchewan families.
Whose fault, exactly, is it that our government spends as much or more than it takes in taxes every year
Provide parental choice, not another social program
February 10, 2005What would a public debate be without a strong dose of union fear mongering Our public sector unions have launched a campaign to ensure Paul Martin's national daycare program does not rely on the greedy corporate hucksters who currently operate daycare centers. Nay say the unions, daycare should be in the hands of the unions, for the safety of our children.
Government can't ignore Centennial Summit recommendations
January 31, 2005The government cannot ignore the call for change that resounded though Saskatoon's Centennial Auditorium during the province's over-hyped Centennial Summit. The Summit was billed by the government as a consultation to help launch the province into its second century with a fresh vision.
Create opportunity, not regulations
January 11, 2005Two major issues have dominated Saskatchewan politics of late: the minimum wage review and the proposed "available hours" regulations. Both of these issues reflect an effort by citizens and our provincial government to help individuals struggling in entry-level jobs make a better living.
While noble, the problem for low-income earners is largely a lack opportunity, and not a lack of government regulations or a legislated increase in the minimum wage.