First let me say that I think the Saskatchewan government is in a mess. Not that I am not all that upset with their new budget. This Saskatchewan Party are discovering that governing is not just a walk in the park. I don't really think that people would be paying a huge amount of attention to this exercize except that the government screwed up so badly last time around.
So what have we got?
- A deficit budget dressed up to look like something else
- A typical, trim the civil service, right wing agenda which looks mild as compared with some of the other provincial legislatures.
- The odd decision to de-list chirproctic services
- The scrapping of the Saskatchewan Community Network, the provinces own television network
- and a mishmash of other cuts.
I think what bugs me most about it all is the way this government is selling the whole package and sell it they are.We are being told that this budget is Balanced - Forward Looking - Responsible as if saying it over and over, makes it so. I guess we'll see.
Now the government has introcuced a new iniative they are calling Sooner - Safer - Smarter which they say will reduce surgical wait times. As you might have guessed that instead of investing in new equipment and training hospital staff they are going to send the work out to private clinics. It is enough to make the members of the Chamber of Commerce wet themselves.
So what do we have? A province governed by small businesspeople with very little vision of the world outside of the small town they have lived in most of their lives. A Premier who is all style no substance and a legislature so polarized that it is a small wonder the MLAs don't come to blows during it's sitting.
I hate to break the news but Regina is never going to be a Vancouver or a Calgary. Hell we can't even get Ikea to build a store here. If we are going toreally move forward what this province needs is solid, realistic leadership from both sides of the house, intelligent debate instead of the caterwalling and name calling and conduct from our elected representatives which is honest, straightforward and respectful of its citizens instead of being smarmy, boastful and evasive. To be honest, when ever I hear most of them speak the only slogan I think of that fits is Liar - Liar - Pants on fire