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Legislative Report (19 October 2006)

Legislative Report

19 October 2006

"Imagine" the Defeat of Lorne Calvert and the NDP

Events at the Legislature over the last ten days provide all the proof you need that the current NDP government is tired, old and has run out of ideas.

Item One—The "Imagine" Campaign

Lorne Calvert was reciting John Lennon lyrics to assembled reporters as he announced his new $300,000 campaign to inform Saskatchewan people about equalization.

First, there is the irony of a former United Church minister quoting from a song that urges people to “Imagine there’s no heaven” and “no religion, too”. Then, you have to wonder why the campaign is directed at the people of Saskatchewan instead of those in Ottawa charged with making a decision on exclusion of natural resource revenue from equalization.

Perhaps a better strategy would have been to spend the $300,000 on a concerted, all-party lobbying effort in Ottawa. The federal government must live up to the written promises it has made on equalization. A lame black and white ad campaign isn’t going to help make that happen.

Item Two—Innovation

Several days after their tribute to John Lennon, the NDP launched its “Innovative by Nature” campaign. This campaign has a budget of $2.5 million. While announcing the project, Mr. Calvert made this comment: “Innovation is not a concept that business people outside of our province generally associate with Saskatchewan.”

I guess after the better part of 15 years in office, the NDP should be asking itself why that is. And here’s another question: Why is it that NDP ad campaigns always seem to crop up in the months before an election?

Item Three—ACRE Report

The latest report from the Action Committee on the Rural Economy points out that the NDP has failed to implement 77 major recommendations made by the committee.

However, beyond the numbers, there is something more important to consider.

Things have gotten worse in rural Saskatchewan over the last five years, not better. The highways are still in abysmal shape. The population continues to fall and the issue of education property tax is still a major irritant.

Visit the ACRE website and you’ll find 19 previous reports and nine studies. Maybe it’s time to stop talking and start doing something to improve the rural economy.

Item Four—Nursing Announcement

Six years after the Saskatchewan Party began raising the issue, the NDP is taking action to improve the recruitment and retention of nurses. But, it’s too little, too late.

Financial incentives are one way to attract nurses. But will they stay longer than the required time period? That’s going to take more than just money.

Nurses want full time jobs, but many are only being offered part time. Overtime and staffing shortages are creating workload issues and burn out. If you want nurses to stay in Saskatchewan, those issues also have to be resolved.

And what are you going to do for nurses already working in places where there are staff shortages. They’ll soon be working shoulder to shoulder with people who have just received bonuses worth thousands of dollars. This does not sound like the recipe for a happy workplace.

Over the last few days, we’ve seen what the NDP’s answer is to the major problems facing our province: strike a committee or run an advertising campaign.

"Imagine" what might happen in this province if people elected a government with some ideas on how to fix things?

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Glen.

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