(14 January 2010)
Opposition Pessimism Uncalled For
“From Many Peoples Strength” is Saskatchewan’s motto. Integrity, honesty, optimism, and compassion are the strengths that define Saskatchewan people. However, the Leader of the Opposition seems to possess none of these traits. When the Opposition Leader repeatedly called the Premier of Saskatchewan a ‘loser,’ he showed a complete disregard for Saskatchewan values.
Name calling is an act of desperation. Optimism, on the other hand, is key to moving our province forward. The pessimistic views of the Opposition represent a time in Saskatchewan when our economy and population were shrinking. Their leader uses words like ‘bust,’ ‘gloomy’ and ‘freefall’ when talking about Saskatchewan people and our economy. The Opposition flaunts their backwards thinking through mail-outs and billboards which proclaim that Saskatchewan has gone from ‘boom to bust.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are many positives in Saskatchewan today. For example, we were the only province in 2009 to show any kind of significant job growth. Last year, we had the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Highways are being fixed and more schools are being built. Saskatchewan is closing the gap on Alberta in terms of being one of the best investment climates in Canada. All of the major economic forecasters are predicting Saskatchewan’s economy will lead the country in growth this year. Taxes are down, wages are up and the provincial debt has been reduced by more than 40 per cent. Our population is at a new record high.
There are challenges, but our government is committed to meeting them head on. The 2009-10 budget remains balanced. Spending restraint and the province’s growing economy will play key roles in balancing the 2010-11 budget. Industry experts are predicting potash prices will increase. Saskatchewan’s oil and gas industry is expected to have a strong year.
In 2010, Saskatchewan people will continue to live by the steadfast values of integrity, honesty, optimism and compassion. Even during challenging economic times, our province continues to move forward and to live by our motto, “From Many Peoples Strength.” If the Opposition Leader is serious about calling Saskatchewan home, he should embrace that motto (and turn that frown upside down).
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