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Legislative Report (25 January 2006)

Legislative Report

25 January 2006
Saskatchewan Voters Say NO To Corruption and Entitlement
The winds of change swept over Canada, giving Stephen Harper a minority government. Our province is sending the biggest government caucus to Ottawa since 1962. Voters said they will not tolerate corruption or a sense of entitlement from their elected representatives.

I hope the Calvert NDP government took note of this. An old and tired national government thinking they were more important than the people who elected them. They were disabused of that notion. However, that sense of entitlement lingers on inside the Calvert NDP.

Just last week, the NDP was caught misleading the public about how big the raise was that senior NDP bureaucrats received. Their excuse was they knew the original figure was incorrect, but it was only a couple of percentage points so whats the big deal. Didnt we just see a government get kicked out of office for an attitude like that?

Theres more; including the financial irregularities being investigated by the RCMP in the Department of Environment, the Department of Community Resources and Employment, and the Sask Liquor and Gaming Authority; patronage appointments of NDP government friendly employees to made-up government positions in the Crowns; and finally, a million dollar private air terminal for the Premier, Cabinet Ministers and MLAs. Sounds very similar to what was happening in Ottawa.

Voters sent a message federally that actions like these would not be tolerated. Its time voters thought about what is happening in their home province, and whether or not its time to send the same message to Regina.

Promises on Agriculture and Equalization Must Be Kept
Its no secret farm families are facing difficult times, but with a new government in Ottawa perhaps there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The Conservatives promised a new disaster relief program and $500 million more each year for farm support programs. These commitments must be kept.

Saskatchewan families can not continue with the current status quo; a promise is a promise and its time agriculture received its due. For far too long, agriculture has been on the back burner in Ottawa, now with strong representation from Saskatchewan in the Conservative government I hope this becomes a priority.

Saskatchewan families are also being penalized by an unfair equalization formula. Currently oil and gas revenues are included in the formula, which is unfair because money is actually clawed out of Saskatchewan coffers.

The Conservatives promised to revamp Canadas unfair and outdated equalization program, and they must keep this commitment because it means as much as an extra $2 billion a year coming to Saskatchewan. Imagine how better off you would be if Saskatchewan had this extra money to put towards tax cuts or infrastructure.

As a way of ensuring Saskatchewan people do not get short changed, Brad Wall Leader of the Saskatchewan Party made a statement this week saying when and if the new deal comes from Ottawa, it should be retroactive to April 1, 2006, which coincides with the first day of the fiscal year.

Saskatchewan voted overwhelmingly for change; now its up to the new government to return the favour.

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