Fresh Winds From The Prairies
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posted by leftdog at Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | Permalink
When will Saskatchewanites realize that privatization is not an entirely bad thing. Everyone worried about their jobs? Well guess what, the Western province with the most privatization is Alberta and whodathunkit - that's where everyone from Saskatchewan is going to go GET JOBS!? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! Is everyone who lives in Saskatchewan an employee of a Crown Corporation or what? Secondly, just because there might, maybe, someday in the future, some privatization it's only going to improve the market! Saskatchewan is no longer in an age of depression and economic recession. What does the Sask Party's platform say about Enterprise Saskatchewan? Well, the long and short of it is:1. Job training and sustainable economic growth2. Identify barriers to economic growth (maybe an intrusive government) and recommend their removal3. Investigate a competitive tax scheme so that, maybe, someday, Saskatchewan will be a place that businesses will WANT to invest in over other provinces like, I dunno, Alberta4. Energy development (AKA - job investment and growth in the energy sector)5. Partner with the Fed's to help export Saskatchewan power which is in pretty high demand6. Making Saskatchewan a relevant player by in North American and International economic organizations (VERY scary!)7. Work with universities to aid in job-training for students in growing sectors of the economy (perhaps more bucks for university students)8. Increase the number of First Nations youth in post-secondary institutions and the job marketAnd all this coming from an advisory group that "appointed". What other group would you want conducting such research and making such conclusions? The partisan hacks within the government? Who better to recommend the next move for Saskatchewan's Energy sector than players in the sector and experts on the subject?! No wait... I'd rather have Mr. White-guy Lorne Calvert or Brad Wall take a look at what HE thinks is best for First Nations youth instead of local, more Aboriginal, community leaders. Enterprise Saskatchewan is not going to be a group of brooding corporate hacks and Sask Party insiders sitting around a boardroom table drinking goblets of blood and firing people from their jobs and you know it Buckdog. If you want Saskatchewan to be competitive with Alberta and Ontario you have to compete LIKE Alberta and Ontario. It's the only way growth is going to happen.
Posted by Dylan |
3:58 pm, October 31, 2007
Dylan I can argue this with you on so many levels. You are a Progressive Conservative! When the bloody Progressive Conservatives can give Saskatchewan taxpayers back the $11 Billion debt you brought down on this province after 9 UNBALANCED BUDGETS ... then I might just listen to your arguments.Yes Saskatchewan does it differently then Alberta - different does not make it 'bad'.Albertans have been willing to accept the Boom & Bust cycle to their economy. Albertans who have been thru busts and walked away from a house/mortgage for $1 know what I am talking about. Saskatchewan people, by and large have tried to soften the downs of the boom/bust cycle and I acknowledge that the 'Boom' here does not get as big a 'Boom' as Alberta periodically. BUT THEN WE DON'T GET THE BIG BUSTS EITHER!But this is how Saskatchewan has done it. You said, "Saskatchewan is no longer in an age of depression and economic recession." to some degree I agree ... but name for me the province that was the MOST let down by the Free Market system when people starved here due to the Great Depression. It has affected this province for decades - so what!You are coming at this from an ideological perspective - I LIVE HERE AND I KN0W THE SCOUNDRELS WHO RUN THE SASK PARTY - and guys like Brad Wall and Reg Downs were ministeral assistants in the Devine government and I DON'T TRUST THEM!Does the whole fucking nation have to be like Alberta in your eyes! Tell your Progressive Conservative friends to give us back our $11 Billion and then we will talk!
Posted by leftdog |
4:32 pm, October 31, 2007
Whoa! Don't forget I was born and raised in Saskatchewan - the place where my parents, and THEIR parents were born and raised before they came to Saskatchewan from places like the Crimea in Southern Russia and Poland. And no, the "whole fucking nation" doesn't need to be like Alberta. There are some things that Alberta is doing better than Saskatchewan, and things that Saskatchewan is doing better than Alberta. SGI is an example of an incredible bonus that Saskatchewan offers its residents that many Sask Expats continue to exploit even though they are residents of Alberta. However, debt elimination and industry growth is an area in which Alberta has the advantage over Saskatchewan. What you're upset with is the potential of privatization of some parts of the economy. That's fair. What isn't fair is a fear-mongering campaign going back to the Devine era.When SaskOil was privatized, my dad was laid off. When the energy bust happened in the late 90's, Wascana Energy, the company which took over SaskOil, laid my dad off again. I understand the fears of privatization like anyone else in Saskatchewan. It's the reason I moved to Alberta in the first place. But don't forget that while Devine was an asshole and darn near put my family through hell, he was also creating SaskEnergy in 1988. There will not be an energy "bust" anytime soon barring some unforeseeable event like the Apocalypse. We're talking about resources that companies are just itching to get at to develop, like uranium. The Depression, if we're going to talk about it, was as a result of a CLOSED laissez-faire economy with little to no international trading along with a global recession the government didn't address before it was too late. Oh, and everyone on the prairies suffered. I'm not arguing from an ideological perspective here, I'm arguing from a pragmatic perspective. Listen to these ideas to improve Saskatchewan economically and politically throughout the country and the world: Developing a competitive tax system to attract new investment; building partnerships with universities to train students in growing industries; including more Aboriginal youth to universities and to the workforce; partnering with the Feds to develop Sask power to sell to the USA (a lucrative market that Quebec, BC and Manitoba have all capitalized on); and getting the province in on all the major economic talks between international and continental players. How are these not progressive moves Saskatchewan should take to grow economically and politically in the country and abroad? If the NDP proposed these ideas, would you be so opposed to them? Saskatchewan voters are not going to hand over the reigns to Wall like they did to Romanow or Devine. They'll give Wall a small majority, but a majority nonetheless, to work with and the Saskatchewan Party is not going to throw every Crown out the window. Remember, there are civil servants as members of the Sask Party too. Like the MacKenzie King Liberal government, the Saskatchewan New Democrats have had their day. You can bitch about the Devine government like I wasn't living in Regina when the shit was hitting the fan. You're preaching to the choir. Just like I could go off about Spudco and the piss-poor investments Saskatchewan's NDP government has made in the past. That's not going to bring back the 35 million lost or SaskOil. New Democrats and Sask Party MLA's have an opportunity in front of them to recreate the Saskatchewan that our parent's parents came to for hope and inspiration. I'm looking ahead and envisioning a Saskatchewan that has the advantage over Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba and even the United States! With Calvert at the helm, I cannot see that vision come to fruition. I can only see that being kick started by Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party. Will this new Saskatchewan come into fruition under a Sask Party government? I'm not sure. But I have an idea of where it can start, and that's all I care about.
Posted by Dylan |
7:35 pm, October 31, 2007
Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and Medicine Hat, Albert are very close to each other on the Alta/Sask border. When the TransCanada highway was being built, Medicine Hat wanted the highway to go thru their town; Maple Creek did not and the highway was constructed north of the town.Decades later, Medicine Hat is a large bustling city - Maple Creek is a beautiful town with incredible scenery and a serenity of life for those who like that.Rabid free marketers label Medicine Hat as some kind of 'success' and Maple Creek as some kind of'failure'.It is almost the same analogy between Alberta and Saskatchewan. My friends who wanted the fast life, the bright lights and the fast pace moved to Calgary. I hate that type of life. I like the meadow larks that sings outside my yard when I drink my morning coffee outside.'Big' is NOT necessarily beautiful - 'fast' is not necessarily progressive.Saskatchewan has found a way to give its citizens the LOWEST utility costs in Canada (light, heat, auto insurance, etc).We have no health premiums.After the 1980's, the three largest expenditures were Health - Education - Interest on the debt. The $800 Million that went annually to banks as interest COULD NOT GO to highways and other things we needed.The people who created the debt, are now the same characters who are challenging the NDP for not putting 'enough' money into highways, etc.We had our little 'free market' experiment here and human greed screwed it up completely. Now the same characters have changed the name of their political party and want to pretend that they had nothing to do with it.Brad Wall may get a small majority. God help us!!!
Posted by leftdog |
8:23 pm, October 31, 2007
I'd love to meet the people who call Medicine Hat a "success". :) And I'm not around to argue logistics, but I think Manitoba has the lowest energy costs in the country through Manitoba Hydro (something the Doer NDP government touted all throughout our May election). Saskatchewan might not have any health premiums, but neither we have money for the best doctors and hospitals - some of which Romanow/Calvert closed. In any event, Saskatchewan has many successes, including Maple Creek, Regina, Saskatoon, Rosthern, Weyburn...etc. Don't believe that if, and this is a big if, the NDP win another election they are not going to move towards more market solutions for Saskatchewan's needs. Those needs are jobs with competitive wages. The tens of thousands of young families that have left the province can't be wrong. The shrinking rural population, can't be stranded without new job training opportunities. Did Brad Wall personally create all the debt in the 80's? C'mon. The NDP governments of Romanow and Calvert are not snowy white either. They have their scandals, their dropped balls, their ruined families and lost jobs. When Brad Wall makes up the Saskatchewan government all hell isn't going to brake loose. Good thing for Saskatchewanites is that the mistakes of the past can be learned from and probably won't be repeated. Who knows, maybe the Sask Liberals will get a seat or two and put Wall in a minority situation. There is something inherent in every Saskatchewanite that doesn't want the province or it's urban centers to turn into concrete jungles. I don't want that for Saskatchewan. I like my Roughriders community owned. I pride myself on the big skies, wonderful hospitality, and the strong sense of community and solidarity. I also realize that globalization and the free market can do wonders for Saskatchewan and those options should be explored to build a strong economy and place for ex-pats to return and future generations.
Posted by Dylan |
8:57 pm, October 31, 2007
Dylan. I agree completely. Well said.The issue before SK is not NDP or SK Party, it's a matter of policies and attitudes towards economical development and the best use of our competitive advantages. If the people want to live in a sleepy, yet pleasant province then the NDP is the way to go. However, as you do that, realize that the rest of the world is trying to find ways to be as competitive as possible. China buys up Canadian mining companies rather than just buying the resources from them. What do the NDP do during the campaign? Use the word "privatization" as though its a cuss word, some brain child of a degenerate. This is nothing more than socialist propaganda. This also speaks to the primitive and petrified psyche of many SK residents. In order for the NDP to play something so ridiculous they obviously assume many people will be persuaded by it. And persuaded by what? Many SK crown corps have been losing money year after year. It has bread a spirit of complacency and entitlement. There is no accountability, no net consequence. If it were me, I would also privatize the STC. It exists so that we provide non-essential services to tiny towns in the middle of nowhere. At a time when most people are relocating to the larger centres its' purposefulness is even more questionable. I welcome subsidizing our health care system but vehemently oppose subsidizing a bus service that benefits a select few. Furthermore, SK, up until now, has been the most highly regulated jurisdiction in North America. The population has been stagnant for 80 years (up until a recent small miracle of reverse migration). The legislative building was made so big because there was a grande expectation for SK growth. It was intended to represent the province. Thus far, it has been only a reminder of how far we are from the original goal.Now with hind sight and then SK party having not so small a majority I argue that its time to get things going. This may include some growing pains but the previous state of affairs was merely a slow death.
Posted by Filip |
3:31 pm, December 17, 2007