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Tuesday, April 08, 2008 

It's 'Amateur Hour' At The Saskatchewan Legislature - Oops!

Premier Brad Wall's new Saskatchewan Party government is showing its lack of planning for the current legislative session. After unilaterally delaying the start of the spring session followed by declaring a week off for 'Easter break', the Sask Party House Leader has painted himself into a corner with insufficient hours available to pass their first pieces of legislation as government.

So, in typical right wing fashion, and rather than working with the opposition New Democrats to remedy the problem, Brad Wall's government is attempting to jam, ram and force their changes to Saskatchewan's labour laws through the legislative process.

What they forgot is that an Opposition Caucus has the ability to filibuster in the Legislature. That is exactly what is happening in Regina this week.

New Democrat MLA, Kevin Yates started a filibuster yesterday in the House and it continued all day until 10:30 pm when the rules end the proceedings for the day.

Immediately after Question Period today, Mr. Yates will take the floor again in the debate and will continue to show the Saskatchewan Party government how the British Parliamentary System works.

-Regina Leader-Post
-Saskatchewan NDP Caucus

This is the same tactic that Mike Harris used in Ontario. Have a session that's so short that everything was rushed and stampeded through the house.

The damage done to the province was immense, Walkerton and the tainted water, university under-funding and the reduction of medical school enrolment--to name just a few.

Toronto city council had 4 days to re-draw ward borders or the Ontario government would do it for them.

This hurry up and no-time-to-waste mentality meant that opposition parties could not mount an effective opposition on such short notice. Combined with the majority government, it meant that the province was more or less dictated to.

Saskatchewanians, I'm warning you. Look up Mike Harris' record and then see what Wall is doing.

Maybe--if you're lucky, Mr. Wall will hit the wall come the next election.

The time to get started is now.

David, hearing from someone who lived in Ontario under the Harris years adds a lot of insight into this type of typical Tory tactic!


If I recall the NDP used filibustering in the 1989 when the PCs tried to privatize Sask Energy.

Correct me if I’m wrong.


There is a major difference between a filibuster and deliberately shortening the legislative session.

The latter reduces the opposition parties to be effective and gives the party in power the right to stampede and corral whatever it wants willy-nilly through the house and hang the public!

Filibustering is at least democratic since it does not abridge or derogate the right of free speech and full deliberation of the matter at hand.

Granted, filibustering can stall the process and to major effect. One need only look at Parliament Hill to see this in the committees that are having difficulties.

Properly applied, filibustering does help to bring to light elements that might otherwise be overlooked in the parliamentary process.

ok, thanks for pointing that out

16 weeks ago, on November 7th, the people of Saskatchewan elected a new Legislative Assembly. The Saskatchewan Party captured the most seats and as a result have the honour of forming the Government of Saskatchewan. The people did NOT elect a dictatorship - they elected a Legislative Assembly where debate would occur.

The Wall crew do not even understand that concept. This week, they attempted to unilaterally change the Rules of the Legislative Assembly without any consultation with the Official Opposition.

The last time that this occurred was when Premier Grant Devine's government, attempted to change the Rules of the Assembly in order to stiffle debate and to ram through their policies.

The people did NOT elect a dictatorship / they elected a Legislative Assembly.

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