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Tuesday, July 13, 2010 

"What Do They Want - Highways Or Health Care?" - Saskatchewan Party Gov't House Leader


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"What Do They Want, Highways Or Health Care?"
Dan D'Autremont, MLA
Sask Party Gov't House Leader

After some of the worst budget errors in the history of Saskatchewan, and short on cash and creative ideas, the governing Sask Party is obviously feeling some stress out in the rural constituencies that they represent. Government House Leader, Dan D'Autremont is being criticised far and wide for a little temper tantrum he had with the very people he represents.

"Responding to the closure of long-term care and respite beds in Wawota and criticism from local residents over his lack of action on the file, D’Autremont – also the Wall government House Leader – is quoted in the Moosomin World-Spectator as saying, “People complained about the highways and now they’re complaining about these beds. Which do they want, highways or health care?”
Official Opposition News Release

Mr. D'Autremont was first elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1991 as a Progressive Conservative MLA in Grant Devine's caucus. When the Conservatives changed their name to 'the Saskatchewan Party', Mr. D'Autremont joined them. He is viewed as an extremely uncooperative House Leader who has a penchant for heavy handed 'motions of closure' to jam unpopular Sask Party legislation through the House.

"Dale Easton, chair of Wawota’s Save Our Beds Committee, said his group plans to keep fighting to reopen the beds. [...} He singled out D’Autremont, whose riding includes Wawota, for criticism. “The man is very unintelligent,” he said. “In our opinion, people should not re-elect the man. He refuses to return our phone calls. He won’t do anything for us. He doesn’t deserve to be our MLA.”
-Sask Party Closes Hospital Beds - World Spectator

highwways mean more traffic, more accidents amore healthcare costs

The last right-of-centre government in this province sold off all of our road building equipment, built a hospital that Saskatoon didn't need at the expense of the two they do, and did away with the subsidized prescription drug program we once had. It makes me damn nervous now to hear the SP asking whether I want roads or health care when their ideological predecessors a generation ago all but did away with both.

To paraphrase talking voicechip Barbie (TM), who said "math is hard!" I would offer the Sask Party the following comment:

Governing is hard!

----

When they were in opposition it was pretty easy to spend money several times over - just tell every group that you would give them the money.

Now that the Sask Party is in government it is becoming a little harder to be all things to all people, and they are having to make real choices with real consequences.

It is with some satisfaction that I read and hear the words "Which do they want, highways or health care?"

While I am out of politics, and I am no particular fan of the current NDP, it is with pleasure I watch the Sask Party learn the hard way what it means to make a choice when in government.

Having to listen day after day after day to the Sask Party excoriating the previous government was painful - even if I didn't always agree with the previous government's actions or policies.

I was completely ready to have a real ideological and policy debate with the Sask Party and their folks - but so very often they seemed to miss the part of governing that was about choices. They had an attack and a rant for everything.

Watching them get schooled by their own supporters is like watching a teen-ager move out on their own and discover that money doesn't flow easily all the time. That money and resources and time all have to be managed.

So,

a toast to the education of the Sask Party. [cheers]

Hear, hear! :)

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