Legislative Report (27 June 2007)

No Decisive Action from a Tired, Old NDP Government

After 16 years in power, the NDP is still making promises about issues that are of vital concern to the people of Saskatchewan. However, after 16 years of waiting for solutions, we can all be excused for assuming this latest round of promises will be just like those made previously — un-kept and broken.

For example, just this past week, new NDP Highways Minister Buckley Belanger promised that the hard work of repairing crumbling asphalt and damaging potholes has finally started in earnest. However, despite recent announcements, don’t expect any sudden movement on the part of the NDP. As Minster Belanger stated “It takes time to get the work done.” Really, Mr. Minister? We hadn’t noticed.

Here’s another headline from June 26, 2007: “Municipalities get funding plan”. The NDP says it plans to provide municipalities with an outline of a long-term funding plan by October. Not the plan, but the outline for a plan. Nor is the NDP promising this outline will satisfy municipal leaders. In fact, the NDP says it isn’t necessarily offering a guarantee that the gap in funding will be completely bridged.

Back in 2005, a delegate to the midterm convention of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities took then Government Relations Minister Len Taylor to task over the same issue, yelling, “How long is it going to take to get it done? You’ve been in government for more than 10 years!” The complaint is as valid now as it was back then. Why is it that people are going to have to wait until the next election to hear promises from the NDP that will also likely stay unfulfilled?

Then, there is the issue of rural school closures. The Saskatchewan Party has come up with a concrete plan to delay school closures and revise the school closure process outlined in the Education Act. If elected, a Saskatchewan Party government would reimburse school boards for the cost of keeping these schools open, retroactive to this spring to a maximum of $350,000.

The Saskatchewan Party plan for school closures is tangible and concrete. It’s a sharp contrast to the empty words and vague platitudes heard from an NDP government that has written off rural Saskatchewan and simply doesn’t care anymore about what happens in these areas.

That’s what leadership is all about. It’s about working with people to find solutions to problems, not writing off communities for crass political reasons. The Saskatchewan Party has new ideas, a fresh approach and a commitment to positive change. These are not the qualities you are likely to find in the tired, old NDP government that has been in power for so long, it just doesn’t care anymore.

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Lyle.

Past Legislative Reports