Mr. Wall’s clown car getting full
It’s not even December, but it already appears as though August 11th – the day that Premier Brad Wall announced that he was resigning as leader of the Sask Party – may be the day that Saskatchewan voters finally woke up to what was happening, financially speaking, to this province’s economy, and how close we are to a fiscal meltdown of the type not seen since Grant Devine’s government was defeated in 1991.
In announcing his retirement, Mr. Wall intimated that it was “time for renewal” of the spirit that has managed to keep the Sask Party in power for the past ten years, but in actuality he was finally admitting that the veneer that had once gifted him as “Canada’s most popular premier” was wearing thin, and rather than take the blame for the province’s fiscal morass, he was simply running away from any share of responsibility for creating that mess.
Most of Saskatchewan’s media sources didn’t see it that way, though. The Leader Post, for instance, devoted a full section highlighting Mr. Wall’s “many accomplishments”, adding that the next leader of the Sask Party would have “big shoes to fill”. John Gormley, never one to look reality in the face and call it “as it is”, urged members of the Sask Party to carry on its obligations to be “a unified, focused and futureoriented [SIC] party tired of enabling years of socialism by free enterprise voters splitting their votes.”
Meanwhile, in First Nations country, the response was more akin to someone having just won the Lotto, with people breaking into their own version of a “happy dance”.
The stark contrast in reaction to Mr. Wall’s announcement highlights a point that the Sask Party, with its now seemingly endless list of candidates vying for party leadership, fails to grasp: its policies are not only destroying the province’s economy, but its internal corruption fueled by a GTH land scandal, the money sinkhole of the Regina southern bypass and increasing numbers of RCMP investigations into these and other affairs kicked into high profile by an also-retiring Bill Boyd, spells disaster for their party of the likes that only former federal Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Kim Campbell could ever fully appreciate.
And then, there’s the hardly subtle edge of racism that continuously seems to enter into whatever new policies the Sask Party announces in their desper- In the story titled Seniors’ Transportation Gets a Boost, Current ‘Mary’ Sheila Goertzen was misidentified as Gloria Mahussier. Goertzen was in the second, bottom photo, not Mahussier. Gloria Mahussier was also present, as she is the Community Services Centre board chair. The Cooperators, who contributed to the barbecue, were also mistakenly left out. We regret the error and apologize for any confusion it may have caused.
ate attempt to shore up whatever is left of its “base”. Take, for instance, the announcement made just over a week ago about the formation of a police task force to try and get a handle on rural crime.
Not only has public reaction to this new policy been tepid at best, but both FSIN Vice Chief Heather Bear and StarPhoenix writer Doug Cuthand have savaged it for its less-than-subtle appeal to the “shoot first and ask questions later” hillbillies who went apoplectic on social media when a central Saskatchewan farmer was charged with second degree murder for the shooting death of Red Pheasant resident Colten Boushie.
Prince Albert police chief Troy Cooper didn’t seem especially pleased by this announcement, either. For it to be successful, he sees the city having to “repurpose” the duties of three welltrained officers in order to create some form of “net gain” in rural crime statistics, and coming at a time when provincial police manpower needs are already overextended, not to mention that the Sask Party’s recent budget also slashed municipal grant limits that the Prince Albert Police Service intended to utilize to train officers on how to handle drug possession offences once the federal government legalized marijuana laws later this year.
Unfortunately, we have yet to hear from the various unions that represent the various officers, the RCMP, Saskatchewan’s municipal police services, or the highway traffic and conservation officers that will be incorporated into
this rural task force. This is surprising, as they are only now starting to be trusted following the decade-long fallout over “starlight tour” publicity and roasting by First Nations leaders for their own abysmal record of not having solved a majority of cases involving murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls – and now, men, as well.
Still, the Sask Party seems more than willing to utilize Saskatchewan’s police services as pawns in the shoring up of its political base. Gord Wyant, the now “former” Minister of Justice for the province that announced the formation of this rural task force, has now even eagerly tossed his hat into the ring of candidates wanting to succeed Mr. Wall, adding to the strain of overload on the vehicle that MSNBC Chris Matthews once called “the clown car” filled with self-inflated egotists that vied for the opportunity to run as the Republican candidate in the last U.S. presidential election.
Ms. Campbell, if she’s even paying attention to these matters, must be shaking her head in disbelief. As for the rest of us living in Saskatchewan, we’re still awaiting the Donald Trump clone willing to enter this sideshow. Don’t worry, though; Leader Post columnist Murray Mandryk still has a list longer than the average man’s arm of “potentials” having nothing better to do than waste $25,000 in trying to fill Mr. Wall’s “big shoes”.
Regrettably, that list doesn’t include Bill Boyd – yet.