Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Flip a coin already....

So could someone please help me out here?

Shortly (and I really mean shortly) after been sworn in as the new Premier, Brad Wall claimed that Calvert and the NDP left the cupboard bare and that some belt tightening would have to be done. Wall claims that the "province's books are not in good order, and that the future looks pretty stark." Wall also would not rule out job cuts in the future when he was pressured by reporters.

Let us call that one "Heads"

Today,it was announced in the Leader Post, that Iain Harry will be joining Premier Wall's team at measly $12,500 a month; Reg Downs ,Wall's chief of staff at $13,693 a month; Terri Harris, deputy chief of staff at $10,900 per month; Ian Hanna, premier's communications adviser at $9,600 per month; Kathy Young, executive director of communications at $9,900 per month; Terri Gudmundson, executive director of house business at $9,600 per month; James Saunders, senior policy adviser at $8,155 per month and Joe Donlevy; who was chair of the Saskatchewan Party election campaign, as special adviser to Wall at a salary of $12,500 per month.

Let us call that one "Tails"

So this is where I could use a little help..... could someone please flip the coin so that I can figure out if the cupboards are bare and we need to prepare the Saskatchewan people for possible jobs cuts.... or is the cupboard full enough that we can pay exorbitant salaries for our friends and widen the gap between the rich and the rest of us, forgetting middle and working class families!

Oh, while your flipping that coin, could you also let me know why the CFIB, CTF and NSBA were so upset and concerned over the severance pay of the Legislature staff and yet they are not saying a word about these salaries?

....and then a step to the right

If I remember the song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, you take a step to the left, then a step to the right. You put your hands on your hips and in Saskatchewan, you pucker up tight.....

Brad Wall has just brought onto his staff, Iain Harry, who is not only a close personal friend of Wall's (what's that smell? oh ya patronage) but he worked in communications and research for the Conservative government and most recently headed an infrastructure group under Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon that reported to the PMO on how to strategically spend infrastructure money.

Much to the denial of a media spokesperson; the attachment to the order-in-council making the appointment said Harry would serve as deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs. This is the department that handles the equalization file.

Add to that; the fact that former Progressive Conservative party leader Bill Boyd was named Intergovernmental Affairs Minister because of connections to the federal Conservative government, and his statement that "the strong relationships that exist between members of the provincial and national governments may help Saskatchewan get a new deal from Ottawa."

So with the fight for equalization now in the hands of the Sask Party, Wall's new goal of a "concilliaTORY relationship with Harper" and friends from the Federal Conservatives running to Brad Wall's office for employment, my previous guess at the way the equalization is gong to be dealt with may not be that far off after all.

One really has to wonder exactly what the next step to the dance will be.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wall puts sights on Labour

As Premier Wall prepares for the fall sitting of the Legislature on Dec 10th, he is expected to fire the first volley at Organized Labour in Saskatchewan.

Premier Brad Wall says the Saskatchewan Party will introduce a series of pro-business changes to provincial labour laws when the first session of the new legislature convenes on Dec. 10.

"What we've always said is that we're going to bring forward legislative changes to the labour legislative environment that are simply competitive with other provinces, things that other provinces have done and are doing, and I don't think have caused great problems for labour in those places," Wall said this week.

"I'm sure there will be some disagreement. I'm hoping it's thoughtful and constructive."

You can rest assured that organizations such as the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Chamber of Commerce, North Sask Business Association and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business will be watching with baited breath for their long term desire to crush Labour, to come to fruition.

While Federation of Labour President Larry Hubich says
"he'll be looking to the government to consult broadly before any changes are made", Marilyn Braun Pollon, the CFIB's Saskatchewan director, states "The sooner that they can implement (the promised changes) the better because it will send a strong signal not only to local business owners but to investors outside of the province."

Hubich has publicly stated that "the labour movement is prepared to be respectful and "engage in compromises." "If that's the approach that the new government wants to take then I think they'll see a favourable response from the labour movement," Hubich said, who has written the premier to request a meeting between labour leaders and cabinet. "If they're not interested in that approach, then they shouldn't be surprised at the kind of response that might ensue."

It be interesting to see how fast and how far Brad Wall will go to appease the business community at the expense of working families.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Best Friends .... a marriage made in *&^@

For months prior to the election, Lorne Calvert and the NDP government fought with Stephen Harper over the equalization payments. Throughout the entire battle, Brad Wall and his Sask Party accused Calvert of either not doing enough or being unrealistic in the battle.

So here we are, three weeks into a new government and after many months of the equalization fight and we are now hearing that with Brad Wall's "contacts" in Ottawa, he and his Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Bill Boyd, will develop a more "conciliatory relationship with Stephen Harper and the Federal Conservatives.

The writing is in the WALL for this one!!!!!

Harper had refused to budge on equalization when Calvert was in government. Now that he has an allie with a right-wing Provincial Government, the best way to counteract public opinion of the Dirty Dozen here in Saskatchewan, is to make a deal with Brad Wall on the formula.

What a better opportunity for Stephen Harper to gain points than to settle the equalization formula and give Saskatchewan the money we are entitled too. What a better opportunity for Premier Wall to come out and say that Calvert took the wrong the approach and that the new Sask Party Government was able to reach a settlement.

When two people get married, the bank account usually increases. It will be interesting to see how much Ottawa will now act in it's new found relationship with Saskatchewan now that it has a government married to it's National ideals.

My money says Harper will want to "buy" into Saskatchewan's government sooner than later, a way to bolster not only his own defective Dirty Dozen but a way to make Premier Wall look rosy before he cuts our public services. Follow the lay out as it unfolds...Premier Wall sworn in, Wall claims cupboard is bare, new relationship with Ottawa....next step is not hard to see!

Friday, November 23, 2007

New Premier, tired lines

The Prince Albert Herald today is running a story on how "for a politician who promised to do things differently, Premier Wall dove very quickly into an old bag of tricks"

Not an hour after been sworn into Office, Brad Wall was already suggesting that belts may have to be tightened in order for the good times to continue. As Wall promised not to increase taxes he said Thursday that there would not be any cuts to programs, but he did not rule out job cuts when reporters asked the question. This is the type of anti-campaign activity that one would expect from a right wing government.

Lorne Calvert has stated publicly in response to the comments by Wall that his government has left the Province in great financial shape with almost and extra 2 billion dollars in revenue.

Wall is already working on ways to inoculate the Saskatchewan people for his not keeping campaign promises and attempting to prepare citizens for budget cuts.

Sask Party puts end to NDP Dynasty

After 16 years of NDP government and in the middle of an almost unprecedented economic prosperity, the people of Saskatchewan decisively voted and elected a Saskatchewan Party majority government. As Premier Wall took office Wednesday evening, he appointed a cabinet that rewards almost all of the founding members of the Saskatchewan Party who are still sitting in the legislature. To see the new Cabinet: http://www.gov.sk.ca

With the campaign promises made by Premier Wall, the make-up of and installation of the new cabinet, it will be interesting to see how both the reality of the election promises and the speed at which the Premier will act on the election promises will be made. To see the election promises: SaskParty Promises

To his credit, Premier Wall, has acted on two of his commitments by setting a fixed election date and by eliminating the PST on used cars. This legislation will be introduced in the next session of the Legislature beginning Dec 10th. It will be interesting to see how events unfold in the near future.