It’s always interesting to hear a politician say that action is needed more than words.
It was the message that Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall delivered in Prince Albert on Thursday evening at a Sask. Party event at the Art Hauser Centre’s Ches Leach Lounge.
He and his party took credit for much of the progress that has been made here in recent years.
“How did we get to this point in Saskatchewan, this completely new place, one … we've never been before frankly in terms of the population, in terms of the growth we’re seeing?” Wall asked his audience of Sask. Party supporters.
“Well, I think a big part of it has been this simple proposition I offer tonight, and that is that all of you representing the people of the province of Saskatchewan recognized … that we ought to stop talking about what’s possible in the province, and we ought to start acting on what is possible in Saskatchewan.”
This province has much to be proud of these days and if you’re able to detach your ideological filters, you have to admit that Brad Wall and his party’s governance have certainly played a role.
But rapidly growing economies are more than just a product of the people in charge.
They are a mix of luck, opportunity and world markets converging into a happy economic stew.
Before people on the right start to get too frisky, let’s remember that Hugo Chavez wasn’t exactly cloned in the Brad Wall mold and his country of Venezuela went through a tremendous oil boom. And as a second example, the recent turmoil in global potash markets has had some very really impacts in Saskatchewan well beyond the control of anyone here.
Elements of any boom always transcend local governance.
But the thing that good government creates are some of the local conditions for a boom to go on and on and on, sometimes well past its best-before date. We’ll hope that his government is able to serve in that capacity.
His government faces the same issues that every administration faces.
There is an endless need for money but a limited supply to go around. Hard decisions have to be made every day.
We’ve been vocal about some of those decisions. Chiefly, we continue to push the need for a new bridge in light of the very real possibility that the aging Diefenbaker bridge will close again.
It’s not just an inconvenience to the folks who work in Prince Albert but live north of the river; it’s a vital link to this province’s northern prosperity.
The premier actually addressed the topic during his speech, mentioning a P3 bridge that is being built in Saskatoon.
“P3 Canada does not require the provincial government to be involved to approve a local project,” he noted. “In other words, Prince Albert can apply if they choose and then the funding is matched between the local level and the federal government.”
In other words, if Prince Albert wants to continue on down the road without the province, they are welcome to..
He was more encouraging when he mentioned Victoria Hospital.
“Our frontline staff are doing a great job here in Prince Albert dealing with these challenges,” the premier said. “But it’s the next major capital project and when we announce these things, they get done.”
We’ll hold him to his word on that one, because unlike blazing economic growth, it’s entirely within his control.
Prince Albert Daily Herald