"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blogger change

Due to blogger changing things up this blog has been forced to move.

Now located here: http://giantpoliticalmice.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 19, 2010

Yens Petersen in Regina South

As reported ably by the Jurist and Buckdog, Sask NDP leadership candidate Yens Pedersen has announced he is seeking the nomination in Regina South.

Yens Pedersen has announced his plans for 2011, and has decided to seek a rematch against Bill Hutchinson in Regina South after suffering a narrow loss in 2007.

Yens Pedersen is a Regina lawyer who sought the leadership of the Saskatchewan New Democrats last year. He brought a breath of fresh air into the race and has certainly made his mark in the ranks of the provincial party. Yens today announced that he is seeking the NDP nomination for the constituency of Regina South currently held by Bill Hutchinson of the Saskatchewan Party.

This is going to be a nomination and then a swing seat to watch.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Question Period Review - March 10

Opening Shananigans

Sandra Morin goes after the SP Martinsville fundraising poster. She took the right tone. Well done.

Topic 1 - Rural Doctor Shortage

Lingenfelter and Wall spar over the SARM issues on rural doctors. Lingenfelter is over-the-top when he doesn't need to be. Wall uses the quote by Lingenfelter in the media that the NDP was unpopular in rural Saskatchewan. Wall wins the exchange in the house but I don't think he will convince average voters with that performance. McMorris is answering some of the questions and the NDP members are acting like idiots in the House. Decorum matters people and the SP started winning this fight in the last session.

Topic 2 - Health Care Workers

The earlier topic blurs into Home Care workers and Lingenfelter makes an excellent point that when it hard to attract workers in these fields, then maybe we shouldn't do things like ask them to work brutal split shifts. McMorris has nothing and just attacks Link for being from Alberta. That was the lamest I have seen McMorris in quite some time.

Topic 3 - Health Cuts

Junor asks if the next cut (after chiropractic services) are ambulance services or the drug plan. McMorris give the NDP a perfect applause line, saying that if the Sask Party forms government the whole world will cave. He then goes on to talk about fearmongering. What is with McMorris this week? He is normally much better but this was a career-bad performance.

Final verdict - NDP Win

Monday, March 08, 2010

Question Period Review - March 8

So, I may not get a chance to do this every day (in fact I think you can assume I will miss more days than I hit) but any time I get a chance to watch the Saskatchewan QP I will post my review of both the questions and the answers.

Opening Shananigans

Smarmy Jeremy Harrison introduces Ezra Levant in the gallery as the person who sold him his first political membership. I throw up a little in my mouth.

Andy Iwanchuck presents a petition signed by half the province on health care. Well done.

Darcy Furber, showing how in touch he is with the youth of today, talks about some guy named Grant Devine. *sigh* I remain unimpressed with the Devine comparisons.

Topic 1 - Potash Royalties

Lingenfelter goes after Wall on the potash royalties. Wall blames it on the NDP, because you know, it was clearly our fault that he can't count. He says it was the NDP change in royalties that caused this payment to the Potash companies. That is just lame, we NEVER had to pay back money to the potash companies under the NDP.

Link is doing better then he is done in the past, but he is still not great at QP. Wall started weaker then usual but seemed to rally near the end. Normally Wall wins these types of exchanges, but on this one I am giving it to Link by a hair.

Topic 2 - Health Care Contracts

Junor brings up the contract talks with the Health Care workers. McMorris used the same answer we always used "We don't get involved in negotiations on the floor of the legislature". She gets in a jab about "big boy pants" that is pretty lame. Mcmorris goes to the broken-record excuse of "NDP 16 years" which is even lamer.

Oh god. Junor says that SAHO is just the puppet of the government. Leaving her wide open for McMorris to charge that that is way it operated under the NDP. Surprisingly, McMorris lets Norris answer which is just stupid because he does his typical blathering. Man he is an idiot.

McMorris didn't so much win this as Junor lost the exchange. She looked good compared to Norris but an average tree stump achieves that on a daily basis.

Topic 3 - Domestic Abuse Outreach Program

Atkinson asks a simple question about why the Domestic Abuse Outreach Program was canceled. She claims the agencies were blind-sided and not told that this decision was being made.

Justice Minister Morgan answers, poorly as usual. He never seems to actually understand the questions being asked of him. He claims all the services are still be provided. We will have to see what the media has to say about that. He rallies near the end, but Atkinson has a letter that seems pretty damning.

Atkinson won this one in the House and we will see what the media gets out of both sides.

Depending on the outcome of that third topic, the NDP won today. However, if the services are still being provided, as Morgan claimed in the house, then this won't be a fatal blow. What is troublesome is that if the NDP had to rely on the first two topics, they would have lost the day - although only barely due to weak performances from Wall and Norris.

Final verdict - Split Decision

Friday, December 11, 2009

What is the Sask Party's position on workplace safety?

Am I the only one starting to see a pattern?

October 15, 2009:

Brad Wall wants to privatize safety inspections?

"The licensing and inspections branch of the ministry of corrections, public safety and policing is proposing to move safety inspections from the public service to a delegated authority. This new authority would be governed by a board of directors that would include industry representation," SGEU says. This will mean lower standards and less accountability, it adds.

November 4, 2009:

A crane at a construction site west of Regina shouldn't have been operating in Saskatchewan until it was properly certified in the province, the NDP charged in the legislature Tuesday.

During question period, Opposition labour critic Andy Iwanchuk asked how an out-of-province crane was still in use even after Occupational Health and Safety concerns were brought forward by a site safety co-ordinator several weeks ago.

December 3, 2009:

Barbara Cape, president of SEIU-West. “After waiting more than a year to see the employer’s initial wage offer, we are disappointed the employer is forcing another delay in discussions about client safety, staff recruitment and retention issues and other workplace concerns.”

December 11, 2009:

An occupational health and safety officer who raised serious concerns about the Saskatoon Correctional Centre said Thursday she was fired by the provincial government for doing her job and the problems at the jail likely still exist.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Brad Wall and His Republican Buddies

From the Globe and Mail:

Lindsey Graham is not your typical South Carolina senator. He thinks global warming is real – hardly a unanimous stand among Republicans – and he wants Canada to join him in his efforts to put in place a North American green economic strategy.
Sounds good so far, right?

Regardless, Mr. Graham's position thrills Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, whose province is not only (for now) the world's biggest miner of uranium used in nuclear reactors, but is also seeking $100-million (U.S.) from Washington to fund a $280-million cross-border carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) pilot project.
Ok, so Wall wants some money. I guess he would given this:

A proposed $270-million Saskatchewan-Montana carbon capture project could become solely a provincial venture if funding from the United States government doesn't come through, Premier Brad Wall said Tuesday on the eve of a trip to Washington, D.C.
But what do Wall and Graham want?

“The bill I'm trying to craft will be very pro-nuclear,” Mr. Graham offered. “We also have to utilize the coal we have and make it clean coal. I'm trying to combine energy independence with the renaissance of nuclear energy and controlling carbon.”

Some environmentalists are skeptical of Mr. Graham's support and note that he has accepted large donations from Scana Corp., which owns several coal-fired plants in South Carolina and is seeking to build two nuclear reactors in the state.

So a pro-nuclear, pro clean coal agenda. Starting to sound familiar? But I guess it makes sense that these two guys would find each other. I mean, they agree on issues so why shouldn't they work together. It's not as if there is anything wrong with that, right? It's not like taxpayers are paying to get the two of them together...

Mr. Graham and Mr. Wall have struck up a working relationship in recent weeks, thanks to the intermediation of former U.S. ambassador to Canada David Wilkins. Saskatchewan has retained Mr. Wilkins's law firm to represent it in the U.S. capital. Mr. Wall insists the $400,000 (U.S.) one-year contract is taxpayers' money well spent, and it's hard to argue with him, considering the access it has bought him on Capitol Hill
I guess we will see if that $400,000 is well spent. No one in their right mind could argue it is well spent on the meeting themselves, but rather how it benefits Saskatchewan.

So I guess if we get the $100 million for the carbon project we can talk about the $400 k being acceptable or not.

If we don't then Brad has some 'spaining to do...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brad Wall on Climate Change

So Brad Wall says that his government is taking climate change seriously? But what is telling Washington?

Wall, unlike Inhofe, is no flat-earther. He accepts the science and recognizes a climate law of some kind is inevitable.But he's here to tell Washington "we need to rag the puck a bit" so that "cap-and-trade doesn't end up taking a pipe wrench to the parts of our economy that are still comparatively strong ..."
So he admits that there is a problem on the climate change front, but he doen't think we should do anything about it.