Leaders Listen

As summer ends and we move into fall, families are settling in to autumn routines. Happy smiling children are back to school. People are wrapping up summer activities moving on to fall yardwork. Many people I have spoken to, chose to take up gardening this year, and are now busy with food preservation. Agriculturally, most of our producers are looking forward to a bountiful harvest after amazing harvest weather.

The mood of Saskatchewan people in general is optimistic. However, there is an underlying sense of caution as to how deeply the federal and provincial governments will intrude upon us as winter approaches.

Saskatchewan grain farmers, who already follow the most rigorous agriculture protocols in the world, are wondering about the 30% fertilizer emission reduction that has been decreed from Ottawa. While our Premier has said the province won’t implement it, producers want to know exactly how the Saskatchewan government intends to protect them from federal government overreach.

Regarding livestock producers, I was pleased to see the government respond to requests for expansion to the Saskatchewan Loan Forgiveness for Veterinarians and Veterinary Technologists program. In January 2022, I supported these requests with a letter to Premier Scott Moe advising him of the critical status of this industry. As a result, our own Park Range Veterinary Services is now included in the program whereas they had previously been shut out. (See letter below)

Good things happen when elected officials take time to truly listen to the public. Consultation of the public needs to be done in public, so all can be heard. Closed door meetings by invitation is not true consultation. It simply creates an echo chamber to justify decisions already made.

We need elected officials who will consistently make listening their priority, rather than wait until people feel the need to protest the actions of government. This is the difference between being a real leader, or just another career politician.

With the recent messaging that is coming from the Canadian Prime Minister, will the current Saskatchewan government just follow along? Or will it show leadership and use a ‘Made in Saskatchewan’ approach when making decisions?