During the summer of 2022, the Saskatchewan Party held meetings in a number of Saskatchewan constituencies They were, allegedly, public consultation meetings. It was called an “Autonomy Tour.”
However, most of them were by invitation only. When the Sask Party office was called to find out where and when the meetings were being held, the instructions were to call your local MLA and ask to be invited. Meaning, call your local Sask Party MLA. It begs the question, what about constituencies without a Sask Party MLA?
Russell Wangersky of the Regina Leader Post stated it well in a July 7, 2022 article about the tour.
“Political parties represent the interests of their members, while the party that’s successful forming government is supposed to represent — and be answerable to — all of the province’s citizens.”
A public consultation is supposed to gather the thoughts and ideas of all people, not just your own echo chamber. In this circumstance, people who had been trying to get their own MLA’s to listen to them through the whole Covid fiasco certainly couldn’t get an invite.
Now we find out that First Nations also, were not a part of the process. The Saskatchewan Office of the Treaty Commissioner issued a statement recently which said “While talking about having provincial jurisdiction over resources, there continues to be no consideration to the impacts of implementing these measures to First Nation inherent rights to access those resources.”
The Saskatchewan Party rose to power through the merger of several liberal and conservative MLA’S. Its subsequent popularity was due mainly to one thing, it knew how to listen to the people and understood that it existed to serve the people of Saskatchewan. The people rewarded it with the opportunity to manage Saskatchewan’s affairs in 2007.
Now, only 15 years later, the Sask Party has become excruciatingly tone-deaf to what Saskatchewan people are trying to tell them. Because, eerily similar to a certain federal party, this government wants only to hear what it wants to hear, and is desperate to hold onto power to rule, rather than serve.