The major challenge

FTLComm - Tisdale - Sunday, August 8, 2004

Friday afternoon and Saturday morning Tisdale played host to Premier Lorne Calvert and four of the members of the legislative assembly, Joan Beatty, Cumberland, Lon Borgerson, Saskatchewan Rivers, David Forbes, Saskatoon Centre and Warren McCall, Regina Elphinstone-Centre. Each summer since he became premier he has been visiting Saskatchewan communities gather information and listening to the people he has the chance to meet and visit with.

Warren McCall

Lon Borgerson

David Forbes

Saturday morning the Tisdale Lion's Club sponsored a breakfast at the Tisdale Mall and we took that opportunity to share the morning meal and have a chance to spend a few minutes with the Premier and the other members on the tour.

In our conversation he expressed the enjoyment of being able to be on the tour and the positive feelings it gives to be in direct contact with the people of the province. Many people bring up things that though you can not act upon immediately, the information and the level of importance of the issue becomes part of the whole picture and enables he and his government to plot a course that serves the province. I noted that it certainly kept him away from home for a long time and he explained that
"even when I'm at home it seems like I am living out of a suitcase."

We often forget that the life of our politicians involves a great deal of time away from home and on the road and this often explains why some find the work intolerable and almost all feel relief when they leave the work or are defeated.

The Premier told us that he had just returned from the Premier's meeting on medical care and in a few weeks he would be at the Federally hosted meeting on that same issue. I noted that the suggestion that the federal government take over the responsibility of pharmacare was something that the minority government might agree to, noting that the rise in medication costs has moved now above the cost of doctors. He said that it was dramatic as he has seen the rise in the modest Saskatchewan support program, the amount of money spent for medication is just zooming upward. He said that with the Federal government responsible for governing the pharmaceutical industry it might make excellent sense for that part of government to look after the whole range of things related to drugs.

I noted that my wife and I had just spent a week in Regina and noticed how much it had changed since only a few a years ago when we lived there and that the Keepness story is not going to go away. Mr. Calvert's light and enthusiastic mood about medicare made a dark turn as he said that it is hard for us all to deal with, but he said he was convinced that the major challenge facing Saskatchewan is coming to terms with the needs of Saskatchewan's aboriginal population. He noted that it was not what we as a society can do for those in poverty, or feeling caught in the web of urban and reserve problems, but we must find ways for the people themselves to be able to find their own way, without impediments and able to be a full part of Saskatchewan life. He said that the opening of the college in Regina and the gains made in post secondary education are showing the way, but so much more must be done and it is no longer something that we as a people can ignore.

Timothy W. Shire



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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004