Beatles’ ‘Getting Better’ taking on new meaning in province

Last week I noted that there may even be a “contested” nomination in the Rosthern – Shellbrook riding for someone in the NDP to run against temporary premier Scott Moe, and promised to bring further word of such a development into this week’s discussion. I’m not going to do that, though, NOT because this isn’t true, but on having been advised that there may be even more people considering running, including at least one male candidate hailing from the Shellbrook component of the riding.

IF also true, I’d like to give them a chance to make themselves known within the constituency, while attempting to get a better “feel” as to what has finally triggered members of that riding to suddenly questioning Scott Moe’s brand of “leadership.”

Rumours of Scott Moe’s “vulnerability” began surfacing along the Highway 3 Coffee Clatch circle early in the summer, just as crop seeding was about done and producers now were having a better perspective as to how the 2021’s poor harvest had hurt profitability in 2022, with the full realization that 2023 was going to see 2021’s conditions repeated, with crop yield damages rising both in terms of less quality product and higher price, due presumably to the higher expected pay-out value of the crop itself. The problem was, by the time spring planting had been completed, farmers knew what their premiums were this year, but as the Western Producer’s regular contributor Kevin Hursh would note in his August 17 column, neither he nor his colleagues were prepared for the how these new totals were going to be calculated.

In effect, the elephant in the room here is that it doesn’t matter how producers have been paid in the past, wherein the methodology for calculation of payment was based upon your “history” of receiving payouts, much like the automobile owner, the better his/her driving record, less premium is paid if you remain a “safe driver”. Under this new system, a producer’s “40 or 50 percent experience discount” was to be replaced by the “overall claim history in their risk zone.”

In the Michael J. Fox movie “Doc Hollywood”, Woody Harrelson, who has just moved to California with girlfriend (played by Bridget Fonda) to become an insurance agent, describes the notion of selling earthquake insurance when located on the top of the San Andreas Fault as the ultimate opportunity for such agencies to declare bankruptcy and keep the profits. Here in black and white is a prime example of Harrison’s barb: an anti-consumer attitude being put into play by an insurance agent of a corrupted government’s ownership using the reality of climate change to effect dramatic restructuring of insurance rates and pay-out.

Ironically, in California major insurance companies are pulling out of the real estate market due to continuous losses caused by regular seasons of wildfires and climatic induced disasters. To stop this drain of property insurance providers, the state “reversed its position on barring insurance companies from using forward-looking catastrophe models” in order to accurately predict future prices – which is what Saskatchewan is now doing. The “difference”, however, is that the California government knows full well that we are in the middle of a period of potential weather change disaster caused by human stupidity and heavy dependence upon the utilization of petroleum products; Saskatchewan, unfortunately, is completely devoid of any meaningful leadership that has the strength to admit the same.

Thus, the party that six months ago professed to be “the sole voice of rural Saskatchewan” is now moving to shore up its membership by going on record as supporting the most reactionary of causes devised by the Karen Krew of Nadine Wilson worshipers.

Premier Moe has a lot more to worry about than a group of parents, the majority of whom couldn’t care less about what goes on in schools so long as their own children aren’t found culpable of any number of frightening bouts of bullying and harassment raining down on the “less fortunate” children in the web of needing counselling and support in their personal voyages towards grown-up status. He leads the province with the worst deaths-per-hundred-thousand Covid-19 record in Canada, his province is losing doctors, especially in our rural areas, the Emergency Department in the Shellbrook Hospital where my now-deceased friend Dr. Jack Spencer once prowled at all hours of the day and night is regularly having to be temporarily closed, schools in rural ridings currently held by a northern NDP MLA are in serious need of replacement due to asbestos contamination, the province STILL not able to come up with an answer as to where the $400 million went that the federal government gave the province to help clean up abandoned oil wells, and the $1 billion “surplus” budget introduced by Minister of Coin Donna Harpauer this summer that was going to buy our votes come October 2024 now “halved” due to “unexplained” phenomena of royalty returns based upon “expected” values of the non-renewable product (i.e.: the commodity didn’t reach the price levels the government expected them to reach, as they fell for the oil industry’s “big lie” of increasing production and increased demand)…

Oh, yes; did I forget to mention this as well – that the province is in worse fiscal shape than was the Devine government in 1991, where the deficit only reached $24 billion?

But we shouldn’t be worried about these “minor” glitches, should we?

What I find fascinating about the sudden change in feelings of voters in the Rosthern – Shellbrook riding is that a substantial portion of the questioning of his leadership is coming from the Rosthern area, home of what an American correspondent might call the “Bible Belt” of the province, with its heavily Mennonite and Hutterite-leaning populations. These are religious branches of the Christian faith that most heavily support the principles of peace and understanding that the New Testament directs us to follow, and while portraying the tenets reflective within a conscientious objector, still manage to find those willing to become soldiers for freedom through their contribution to the medical corps of our armed services.

The two women considering running for the NDP in Premier Moe’s riding may not share their constituents’ religious affiliation, but their honesty in fighting for their socially directed protection of family and those in need of their support is as strong, and their contribution to the community’s wellbeing in these directions understood by the increasing numbers who are beginning to understand their feelings on life and purpose of the political agenda that the party is now seeking to project.

If Scott Moe can’t see a fight coming for his “right” to represent this riding, he is being seriously delusional – and even if he does win that fight come October 2024, the vote differential alone will reflect more on the moral tone of his constituents than anything I could use to illustrate its contradictions.

All I’m really saying is, it doesn’t matter what your political leanings are at the moment; if you want to understand the value of commitment, you should consider coming to the nominating meeting, and then make your own decision on how to vote in the future.