Letters to the editor – February 18, 2016

Things looking up

Everything I read in the media these days would lead me to believe things are going to hell in a hand basket. For some reason, I fail to subscribe to this “chicken little” line of thinking. Here is what I see going on in my community: significant investment by both the public and private sectors.

Take health care. My last visit to the hospital and our countless trips to the walk-in clinic with our kids have been without incident. Add to that $1.2 billion in health-care infrastructure investment including a new children’s hospital, and I would suggest there is little to cough at.

Education also offers a good news story. My kids just had a new elementary school open up in their community this year and I read there are 17 more schools in the works and on the way. If the future is in our youth, I like our chances.

From the private sector, there are eight new businesses in my immediate area supporting jobs in the service sector, three new highrise buildings under construction, a new football stadium and an international trade centre planned to open in 2017.

All of these will contribute to economic, social and cultural growth in our community. Some of these projects are completely initiated by the private sector, while others show the willingness of the government to co-invest to generate long term economic dividends.

Don’t forget about agriculture. There were over $15 billion in agri-food exports in 2015. This is an impressive number. What’s more impressive is the number wasn’t just the hard work of farmers and favourable markets. The value added sector also played a big role in achieving this export success five years ahead of plan.

If you don’t believe all those numbers, here’s one I can vouch for: Canadian Western Agribition, our county’s agriculture centerpiece, saw its economic impact grow from $37 million to $56 million in three short years. This is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of this province and the diversity existing in Saskatchewan.

There is good news all around, you just have to want to see it.

Marty Seymour
CEO of Agribition
Regina, Sask.

Machinery on the roads

I can’t imagine that some farmers are moving large machinery on the roads without:

  • Mirrors are not wide enough to see behind.
  • Driver has tunnel vision/never looks for traffic behind.
  • There is only the farmer on the road, no other traffic life on the planet.

Please use:

  • Rearview camera, but look at the screen too occasionally .
  • Place a phone number for your cellphone on rear of machinery being moved (large number please), so people can call you to let them by or that you are dragging the power line, or that you have a flat tire, or that there is an ambulance behind you that is being held up. This would work for truckers moving machinery too.

Earl Kovach
Kipling, Sask.

Surface rights needed

Re: Mary MacArthur’s article “Low oil prices problems reach beyond jobs” (WP, Jan 28).

Five years ago, the Saskatchewan government turned off production on 40 gas wells in our municipality because the gas company would not, or could not, comply with the new performance bond policy.

The gas company walked away. Five years of no tax collection on 40 wells by our municipality adds up.

In Saskatchewan, the leaseholder has no power to collect surface lease payments from a delinquent gas company, unlike Alberta, whose Surface Rights Board has teeth. A surface lease payment is like a paycheque from a job.

Ron R. Tumbach
Leader, Sask.



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