When luck ends, truth emerges

Weasel words, slippery synonyms, humongous hyperbole, effortless entitlement have fallen into common usage in political circles these days.

And no matter which party you voted for in the last federal or provincial election, once government is formed, it represents all of us, and as such we all have a right to know what they are spending our tax dollars on.

Some people might have bought into the idea of lower taxes and based their choices on that, or that someone else was responsible for spending on a program they didn’t like.

But most farmers who have been at it for more than a few years have enough experience to understand the luck factor.

While being in the right place at the right time plays a role in successes and failures, luck seals the deal.

The Saskatchewan Party won the lottery in 2007, taking over a set of books that was balanced by the New Democratic Party.

This, combined with a rising tide of natural resources revenue, carried Western Canada through the Great Recession of 2008.

That healthy, albeit inherited, bottom line allowed the Saskatchewan government to make ideological tax and royalty cuts and get away with it.

Claiming the years of economic success were due to the government’s right formula was more than a bit hyperbolic.

But now as the financial tide is ebbing and luck is running out, the weasel words from the Saskatchewan government are coming out.

It said it wouldn’t sell crown corporations without a vote but now it is peddling 49 percent shares in them. That smells of weasel.

Dave Marit, Saskatchewan’s minister of highways, has said that his budget shouldn’t include a price for accountability from the public, saying that all costs for freedom of information requests should be paid by the person who files the request.

That sends the message that you and I are not entitled to know what he did with our tax money and we should just trust him.

He might be a little too entitled.

Federally, the Liberal party is trying to financially restrict the Parliamentary Budget Officer from being able to assess the costs of federal programs.

Spending a few dollars in public budgets to ensure that governments are telling a story as close to the truth as they can might be a good idea because I think some politicians are giving the handshake a bad name.


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