First, there's Christine Tell's explanation as to why the Sask Party plans to spend millions of dollars at the 2010 Winter Olympics:
Mr. Nilson:... To the minister: why are Saskatchewan taxpayers shelling out more than $4 million for the Vancouver Olympics while families pay more to camp in Saskatchewan parks?Naturally, John Nilson responded Tuesday with the following:
Some Hon. Members: — Hear, hear!
The Speaker: — I recognize the Minister Responsible for Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport.
Hon. Ms. Tell: — Mr. Speaker, all we have to do is look at 1986 Expo. The Government of Saskatchewan spent over $6 million to have Saskatchewan House at the Expo and the pavilion, Mr. Speaker. We are talking more than 20 years later, Mr. Speaker, and we are putting, we are putting our best foot forward . . .
Yesterday the minister compared the $6 million spent by the Devine government on the 1986 Vancouver Expo with the 7 million the Sask Party is spending on the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Mr. Speaker, the opposition is willing to concede the point that this government manages public finances as prudently as the government of Grant Devine.But while one would expect to see a government led by a Devine-era party apparatchik imitating that government's rationale to throw money down the drain, it might be a bit more surprising to see gender parity being set back several decades further. And Deb Higgins revealed a fairly stunning bit of news on Wednesday suggesting that's exactly what's happening within the Sask Party:
(T)he average Saskatchewan woman is paid 84 cents for every dollar paid to the average Saskatchewan man. But figures provided by the government show that women working for the Sask Party are paid just 53 per cent of the median salary earned by men working for the Sask Party.Needless to say, the Sask Party wasn't about to actually answer Higgins' questions about that fact, even given another day to prepare for followup questions on Thursday. But their choice of how to pay men as opposed to women working under their own banner likely says more than enough already - and Higgins and the NDP would figure to have plenty of opportunity to highlight the Sask Party's gender gap in election campaigns to come.