Friday, December 04, 2009

Previewing the holiday news dump

Saskatchewan's fall session of the legislature undoubtedly answered some key questions about the Sask Party. For example, on the all-important issue of whether Brad Wall's government can find its own ass with a map and a flashlight, the clear answer is that it can't even find the flashlight.

But there also more than a few questions which the Wall government failed or refused to answer over the last few months. So let's note a few of the areas where it seems likely that there will be some important news trickling out over the next few weeks (and seemingly conveniently timed to avoid any questioning in the Legislature):

The Revenge of TILMA. As Len Taylor noted on Monday, the Sask Party has signed onto the "Western Economic Partnership Agreement" with a promise to finalize the details by January 1, 2010 - but hasn't actually carried out a minute of public or legislative consultation. Which figures to mean that we'll see the agreement emerge fully-formed during the holidays with little to no intention on the Sask Party's part to allow the mere public to influence its contents afterward. (See Owls and Roosters for more information.)

The Nuke Question. The conventional wisdom seems to be that Wall and company have rightfully backed away from nuclear power. But at last notice, Wall was still promising a final decision whether or not to push ahead with nukes by the end of the year - and given that the Sask Party has already spun itself into knots trying to keep open the prospect of nuclear power, there may be reason to worry it's simply been waiting until it can avoid answering for the decision before giving the go-ahead.

Cutbacks to Come. In yesterday's question period, Dwain Lingenfelter made a seemingly reasonable request for answers to written questions about the Sask Party's plans to try to make up for their own fiscal incompetence. And Wall's response was to ignore the request entirely in favour of resuming his party's "don't worry, be happy" reaction to evidence that the province might have problems worth addressing. Which would seem likely to signal that the answers will be dished out in tiny pieces intended to slip under the radar over the holidays, rather than being provided at a time when the government would face direct questions.

All of which is to say that there's plenty of reason for suspicion that the holiday season will be a busy one on the Saskatchewan political scene. And we'll find out before long just how much worse off the Wall government can make the province during the legislative break.

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