Friday, July 10, 2020

On national interests

PressProgress highlights how Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party are continuing to rely heavily on corporate donations from outside the province. But it's worth noting how people across Canada who are worried about Moe and his extraprovincial puppetmasters have the opportunity to fight back.

As I've written before, Saskatchewan has extremely lax political donation laws. And Moe (like Brad Wall before him) has chosen to keep them in place based on the perceived advantage of being able to exploit corporate donations from outside businesses seeking to buy their way into the province.

But those rules also leave the door open for grassroots donors from outside the province to have an impact. So in addition to working on organizing in their own communities, Canadians are also able to contribute to change for the better in Saskatchewan in an election scheduled for October.

And that change can't come a moment too soon.

After all, the Saskatchewan Party's corporatism has had ramifications stretching far beyond our provincial borders. When every other Canadian jurisdiction was able to reach agreement on climate change policy, it was Moe who served as a roadblock to consensus on behalf of oil barons. And that was in keeping with the Saskatchewan Party's role in blocking then delaying any CPP expansion.

One might have thought that Jason Kenney's taking power in Alberta would have allowed Moe to moderate Saskatchewan's position. Instead, Moe has chosen to echo and amplify Kenney's most destructive messages even when they have absolutely no movement behind them in his own province - including by musing about snatching pensions and imposing a provincially-run police force. (That latter threat is particularly jarring as Moe's own highway patrol has been exposed stockpiling prohibited weapons and lining the pockets of bigots.)

The October election is fast approaching, and the province is braced for another Saskatchewan Party ad blitz over the summer. Which means that now is the time to ensure that Ryan Meili's NDP is able to hold its own in presenting its plans for a people-centred COVID-19 recovery, and defining Moe as he answers to the province's voters for the first time. And if enough people pitch in, what might seem like a small amount of money by the standards of larger provinces could make a huge difference in charting a healthier path for Canada as a whole.

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