Well, well, well, it’s interesting times for environmentalists in Saskatchewan. It seems our NDP government, the same one that opposed the Kyoto Protocol in its early stages, and the same one that is promoting increased uranium activities in the province is the same one that may actually have to look at the economic effects of climate change.
The Saskatchewan NDP will hold their 70th annual sacred convention in Saskatoon in a couple of weeks. The theme is Saskatchewan: Feel the Energy which, according to organizer Cathy Duncan, “refers to some of the positive developments in the areas of health, youth and economic development.” The event could probably be renamed Feel the Heat, to more aptly reflect what the SK NDP are up against.
Environmentalists are fed up with the NDP government, calling it anti-green. SK has had an 62% increase in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, the worst of any province in Canada. The crown corporation, SaskPower, is the 3rd largest emitter of CO2 in the country. Few people believe the government’s line, “We have a plan.” Given his recent cuddling-up to the business lobby, most green-thinkers here expect similarities to Harper’s Clean Air Act.
Another big piece of the problem for the NDP is its active promotion of the uranium agenda in the province. They conveniently ignore the fact that SK’s uranium is killing people in the Middle East and will continue to do so for generations to come. They’ve participated in creating a demand for jobs, as well as a public call and a national sales pitch for uranium as part of their neoconservative agenda. Minister of Industry and Resources, Eric Cline, displays amazingly flawed logic and provides a racist argument when he says,
“We know that the world is going to continue to use nuclear power and therefore uranium is going to be used. Even if all the uranium mines in Saskatchewan were shut down, this would continue to happen. Saskatchewan has the best occupational, health and safety standards in terms of uranium mining in the world, the best system of decommissioning mines in the world, and the mining sector pays amongst the highest wages in Saskatchewan and has significant Aboriginal involvement. So, if uranium is to be mined, where should it be refined? Right here in Saskatchewan where we know it will be done right.”
Pretty much everyone in SK knows that the likelihood of the NDP soaring to victory in the next provincial election runs anywhere from slim to nil. The election will be the right wing Sask Party’s to lose. The only hope for Saskatchewan progressives are
a) Brad Wall and the Sask Party pull a major blunder; or
b) Lorne Calvert resigns and the NDP returns to its roots with a leader like Nettie Wiebe; or
c) the Green Party of Saskatchewan makes a major breakthrough and grabs votes away from the Saskatchewan Party; or
d) the Liberal Party of Saskatchewan is born again.
The first or second would be preferable, the third is plausible and the fourth is highly unlikely.