Are you finding this potash debate rather interesting?
Last Thursday, we heard our premier take a solid left turn while making the announcement that he and his government weren't in favour of turning Saskatchewan's potash resources over to an Australian based company. It was all about net benefits and quite frankly, the arguments he posed were quite compelling.
The world was listening too, which only emphasized how important fertilizer is on the global stage. When Saskatchewan wants to talk about potash, New York, Barcelona, Lisbon and Moscow listen.
Uranium is about the only other resource we have around here that even remotely commands similar attention.
We have plenty of coal, oil, gold and diamonds too, but they are found in quantities that are rather pedestrian compared with potash and uranium. So that's one good reason for Premier Wall and cohorts to draw the line in the sand.
The resources do belong to Saskatchewan and we should expect some return on the product that is found beneath the surface of the place we call home.
It's OK for the financial gurus, economists and political professors, who have nothing to lose in the venture, to pontificate from afar, telling Wall and us that we are belying some kind of universal trust by not selling out. They live in this other world where they believe there are political and economic level playing fields.
We should ask them then, how much they have invested personally in buying shares in any company that is taking over a Chinese resource-based corporation? Do they have shares in Saudi Arabia's oil patch? How about Brazil's ethanol industry?
Nothing is ever level, that's why we allow lawyers to walk among us.
So yes, many right-wingers would love to see Saskatchewan give unfettered access to our resources, but that's because it's our resources, not theirs.
Now the ball has bounced into Tony Clement's court in Ottawa. That will be another interesting scenario.
Will the federal government finally provide some support for a Saskatchewan decision a Saskatchewan wish? Or will they support the BHP Billiton bid, citing the premise behind the so-called free trade arrangements we're supposed to have with the rest of the world?
It will be an interesting test for Clement, Stevie Wonder, that Harper boy, and the 13 members of the Conservative caucus who have been sent to Ottawa to represent our interests.
On a concluding note this week, I'll take a moment to bid farewell to one of Estevan's nicer guys.
I remember clearly the first time I came in contact with Bryan and Pat Gowen a young couple who lived in an apartment above my small bachelor suite in an apartment building on Estevan's south side. I had recently arrived in the city and didn't know a heck of a lot about anything.
They arrived on my doorstep with a bottle of vodka in one hand, and Bryan was clutching his smoking pipe in the other. We exchanged greetings. I reluctantly invited them in, wondering where I could place them. I had one fold-out couch (purchased from Emmanuel Kuntz using six easy payments) and one rickety wooden kitchen chair. My somewhat awkward moment turned into two hours of hilarity, banter, easy socializing and a true feeling that perhaps I really could belong in this city after all with people like this in the neighbourhood.
Nope, we didn't become fast hard friends, didn't need to, but I'm sure that if you knew Bryan at all, you knew there was always a comfortable feeling riding right beside him.
No need to be awkward with Bryan and Pat, just enjoy the time allotted.
That feeling of comfort always prevailed whenever I bumped into Bryan and in spite of the ALS challenges he faced for the past few years, that feeling remained solid. He had that unique talent that few have.
I can pretty well assure you that Bryan and Pat forgot about that little welcome soiree we had so many years ago, but I never did, and I easily recalled it last Saturday when I learned of his departure. People like Bryan Gowen helped me learn to love Estevan quickly and effectively, simply by being a non-awkward ambassador of good vibes. Oh, of course the vodka helped a little bit.