Klyne: Saskatchewan. must cooperate with Canada on energy, the economic future


Cooperation is key to Saskatchewan and Canada’s shared success on energy, environment and economic reconciliation, writes Marty Klyne.

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In late June, The New York Times reported that heatwaves around the world are pushing people and nations over the edge. Canadians may have watched in awe as Europe began issuing heat wave warnings followed by a red warning on July 8. Apparently, Canada’s hot summer then started relatively late. But you can’t paint Canada with one color and one big brushstroke. Canadians only had to look west towards British Columbia, then experiencing its own heat wave, or parts of Saskatchewan experiencing temperatures over 30 degrees before that. There are many things that Saskatchewan shares with the rest of Canada, but weather is not one of them.

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Things that Saskatchewan shares with the rest of Canada are inflation, taxes, federalism, equalization and other transfer payments, growing acceptance of diversity through inclusiveness, pride and the Canadian Constitution . Yet, we do not always share political views regarding political goals and spending, while recognizing that this is democracy; government by the people.

In addition to Saskatchewan politics and our heated conversations about our place in the Canadian federation these days, there are many other factors that make Saskatchewan unique. Like every other region of Canada, Saskatchewan has its own unique strengths to build on, competitive advantages to cultivate and unique challenges to face head-on. That said, as a federation we are much stronger and more globally competitive, with enormous potential to advance prosperity through an inclusive economy if the upper levels of government, industry and nations Indigenous peoples can collaborate, cooperate and compromise.

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Yes, it is through collaboration, cooperation and compromise that Canada has taken shape and acquired an excellent international reputation, always above our weight. However, make no mistake, there are imperfections in this record: the Indigenous peoples of Saskatchewan and Canada have often faced unilateral and forced compromises, and we need to accelerate their participation and contributions to regional and national economies. .

From my background in business, Indigenous and regional economic development, and Parliament — and given the challenges and values ​​we share across Canada — cooperative leadership will serve us best. In particular, a constructive approach would benefit Saskatchewan at the upcoming Federal-Provincial Energy and Resources Table as we seek to assert our claims and define our future in a changing economy. This does not mean that we should give up seeking our place in this federation and negotiating or advocating for what we believe is rightfully ours. But we also keep the big picture in mind.

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Only active cooperation can lead to success on three related issues that are essential to Saskatchewan’s prosperity and well-being: energy, the environment, and economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples on treaty lands. While we have heated conversations about range, let’s not lose sight of price and miss our chance to capitalize on opportunities in our wheelhouse and build on our reputation for hard work, productivity, innovation and of patriotism. Let’s find ways to simplify complex situations for others by designing made-in-Saskatchewan solutions. We have what the world wants and we can deliver it.

Events this year, both in Canada and the United States, have reminded us of the importance of upholding the rule of law in our democratic societies. Peace, order and good government are as much Saskatchewan values ​​as they are Canadian values. The center of Canadian federalism can and should stand, including respect for federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous jurisdictions, public institutions and Charter values.

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Recognizing this need, what can cooperative leadership bring to our province? Already a work in progress is affordable child care, following the 2021 federal-provincial agreement. This agreement will give many Saskatchewan children a better start in life and continued education, and will help many parents to better reconcile family, business, social activities and leisure. This example of cooperative leadership brings credit to both levels of government and is a model for addressing other challenges.

On energy and the environment, on June 1, federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson — who grew up, studied and worked in Saskatchewan — launched the Regional Energy and Resource Tables. It is a collaborative effort to bring together federal and provincial governments, Indigenous peoples, business leaders, industry groups, unions and others to advance key priorities in the resource sector. natural. Wilkinson highlighted many emerging opportunities in his recent remarks to the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. The Tables initiative was to begin discussions at the working level to establish a Saskatchewan Table, and I hope that Saskatchewan will embrace this conversation and take our rightful place at the table and fill our boots.

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Saskatchewan has much to contribute to a greener economy. Our areas of strength include carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies; flood and drought mitigation through the proposed expansion of Lake Diefenbaker irrigation, which will simultaneously lead to sustainable agriculture and food processing paving the way for a thriving and progressively new agri-food sector; Protein Industries Canada, Canada’s plant-based protein supercluster; biofuels; small modular reactors; and, critical minerals, including uranium from the world’s largest high-grade deposits. Saskatchewanians can seize opportunities to leverage these assets and create prosperity in the economy of tomorrow, while contributing to Canada’s science-based environmental goals. A fair and equitable transition.

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Speaking of fair and equitable, all of these efforts can and should support economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. On June 6, a coalition of more than 25 Indigenous organizations unveiled a new National Indigenous Economic Strategy, with four strategic pathways: people, land, infrastructure and finance. Their 107 Calls for Economic Prosperity can provide new energy and focus discussions across jurisdictions.

Cooperation is key to Saskatchewan and Canada’s shared success in energy, environment and economic reconciliation. Among the many things we could do, our province needs to take its rightful seat at the Saskatchewan Energy and Resources Table and bring our vision to a prosperous future for our province and our country.

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The deputy. Marty Klyne is a 2018-appointed Saskatchewan Senator, businessman, former board member of the Provincial Action Committee on the Economy, former Chief Operating Officer of the Regina Regional Economic Development Authority, former Deputy Chairman of SaskPower’s Board of Directors and Chairman of SaskPower’s Strategic Issues Committee. , and former chair of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board.

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