Interesting column in Wednesday's Regina Leader-Post
The newspaper's political columnist Murray Mandryk writes Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall should look east to Manitoba than west to Alberta to guide his thinking.
Mandryk quotes political scientist Ken Rasmussen, the associate dean and professor at the University of Regina:
'And one lesson from Manitoba that Saskatchewan would be well served to learn is what the political scientist described in an academic paper as (former Manitoba NDP premier Ed) Schreyer's more "Keynesian economic policy of careful pump priming by the provincial government" as a means of "increasing private investment as well as employment."
"If he is looking at a successful model, it's (former Manitoba Progressive Conservative premier) Gary Filmon -- not (former Alberta PC premier) Ralph Klein -- as to how to govern a Prairie province," Rasmussen said.
There is a tendency of both Reginans and Winnipeggers to think neither rival city offers much, Rasmussen explained. And both provinces tend to look West to Alberta and B.C.
But Rasmussen argued that Manitoba's similarities -- from its population to its demographic makeup of aboriginal and elderly, its transformation from a more rural to a more urban province, its political tradition of having two strong parties that requires more policy compromise -- has always meant that Saskatchewan could learn more from Manitoba.
And nowhere is that more relevant than on economic issues where successive Manitoba NDP and PC governments have created a more diversified economy through business tax, hiring and immigration incentives.'
Tuesday's meeting in Yorkton was the first time the Manitoba and Saskatchewan cabinets sat down together. They plan to meet again next year in Brandon.
Tuesday's agenda included boosting electrical power transmission between the two provinces, streamlining transportation regulations, trade, American country-of-origin labelling laws and aboriginal education.
In a communiqué, the two provinces also repeated their opposition to Ottawa's push to harmonize the GST and provincial sales tax.