Monday, July 2, 2007

More on the Sask. Party and TILMA

Here is more on the Sask. Party and TILMA. It may be that the party is trying to outflank the NDP on the issue and prevent opposition to TILMA becomming an issue in the election that is due this year or early next year. The Sask. Party by the way can be seen as a substitute for the Conservative Party in Saskatchewan. The latter was so badly discredited that the conservatives have given up on it for now.

Stopping TILMA at the Fourth Meridian
Posted by Erin Weir under democracy, TILMA, unions.
June 29th, 2007
Comments: 3

Count me among those pleasantly surprised by the right-wing Saskatchewan Party’s rejection of TILMA, a complete reversal of its previous position. I think that labour’s extensive participation in the legislative-committee hearings helped to convince the Saskatchewan Party that (1.) there is significant opposition to signing TILMA and (2.) there are genuine problems with the agreement.
During the first week of hearings in Regina, Saskatchewan Party MLAs mainly seemed interested in dismissing criticism of TILMA. During the second week in Saskatoon, they seemed more interested in seriously considering the agreement’s pitfalls. We had a reasonably good sense that the governing NDP would oppose TILMA, but changing the Saskatchewan Party’s stance is a major accomplishment.
The Saskatchewan Party’s members of the Standing Committee on the Economy deserve some credit. However, the Saskatchewan Party’s main motive is to neutralize what could be a wedge issue between it and the NDP in the upcoming provincial election. Of course, the risk remains that a potential future Saskatchewan Party government would sign TILMA, possibly after pretending to renegotiate it. Its leader, Brad Wall, still seems to think that the agreement’s main problem was Saskatchewan’s absence from the initial negotiations. Clearly, the best way of keeping Saskatchewan out of TILMA would be to re-elect the NDP.
Yesterday, the Standing Committee on the Economy released its report, which is essentially a synopsis of the hearings. My submission to the Committee is available here. A collection of documents on TILMA, many of which the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour submitted, is available here.
PS - The Fourth Meridian is the Alberta-Saskatchewan border.

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