We heard about the provincial government’s plan to put a $4-10 billion finish to an ambitious irrigation program that was originally planned for Lake Diefenbaker in the late 1950s and into the 1970s. The program was left incomplete.
It’s wonderful news that will help our province reconstruct following the COVID shutdown and the oil market debacles that came about through no fault of Saskatchewan oil producers.
Now this raises questions.
Apparently the plan was to include water flow into the Qu’Appelle region and waterways through to southeast Saskatchewan. I recall how MPs Ralph Goodale, and before him, Alvin Hamilton, were touting similar plans.
Those plans, however, were hatched prior to the construction of the Rafferty and Alameda Dams, and waterways.
We’re looking for economic revival projects for this part of the province to compensate for the unnecessary abandonment of coal as an energy source. But that’s an argument for another day.
The point is, we are seeking resources and plans to promote fresh projects to ease the pain, if not provide a brighter tomorrow.
Rafferty’s original plans included ambitious irrigation potential. I believe Alameda’s reservoir plan also included this idea.
Shand Greenhouse is modest in scope, but has proven to be of environmental value.
Are you beginning to see a bigger picture beyond the City of Estevan paying an additional $250,000 for a pump that, it seems, wasn’t in the original Rafferty to Estevan water delivery plan?
If the premier and his team are truly serious about delivering economic assistance to this part of the province that has devotedly supported the Sask. Party since their Day 1, one would think they would give us at least a little more than lip service for a nearly equally important project that could make more effective use of an underutilized pair of major water reservoirs.
In other words, the planning would be easy, the project should have validity and if billions can be found for a long forgotten Diefenbaker Lake project, what about some value-added programming for southeast Saskatchewan, using resources that are already here?
Let’s do some spitballing here folks. The feds aren’t going to be flying in as caped crusaders, like they have for Bombardier and SNC-Lavalin on a regular basis. So let’s get our own ideas flowing and market what we do have.