By Chris Mulhall, The Southwest Booster, July 15 2015
Editor: This province and nation were built by women and men who did not let barriers or difficulties dissuade them from putting down roots and establishing a society based on freedom and equity. This is our heritage, a proud people who struggled and strived to overcome the impediments in their path to realize their dreams. Our leaders listened to the average person on the street to understand their concerns and then took those needs to Ottawa and truly represented those who elected them.
In our province’ early days, politicians of all stripes had pride in being progressive, hardworking, and salt of the earth folks just like their neighbours who placed their faith in them. They stood tall and proud, to make sure that the Prairie family’ voice was heard and respected in the Tyndall limestone arched chamber of the House of Commons. There was an understanding that they were there not, to wield power, but to serve at the behest of Saskatchewan people.
Strong citizens took up the role of public servant to achieve the wishes of the common man. They fought hard and loud to bring into reality that which was but once, dreams and ideas. Unbowed by obstacles, they did not give excuses, they found solutions. There was no time for idle talking points, for there was too much work to be done moulding our collection of communities into a nation.
Great Saskatchewan politicians, Tommy Douglas and Woodrow Lloyd, carried the dream of Public Medicare to fruition first here in Saskatchewan which later led to a nationwide adoption. Without a doubt, they too were told it was too difficult, too burdensome, not worth the fight, but they stayed true to the desires of Saskatchewan families and eventually won the day.
Homegrown Progressive Conservative politicians also used to proudly take the message of us common women and men as their guide; John Diefenbaker led during the passage of the Canadian Bill of Rights, which was incidentally 13 years after our province trail-blazingly passed into law The Saskatchewan Bill of Rights in 1947, a bill unique across the nation. That government also granted the vote to the First Nations and Inuit peoples, no doubt facing many seemingly insurmountable obstacles along the way.
Alas, the Progressive part has been lost. Now, in Southwest Saskatchewan, we are told ‘Nay’; it is too difficult, too onerous, impossible. We cannot build; in fact we must sell off that which our forbearers built through their toil in tough times.
We need leaders that are willing to push past the boundaries, heeding our wishes for a better brighter future. Leaders like Tom Mulcair and Trevor Peterson of the NDP, who like the rest of us, believe in building a nation with progressive policies and forward thinking ideas. We need women and men who understand that we will elect them to represent our wishes and use their talents to realize our dreams.
Chris Mulhall – Wood River NDP candidate
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