December 14, 2021 Message to the Membership
Posted on December 14, 2021 in Message to the Membership
So 2021 is almost a recent memory, and I for one cannot be happier about that fact.
I realize there’s a week or so to go until we’re truly into the Christmas holiday season, but for the first time in my tenure, (and I would think it’s a safe bet to say ever), the NSBA office is closing for two weeks this Christmas season. So that makes this week’s message my last opportunity to address you in 2021.
As a self-described eternal optimist, it pains me deeply to say that 2021 has, for the most part, sucked slough water in many areas. Firstly and most obviously, there’s this bleepin’ pandemic that just won’t go away. We had so much excitement and celebration in July when things opened up again but that was short-lived and it’s been one wave after another that has just sucked the life out of this year.
It doesn’t help when you’ve got the hair-on-fire alarmists that think an apocalypse is imminent. Adding fuel to that fire is an incessant and irresponsible media that keep fanning those flames.
Then there’s the supply chain issues that are disrupting anything and everything. Do you need a sprocket for a gear assembly? How about a bathtub for your new build? Maybe you’re waiting on a laptop from your I.T. department, or I hope you didn’t need your new vehicle before July because that’s when they’re saying they’ll be available. So all that’s getting a little old.
Then there’s the drought that crippled the better part of our ag industry in the province. Its effect will have reverberating effects into 2022, unfortunately, as farmers run out of grain to sell and still are left with bills to pay. Thankfully there have been a few good years recently to build up some drought resistance amongst the producers in the province.
Then there’s the whole divisiveness thing. Gimme a break already. I don’t care if you’re the hair-on-fire zealot or the freedom fighting libertarian, just keep your extremely minority-appealing view to yourself. You’re not changing anyone’s mind, and we’re all just sick of hearing about it. We’re moving on, so keep up or get the hell out of the way.
In terms of the NSBA organization itself, we experienced unprecedented attrition as a result of the pandemic, which culminated in the spring of 2021. Yet this didn’t prevent us from working hard on your behalf, with a reduced staff yet. Still, we managed to lobby on your behalf in areas of government relief programs, vaccination rollouts and policy, employers’ rights, tax ratios, tax rates, government productivity, Indigenous economic inclusion, WCB policy, supply chain issues, labour challenges and many others that either escape my memory or were in isolated advocacy cases on behalf of individual members.
On top of that, once the province had opened up (and all other previous contingency plans had come and gone), we put on all four of our major events in an 11-week stretch in the latter half of the year. To say it was a blur is an understatement. Each event usually takes months of preparation and we did them in a fraction of the time. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
But now, we are about to kick 2021 to the curb and move onto what I firmly believe will be the start of Saskatchewan’s return to glory. The way I see it, we are on the cusp of another bull run here in the province.
Look at the amount of investment commitments that have been announced recently in the areas of mining, value-added agriculture, manufacturing, and forestry to name a few. Not to gloss over anything, because there’s collectively billions of dollars of investments included in that mix; of particular note is Saskatchewan’s largest-ever single investment of $10B made by BHP to proceed with the Jansen potash mine.
Then there’s the undeniable impending return of consumer confidence and what will undoubtedly be a resurgence for the hotel and hospitality sector. It will culminate in a little event in Regina known as Grey Cup Week in late November.
Remember 2013? That was the last time Grey Cup was in Regina and our economy was cooking. Saddle up because that’s where we’re heading. Not only was the economy cooking but so were the Riders, so get ready to eat crow, Winnipeg.
I know the hair-on-fire people will be predicting the 8th wave by then. Give it a rest. That was last year’s thinking.
Saskatchewan is going to be the place to be not just next year, but for years to come. Get ready, it’s going to be a fun ride.
I mean no offence, but from me to you… Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or whatever floats your boat. Bring on 2022. But first, a little holiday downtime. I’m ready, I hope you are too.
Until next time, be safe, be smart, be considerate, be well but most of all, be kind.