Hey there is a new ad by the Saskatchewan New Democrats out. Â Iâ€™ll leave my comments at this. Â As an attack ad, it tries to do too much. Â It should have been two ads. Â The discussion as to where the money went, can be left for another day.
Disclaimer: I generally hate all political ads. I liked the Daisy ad but thatâ€™s it. Â I like long policy discussions with nuance. Â I donâ€™t think that has ever happened in a political ad so I am always disappointed in them.
So as soon as I did that, I decided to go look for interesting people to follow.Â Of course there was some family and friends but I decided to find local people to follow and started to click “follow”.Â It was a lot of fun and some people that I was aware of and enjoyed their tweets and never followed were added to the list.
That took me to about 300 followers and then I looked at who I should be following.Â It was all Alberta names!Â Apparently many of us in Saskatoon keep an idea on what is going on in Calgary and Edmonton.
I added a few national voices to my followers, photographers, and photography sites and I found myself back at about 900 followers.Â I also realized that Saskatoon now has a lot of journalists covering city hall.Â You can blame Dave Hutton for that.
I also followed some MLAs from both sides of the floor.Â My advice for them is to be more like Brad Wall, Cam Broten, Trent Weatherspoon, or Dustin Duncan.Â It’s okay to act more like humans and less like robots folks!
The people I left behind were the spin doctors, NFL pundits, and a lot of American political voices.Â They can be fun to follow but don’t contribute much to my life.
If I unfollowed you and haven’t followed you back, don’t take it personally.Â It will take some time to track down everyone I left behind and I’ll get to you soon.
Since signing the contract with an American consultant in 2011, the provincial government has doled out close to $1 million for his hotel bills.
The contractor is John Black and Associates (JBA), who was signed up to reform Saskatchewan health care through lean – a system to streamline health services and cut costs.
Since the 2011-12 budget year, Black and his colleagues’ flights, hotels, per diems and other miscellaneous travel expenses have collectively cost Saskatchewan taxpayers $2.5 million.
NDP Leader Cam Broten called the amount “obscene.”
And while Health Minister Dustin Duncan admitted “it’s a lot of money,” he said it was important to put it into the context of building up lean expertise in the province so Saskatchewan doesn’t “have to rely on those outside consultants.”
The government knew from the outset it would be spending $40 million on the JBA contract and that “travel was going to be a part of that,” Duncan said.
“This whole journey into lean is a part of trying to make the (health) system more sustainable.”
I am actually not opposed to lean in the same way that others are. Â I have read a fair amount about it and have seen what it can do for healthcare. Â There were some excellent videos from the Saskatoon Health Region that show how hospital units have saved time, money, and improved patient care. Â Those small things add up.
At the same time could the Saskatchewan Party have picked a more polarizing consultant? Â $1m for hotel bills. Â $2.5m for flight and travel. Â What kind of hotels are they staying in. Â Even at $250 a night, that is over a decade of hotel rooms and all since 2011. Â As @toddintune (who just did the math and tweeted), maybe we need to get the lean consultant a lean consultant to lower hotel costs.
I forgot to post this but we had a great interview with the Leader of the Opposition Cam Broten the other night. Â The interview went well, the behind the scenes did not.
Last year I was at Cam’s house for a meeting (he is my MLA) and his wife Ruth made these cookies that everyone was raving about. Â The plate went around and ran out before it got to me (am pretty sure Frank Quesnell took two). Â I was sitting right beside Cam so I couldn’t really make a run at the cookies while he was talking. Â The cookies were so good that their goodness actually interrupted the meeting as people savoured the cookies.
Later Ruth came out with batch number two of the cookies but Cam declined then and because of sitting arrangements, the guy next to me got the cookies and the scene was reversed. Â Long story short, everyone went on and on about how awesome the cookies were. Â I went home and made a note of never sitting beside a politician if there are cookies being served.
Cam showed up for the podcast with a bribe, some fresh out of the oven cinnamon buns made by Ruth. Â I was momentarily excited and then I realized that I had a MacBook in front of me and computers but cinnamon buns do not mix. Â As soon as the podcast was done, Sean Shaw made a move for them but only took one of the two containers. Â I scared Hilary off when I pulled a cutting torch out of my bad and pretended to head towards her bike. Â
There I was, the last cinnamon bun. Â If I had worked fast, it could have been mind then but we were driving to the Rook and Raven in Shaw’s new Volkswagen and if I had gotten it sticky, he would have made me walk home.
After some beverages (Diet Coke), I make it home, open my bag and before I can pull out the cinnamon bun Wendy grabs it and eats it. Â Says it was the best cinnamon bun she ever had in her life. Â I have never been so betrayed.
I went to the fridge, gagged back a glass of V8 and went to bed.