It has been an absolute privilege to be the MLA for The Battlefords these past years. Besides some regular updates to constituents on government programs and seeing some infrastructure projects finalized for our area, I didn’t expect to be writing the media in my last days as MLA. However, last week’s comments from Vicki Mowat of the NDP in the pages of the News-Optimist need to be responded to.
Last year, Trudeau Cabinet Minister Catherine McKenna had a moment of candor caught on video in a bar, explaining their view on communicating to people: “…If you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that’s your talking point, people will totally believe it.” If you were not jaded about Canadian politics already, I invite you to look it up on YouTube.
And that is what Vicki Mowat and the NDP are doing today. They believe if they repeat a lie enough times, people will stop fact-checking it and just accept it. The NDP’s preferred verb is “cut” and they attempt to frame every change across government as being due to a cut, implying that the government has cut funding and something important has been taken away.
So when SaskPoly isn’t cancelling a program, but remaking it in order to increase enrollment and accessibility, let’s not have the NDP mislead people and call it a cut. When students are still enrolled and graduating from the program in 2021, let’s not have the NDP mislead people and call it a cut. And when SaskPoly gets a $5.5 million increase in operating funding (that the NDP voted against), let’s not have the NDP mislead people and call it a cut.
With COVID-19 and a nearing return to classrooms, the last thing any of us need is more anxiety about our schools, but I’ve listened for weeks as the NDP have politicized the last topic that should ever be politicized. “Cuts” to our classrooms haven’t happened; I’ve been at the budget votes. We have one of the highest rates of per student funding in the country, but I guarantee you’ll hear more factless talking points from the NDP in the weeks ahead. We can have an honest discussion about resources for our classrooms (and I have had that discussion with many teachers over the years), but the NDP isn’t interested in that.
So, consider this my last request to the NDP: do better than the talking points issued from Tommy Douglas House in Regina. I hope they will, but I won’t hold my breath because if they say it enough times, if they say it louder, they think you’ll totally believe it.
Herb Cox, MLA