The Prairie Centre Policy Institute
was honored to have Herb Pinder
, Sr. speak to our group at breakfast last week.Mr. Pinder is a prominent member of the local and national business communities.In addition to operating the family enterprise that included a chain of drug stores, he was one of the early players in the Saskatchewan oil patch and has served on the Board of Directors of many national companies.In the 1960's he served as the Minister of Industry and Commerce in Ross Thatcher's Liberal government.
Needless to say, Mr. Pinder
brought a lifetime of knowledge and experiences to the podium.
Mr. Pinder's message was simple.After sixty years of socialist thinking, government has become too intrusive in our lives and we have become too dependant on government.If Saskatchewan is to grow and prosper we must change the culture of our society and its negative attitude towards business. Mr. Pinder
early experiences in the Canadian oil patch.He
talked about the days when the action was centered in Saskatchewan and all the big oil companies had their headquarters in Regina.
also talked about Tommy Douglas's penchant for crown corporations.He
told us that the CCF no sooner came into power when they began getting involved in a myriad of businesses from brick making to box factories, most of which are no longer in existence.But the initiative that had the most far-reaching effect was their move into the insurance industry.When they created the Saskatchewan Government Insurance Office they forced all levels of government, school boards and other public institutions to deal with this crown.Without competition, it became reasonably easy for SGIO to make a profit and turn the surplus over to the government.This not only drove up the cost of insurance for the public sector, it also gave the politicians access to a new pool of taxpayer's money.
This is significant because, as Mr. Pinder
reminded us, Tommy Douglas had nothing to do with creating the public utilities that went on to become SaskTel, Sask Power and Sask Energy.