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Oct. 21, 2022

Events, Dear Boy, Events

Events, Dear Boy, Events

Hello again SKoop listeners! With the fall legislative session beginning next week, Sally, Kevin and Dale discuss some of the "burning questions" leading into the session. They also give their predictions for what may happen over the next six weeks; take you inside the backrooms to tell you what the two parties are doing for final prep in the last days before session begins; what's being said in the strategy sessions; and what advice senior advisors are giving Scott Moe and Carla Beck. Plus, Kevin channels Donald Rumsfeld and Dale talks about "shit your pants" moments in Question Period. Enjoy! 


  • Kevin Doherty, former Saskatchewan Party MLA and cabinet minister, and current Senior Strategy Advisor at Prairie Sky Strategy; 
  • Sally Housser, NDP insider and former Saskatchewan NDP chief of staff, and current Senior Manager, Public Affairs at Canadian Strategy Group; and 
  • Dale Richardson, podcaster and former director of communications for the Saskatchewan Party. 

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Music is "Highway 94" from Blue Dot Sessions. 

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this is the scoop, the podcast that takes you inside Saskatchewan politics from the headlines to the back rooms. Here's former Saskatchewan party cabinet minister, Kevin Doherty, NDP insider, Sally Houser, and me Dale Richardson. well, welcome back to another episode of the Scoop podcast. Sally, I saw you last week, Thursday night. So we did the podcast last week on Wednesday. Then we were at the Premier's dinner. I know people will be shocked to hear that you were at the Premier's dinner, but I, Oh, they weren't the only ones, but Yeah, and Kevin, I saw you in Saskatoon last night, so what a, what a busy week we've all had since, since the last episode. Yeah, I ran into Sally at the, uh, at the dinner last week, and then, uh, you and I read a dinner again last night in Saskatoon Dale, so it was good to see you. I didn't see you at the Premier's dinner, but uh, ran into Sally and uh, that was a good event. Yeah. was extremely well organized. I. Yeah. Oh, that's nice to hear. Good. A few more people than, uh, than the NDP uh, leadership dinners. I was, I was trying to be real charitable there, man. Come on, , gimme break. Zing right off the top. Zing from Laura Ross had a pretty, pretty good burn, man. I, I gotta say, but, That was a funny line. Yeah. Yeah. But that's the first time I've been for, for the, for the listers. Her line was that the ndp, she was being partisan obviously at a big fundraising event, and she said the NDP could have had this dinner at a drive through. Um, Oh yeah, that one. got a few laughs, but I was, the first time I was in that inter, is it International Trade Center? Is that what it's called? The facility on, on the exhibition grounds. And it was, yeah, it was very well done up and uh, it's, I've been in there during. Ion when it's the trade show. So it's like it's just you, You know, All you see is booths and stalls for animals and all that kind of stuff. So that was the first time I've seen it done up for a big dinner like that. And they did a great job. Really good job. Yeah. It looks quite a bit different com compared to when prohibition is in town with the cows and the horses and the, the white cows. The Charla ball, whatever the, the different Yeah. The cows that I know nothing the jousting they had there Char, Dale Char, not Charla. My friend, my friend Ashley Anderson and, and minister David, me, they, they will be very disappointed with me by, by messing that up. Yeah. Charle, thank you. That's right, That's right. Anyway, that's all to say that October, the, these weeks kind of, kind of leading up into, into the, into the start of the legislative session. Very busy with fundraising events and media things, chamber events next week, the SAS chamber, the premier speaking at that one in Saskatoon. lots going on. So, um, why don't we get, why don't we get right into it? this, uh, last episode, I teed this up, this, this episode as it's our, our last one before the start of the fall session, which, uh, kicks off with the, with the throne speech on October 26th. Next week, uh, we're gonna tee things up for the listeners in terms of what, what might be happening, uh, what are the burning questions going into the fall legislative session. What are some predictions for the session that, that we may have, but why don't we, why don't we start with this, Kevin, Um, the SAS party caucus, they, they had a big meeting this week. It was kind of their last full caucus meeting before the start of the legislative session. You were in many of those meetings or, or kind of similar type meetings. I'm sure. What is, what does that. What are they talking about in that meeting in terms of is it, is it really like a, here's our goals for, for this fall. Here's the pieces of, of legislation that are planned. Here's our key messages and our talking points. Is, is that kind of what that looks like or what's, what's the intent of something like no, that, that's exactly what it is, Dale. So the, uh, the caucus will have gotten together and, uh, I'm sure, uh, reviewed the throne speech, the speech from the throne, if you will, that the left tenant governor will deliver as the opening of a new session of the legislature. Um, So, you know, the speech will have been, uh, maybe they're fine tuning it now or making some changes. But for all intents and purposes, it's, it's pretty much written that will outline what the agenda of the government is going into the fall session, what they're gonna focus on, what the themes are that they're gonna, uh, they're gonna introduce legislation around. And, uh, in these, in these caucus meetings leading up to the start of session, ministers will share with caucus colleagues, uh, legislation that they, uh, they plan to introduce and go, you know, at a 30,000 foot level view of, of what the legislation is about. If it's, if there's some controversial legislation or, you know, legislation that's gonna get. A reaction, uh, one way or the other back in their constituency is they want MLA's to be, to be prepared, uh, uh, for that, uh, uh, you know, what may come their way. Uh, as MLA's, uh, you don't get into too ministers don't get into too many details, cuz in some cases the legislation hasn't been completely written yet, or hasn't gone through the, what we call the legs and regs process, which is legislation, regulations, committee reviewing legislation, uh, along with justice officials. To ensure that the, you know, it's, it's that it's, there aren't things that are missed with respect to the actual, uh, details in the legislation That, so that, that's what those caucus meetings are typically like, leading up to the start of session. And, um, so yeah, it's, uh, it, it, it's, there's no surprises there. Is that a rubber stamp? Typically, like in like in terms of legislation or, you know, kind of major policy items that are in the throne speech. If, if, if half of caucus put their hand up and said, you know, we're not super comfortable with. Whatever is planning to be announced, and this is news to us and we're not sure how that goes. Would there be, you know, any chance of the premier or the, or the minister responsible to rethinking, Maybe think about pulling that piece of legislation or something that was planning to go forward absolutely. If you, if you're getting a real negative reaction, uh, with proposed legislation or, or caucus members might be hearing about it for the first time and they, you know, the minister's gonna wanna gauge. His or her caucus colleagues as to what do you think? And uh, in some cases it just might be trial balloons in the sense that MLA's will have a bit of time to go back to their constituencies and talk to some folks, not, again, not talking about the actual details, but themes around what they might wanna focus on. Um, Yeah, absolutely. If a, if a minister or the premier heard from his caucus, his or her caucus colleagues, uh, overwhelmingly with respect to, uh, proposed legislation, uh, it would be pretty foolish on their part not to think about, uh, what do we need to do differently here or might change or even pull back on. Sally, From the opposition, uh, perspective, the, the game plan, I'm assuming, not assuming, is, is quite a bit different in term in terms of their preparation and approach. Uh, so in that regard, what are, what are Carla Beck's, senior advisors and her kind of left tenants in caucus? What are they preparing her and what is the. The opposition team. What are, what are they preparing to do in these days leading up? Is it, are they narrowing in what, what their attacks are going to be? The opposition. The opposition, you know, research, if they have any kind, kind of dirt that they want to get out. This, uh, uh, uh, during, during this session is, uh, what, what are they working on in the, in these last couple days? Yeah, it's, it's really, you know, they, they, uh, just had a caucus retreat, uh, as well. I, you know, all across the country people are heading back into session and that's what you're doing both as kind of government and, and opposition. Uh, the team will have come, um, You know, with here's what we propose. These are our, this is what we focus on this session. And, and that's really the, it, it, it's selling that focus to, to the MLA's of everybody has in their critic portfolio, um, and in their own constituencies and, and, you know, things that they, um, you know, are passionate about, uh, things that are issues, you know, all across the province. There's, there's a lot of things that can be brought up. Uh, but you have to have a, a story and a. Um, in, in question period, you can't be kind of scattershot all like, you know, and have the 18 different questions on 18 different subjects, you know, every day. Um, and that's hard to kind of keep that level of discipline, but you have to kind of start, as you mean, to go on, uh, and get that buy in from, from the entire team. um, you know, and that's informed by, by polling, by what the MLA's are hearing. And so it's the whole summer is as people are out on the doorstep and, um, you know, kind of meeting with people and, and, and looking into things. It's like, this is what we've come back with and here's what we think the focus is. Um, you know, it is, it's. What the government will be focusing on is, is their agenda. And then the ND MVP's job is to, to knock them off their game. Um, you know, I imagine that, uh, the SaaS party, um, you know, particularly based, you know, with the white paper one, it'll be, you know, control of our own resources, the economy, uh, and then it's up to the NDP to kind of knock them off that message that they, that's the whole cut and thrust of, of, of session Essent. Um, in terms of kind of the actual nuts and bolts of, of preparation, um, getting some member statements, you know, written and in the can, these are the appropriate thing. Anything you can do before session actually starts, um, that you kind of get done because as, as you guys all know, session itself is, um, I always really liked it kind of because it's, it's extremely busy in their longer days. They're pretty by rote in terms of you have this meeting at this time, then you do your writing, then you kind of, you go into kind of sessions. So I was like the kind of, uh, the controlled chaos of it, as it as it were. Um, but in terms of, of APO or anything they have might have in their back pocket preparing like, when do we wanna hold this? Do we wanna hold this? Do we wanna lead with this in the first week? Keep it back. Um, and then the other thing is lining up, um, you know, what we call validators. Um, so, and, and I think the NDP last session did a really good job of this, of anything you are talking about in, in question period. That you have a person in the gallery who has been personally affected by this, who can talk to the media Patience of the day, Yeah, exactly. for healthcare. Yep. For e Exactly. And, and that, that makes for a better news story rather than just like two politicians talking, here's a real person who's actually been affected by this issue. Sally, just staying with you, so, um, I'm sure we'll talk lots about Carla back during our, during our burning questions, but seeing that this is her first session as leader, what are, what is her chief of staff or her senior advisors, what are they saying to her? What, what should, what is her number one goal for this session? If you were still the chief of staff in the opposition caucus office, what would you be advising her as? Carla, this is, this is what the one thing you need to get out of this fall session these next 25 days, or, or whatever the number is. Well, one, I, I mean, you know, Carla's, um, a not a new politician by any, she's, she's been elected for a while now and she's good on her feet in, in the house. So it's not necessarily that kind of like proving yourself and your ability, but being the leader and, and leading, inspiring with the, the, the premier is, is a different thing. Um, so that kind of, you. demonstrating I can go toe to toe with the premier on any given issue, and that kind of back and forth cut and thrust. I think, you know, what I'd be advising, uh, is that kind of, we, we talk sometimes in the past you say like, Oh, you know, the, the whole concept of like premier dad, like, here, I'm, I'm gonna be the adult in the room. I think what really works for Carla is that kind of, you know, the leader mom, right. Of like, All right, everybody. , let's settle down here and now we got some adults in the room. And let's talk about the serious issues. So I think that that, that, I think that works well for Carla and I would be trying to bring through that image, uh, with the questions, uh, she asked, with the tone in the house a year, I don't believe you'll see a lot of Flipp. From her, you know, um, that you, you leave that to some of the other MLA's. Um, but that would like that kind of perception of, of, of strength, um, and, and the, the matchup between the two of them. But listen, I'm here to talk about serious issues. Let's deal with them seriously. Hm. That's interesting. That's, that's good advice. You might have a career in politics, I think. Sally May, maybe one day. Hey I'm trying, I'm trying to move past that one now. Aren't we all right, Kevin? Aren't we all. there, done that. Yeah. You know, before we move on to our, to our burning questions segment, um, here's, here's a question for, for both of you, and I'm gonna ask you to, to both be reflective, maybe not critical necessarily, but uh, think critically about your respective parties that, that you support. What are the pitfalls or the traps for, for each, the NDP and the SaaS party going into this fall Legislative. What's, what's something that, you know, could trip him up along the way? Kevin? What? Uh, what's, what's something for the, for the, for the governing, uh, Saskatchewan party. the, the, the highlight of any day at the. Legislature is question period, and it's, it's called question period for a reason because the opposition knows exactly what questions they're going to ask and the government doesn't know. I mean, obviously there are themes and what media are covering and what people are talking about that you can kind of anticipate that this is gonna predominate with respect to, uh, the issues that the leader of the opposition or the critics are gonna raise. But as a cabinet minister, I mean, you can only prepare so much. Especially if I have a large file, like the health file or, or social services or justice file. Uh, it's, it's the gotcha moments that, that, you know, Donald Rumsfeld famously said, The unknown unknowns, it's the things you d aren't aware of or, or don't know. It's in my notes. It's in my notes for this So it's, you know, it's, it's those things that the opposition would I come across that you're, you're just not aware of as a cabinet minister, and I had a couple of those in my career where the, you know, the, the critics asking the question and I'm sitting there with this look on my face, like, I haven't got a clue what he or she's talking about. And, uh, and you gotta get back up on your feet and answer it. And, you know, as you become more comfortable in that role, and we've got a couple of new ministers who are gonna be facing QP for the first time, uh, in Minister Score pad environment, and minister, uh, Jeremy Coro and Highways and Transportation. So, you know, they'll, I'm sure have like the pre-game jitters like anybody else does when you're going this for the first time. But that's, That's where you can have pitfalls is if an issue is brought up that you're just not aware of, or perhaps officials were aware of it and didn't make you aware of it. Uh, and it's, it's, it could dominate a media cycle and you gotta get up to speed on it very quickly cuz you just, you know, the opposition did a great job at uncovering something and, and you weren't aware of it. So, uh, that's what he always kind of look out for. The big scheme of things over, over a long period of time, they're quickly forgotten. But it, if it can dominate a new cycle and makes the opposition look like they caught the government unaware of something, it's, it's embarrassing. And, uh, uh, those are the things that, that, uh, kept me awake at night anyway. Well, as somebody who worked in the Health Minister's office when lean became a thing, pretty much out of nowhere. Uh, you're right about that cuz I remember the, the first two weeks that was in the spring session, the first first two weeks, Cam Roton was talking about personal care home regulations and those were his questions in question period. And for the, for the remaining, uh, eight weeks out of the 10 was, it was all lean stuff and it wasn't a great time. Sally, they, the ndp they, they know the questions that they're gonna be asking. They know that or presumably will know the themes, but what, uh, what are, what are their, what are, what's a trap for them? That they need to avoid. Is is the trap is and, and, and this is, it's, it's in ways an easier one for me to answer it. It's but broader, it, it's being brought into the government's frame. Again, the question period session is supposed to be for the. Right. Um, and if you end up, uh, kind of playing in the government's frame, we talked a bit at a bit last week of, you know, the government will be like, you know, why do you love, um, Justin Trudeau so much? Um, you know, why, why don't you stand up for the people of Saskatchewan? Why, You know, why don't you agree that we're, we we're, we're fighting for Saskatchewan. Uh, and it's up to the NDP to kind of not consistently take the bait on that. And it's, you know, it's, it's a good wedge in that respect. You're kind of between the rock and the hard place either. Criticizing the government on, on this white paper or, or you're, you're standing with Trudeau and that's, that's how they will frame it. And it's the nd p's job to just kind of, and it'll be toughing question period cuz that's what they'll be, you know, yelling across the, the hall, um, to kind of stay fo again, that kind of laser focus on, no, this is, this is our time and we're asking the questions and these are the questions we want. Well, we'll look forward to the traps. That'll be, uh, we'll keep an eye. Okay. Let's, let's do the burning questions segment. So I, I have tasked myself and both Sally and Kevin with. Coming up with a few burning questions for, uh, going into this, this fall legislative session. And this can be anything. It could be, uh, you know, what color suit will the premier wear on, on Throne Speech Day? Chances are, it'll be blue in my opinion, but, um, a burning but, but, um, That's a burning No, it's not one of, Ok. No. Yeah, it could, it could be one for somebody, but, uh, I don't, I don. I, I don't think many people are wondering what, uh, what, what color suit, uh, the premier's wearing. But, uh, so this, this can be anything. Uh, that's my point in saying that. Sally, let's kick this off with you. What's your, what's your first burning question going into the fall legislative session? Uh, the, the burning question, and, and this is, and I'm gonna be try, try to be as un, un partisan about this, but cuz it, it is not just for Saskatchewan, it's for all provinces. All Canada is, is the healthcare system. Anybody out there, certainly in Saskatchewan, definitely where I'm from in Newfoundland, uh, who has somebody who is dealing with the healthcare system either chronically or acutely. Knows that it's not going well at the moment and we're heading into, we're heading into a fall and winter now, where whether it's a, another, you know, kind of wave of covid or whether all these flus and pneumonias and, and things that people have been kind of avoiding for the past two years, cuz people have been masked up. Um, You know, bring about a real serious pressure on, on the healthcare system. Um, and you know, Kevin has, has said this before, and, and I agree to a certain extent, you get to a point where, um, it's mu just money is not gonna solve the problem. We have to look at really, really long term, medium term, and short term solutions. And I think that that's where, uh, you know, what I'm hoping is you see that kind. You know, that where, where that fits into kind of Carla's frame as the, these are serious issues that, that need serious discussions and, and, and that we need answers on. Uh, but like I I say, you know, trying to be as, as charitable as possible, that's not just for Saskatchewan, that's for, you know, the entire country. Um, and how do the premier. Work together to, in a, in a productive, um, not parti, you know, not necessarily totally combative way. Um, and same from the federal side, um, that this is, this is a national issue. This is a provincial issue, This is a municipal issue. Um, but it is going to get a lot worse, um, if nothing is done. I think that that's the burning question for Saskatchewan, and I think it's the burning question for. Kevin, just, just on that, um, Sally, you've, you've, we've canvased this quite extensively, I feel in the, in the last number of months about, you know, how the NDP needs to not move away necessarily from issues like healthcare and education, kind of their bread and butter, But they need to, you know, be, be more than that. Kevin, do you think, do you think if the ndp, uh, if they end up spending a lot of time on healthcare in particular, do you think that's something that the government would welcome, uh, you know, particularly consider? The ADP's focus, at least publicly, has tried to pivot more towards the economy and affordability. And do you think, do you think the government, uh, SaaS pretty said, Do you think that they would welcome that for this I don't know if the government would welcome that. I mean, obviously healthcare impacts every citizen of the province, and as Sally said, and and I, I don't disagree with her. It's an issue that, that's predominant in all the provinces right now and across the country, uh, whether we're coming out of the pandemic, whether you think we're coming outta the pandemic or not, there, you know, that has impacted. The delivery of services in, in every province, whether it's, uh, staffing shortages or people still being ill and can't go to work and, and the surgery backlogs that have, have, uh, accumulated because, uh, surgeries just weren't done for a, a long stretch of time, uh, because of Covid. Um, You know, there are issues that the government has to address there because it impacts every single citizen of the province, and everyone knows someone. If you're not being impacted yourself directly, you know, somebody or, or someone in your family or, uh, in your close circle that is, is being impacted by, uh, waiting for surgery or, uh, not getting the, the, the service that you, uh, so need. So it's. You know that that's a tough issue for any government because Sally's right, and you said at Dale they'll bring in, uh, real live cases. These are actual people who are being impacted by the healthcare system that, uh, I, you know, I, I recall, I think I've told this story before, not a story, but I mean, it's an actual, it, it just relating what, uh, transpired where I had a couple into my constituency office and the gentleman needed, uh, both of his knees replaced, and he was the, they had a family run business, just the husband and wife, and he obviously couldn't work. They were gonna lose their business and he needed to get the surgery done, and he wanted me to call the health minister and, and move him up on the, on the list. And it just doesn't work that way. And I just felt so helpless because this, you know, this poor couple were quite emotional and, and, uh, there was nothing I could do. Uh, the surgeons determined who gets surgery, so to speak anyway, so, you know, whether the government would welcome that line of questioning or not. Um, it's gonna come up and, and, uh, Yeah. I think, uh, Vicky Mots still the health critic I think in the, in the, uh, and, and she does a good job in that area. And Paul Merryman and, and Everett Hinley now, uh, you know, are experienced ministers and, and have had, you know, several months now again, uh, to have made some announcements and do some things and they'll be defending that inside the house and then talking about new initiatives. So, you know, the other thing is that, that. It's, it's, it's good politics to, to bring real, live examples into the house and have the media interview them in that. But you also, at some point in time have to offer up solutions and, uh, um, you know, the government will be defending their record and talking about new initiatives. And my advice to Carla Beck and, and her team would be, uh, play your role as critics and oppose, but offer up solutions as well. Yeah, and just Dale, cuz you, you made the point and I have often said, Uh, and this province and across that, you know, the NDP always running healthcare education, healthcare education, um, that we, But the fact is, is that, that that is a traditional area where the NDP. You know, is, has, has been successful and it's acute right now, it's the right time to, you know, you, you switch things up. But it is, it is the right time. It's not the only, I would imagine that there are two things going into session will be healthcare and economy and trying to talk about the economy. Not in the kind of, you know, debt and, and deficit, but in kind of how, again, making that real, how real p people are affected the, the economy of the kitchen table. I would imagine that those would be the two focuses of the session. You know, I think, I think that the, that the two health ministers and probably the government more broadly, I think that they are genuinely vexed on this. On this issue of, of healthcare particularly, uh, recruiting doctors and healthcare, healthcare professionals right now, because go Gomley, Gomley asked Everett Henley on his show last week, or maybe it was earlier this week, you know, he was, Gomley was pressing the minister on, you know, But what about right now? You know, you guys announced. $60 million, recruitment and retention plan. But what about right now? And, and of course, Kevin, as, as you said about the surgical weights, you know, moving people up on a surgical wait time. unless a hundred people sign up right now to become doctors and they're in those communities tomorrow, the minister just doesn't have an answer because it, it's not an immediate thing. And, and it, and I, I, I can tell that they are, that they're frustrated by it despite the fact that they, that they have a. S plan that's coming up. So yeah, it's, Well, and, and you. Yeah. Uh, I mean, I, I think you look at kind of, uh, you know, immigration as, as a part of it in terms of staffing care, homes, uh, and nurses and everything. And the o the other thing kind of around all of this is the, the extreme. Burnout being suffered by those who are currently working. Um, and have been, there's kind of, you know, you go through an acute period of, uh, you know, a week or a month or, but you know, all of our healthcare professionals have been. Under the gun for two and a half years now. Um, so retaining those that we have is, is problematic, but, um, you know, it's hard to get blood from the stone, but this is again, where I was talking about the burning question of long term. We should look so that we're not in this position again, of, of training, uh, recruitment and retention. Um, but what. We can't just let the system crumble. And again, I don't have a lot of answers and that's why it's, it's the burning question. Kevin, what is your first burning question, sir? Well, you know, every time you go into the session and having been one that sat on the floor there, you, you talk about decorum in that chamber, uh, going into the session and, and it'll be interesting to see what the decorum is like. Um, With this upcoming session, there's obviously a new leader on the opposition side, uh, that, that, that may or may not take a different tack with respect to decorum. In, in the, if we, we, I think all of us recall the last session got pretty rowdy in there on both sides of the house, uh, to the point where there was some, some things said that, you know, members had to stand and apologize and withdraw and, and, uh, a couple of members were kicked out, uh, for, um, Yeah, that's You know, things that they did inside the, whether they said or gestures or whatever the case may be. And so it, it just, it's always interesting. I, I know that we used to get, uh, inside caucus heading into every session, you know, a lecture from the whip and from, uh, in our case the deputy premier, uh, Ken craves about decor and how to act in the house. And, you know, there's always school kids in there and observing this and. But it's like an arena. And you get in there and, and you, you played any sports, you get fired up and something triggers you or you trigger somebody else and, and, and you get at it. And, uh, it's, it's unfortunate. It gets, it gets far too carried away in, in many cases. And I was as guilty as anybody, so I'm not trying to sit here and, and play that, uh, you know, that I was, uh, uh, appalled at, went on in there cuz I participated like everybody else. And, but you know, the speaker also has to take responsibility for some of that as well. And, and we've got. The speaker weeks now who's been in the chair for, uh, for a couple of sessions. Um, hopefully he clamps down on that if it gets a little too crazy to begin with right off the bat and just sets the tone with respect to, uh, you know, what he's going to tolerate as the speaker in the, in the upcoming session. I think, Yeah, no, it's, it, it's a really interesting question to raise. I think that there, I think that the tone will be different, at least between the, the two leaders. I think a lot of the animosity was driven by, disdain between folks in the government side and, and Ryan Miley. I think, I think as, as you raised early on, after, after she was elected Sally, um, I think, I think the government side will be cautious with, with how they direct things toward, towards Carla Beck. Uh, you know, cuz, cuz you've talked about, you know, new leader, female leader, just being, conscious of that. But, but having said that, who, who knows how they, how the others around her will be, uh, you know, they, I mean the, attack dogs. I've, I've had this conversation so many times over the years about decorum and usually what happens is a session starts, um, with reasonable behavior. And then as you kind of move through a very kind of intense period of every day and you, you're sitting across the floor every day and we're, we're kicking at you guys and, and, and, and, and you're kicking back, it generally devolves. And the longer the session is though, like the last week of session is always, regardless of best efforts of speaker and whips and everybody else, really punchy, right? No, it's good. the, the fall session, it tends to be a little bit different in the spring session cuz it's not as long, uh, the spring session is, and, and you know, you've got Christmas to look forward to, you know exactly when the session's gonna end and, and, uh, and the spring session, you have those in terminable, evening sittings and you know, it, and, and committee work and it's just, uh, yeah, you're right. Those turn into long days and long weeks at the inside the chamber. Yeah. And that's the thing just for kind of listeners who, who, who might not know that, you know, that the session is not just question period. Those, those long, long kind of night sittings the committees, which is, you know, a lot of kind of work and reading and briefings and, and everything else. Um, I have to say, you know, Get back into the burning questions, but, uh, the session I did as, as chief of staff, where we had the, the weird thing where you weren't allowed to move in between Saskatoon and you weren't allowed to move in between, uh, cities for the entire sessions. So we had all of the MLA's. Stuck in Regina. And, and for those who aren't from Regina, um, away from their families and their homes. And so at loose ends, uh, too, when they're not in the chamber. Uh, that was, it was very, very tough on the MLA's, but also very, very tough on staff Yeah. As you said, nobody, Yeah. Yeah. You couldn't get a breather. Right. It's, they were all, Well, and it was also truncated. Normally you have Friday, Fridays where you don't sit for and MLA's leave and go to their constituency offices or back to their, their, their writing and staff has that Friday to kind of regroup, um, and plan for the next week. Where that session, we didn't have that at all. And some days we actually sat on Saturday. And so that was, uh, anything that isn't, that will, what would I imagine feel better to staff. agreed. Agreed. here's, here's my first burning question, or at least one of the, one of the few that I wrote down. Will there be anything coming outta this session that will stick? And of course by stick I mean will it, will it continue to have an effect on the SAS party or, or the ndp? Because usually, or, or not, not usually, but. A good example of this is, you know, uh, in the spring session, Bill 70, the legislative, um, uh, security changes at the ledge. Inside the bubble. People thought it was a thing. As soon as you step foot outside the ledge, it meant nothing to anybody. So will, I guess this, this is mostly a question, a burning question for, for the nd. Particularly cuz, cuz cuz they're the opposition. Will anything that they raise in question period or things that, that they try to move forward, will it stick for them politically and will they be able to take that and carry it forward into the spring session? And then of course, uh, uh, uh, towards the next election in 2024. Um, does that ring true to you guys? I mean, that, that's always the challenge I think in, in session is, does any of this mean anything to anybody outside of the legislative? Again, I think, I think the, and it depends on. How bad things get through the fall and the winter in the healthcare system. The more people that have that are feeling that personal impact of your kid breaks their arm and you know, there's an 18 hour wait in the emergency room or something like that, um, you know, that sticks when you're personally affected. Right? And so, you know, if, if, you know, that is going to be one of the focus of, of the ndp, uh, and it does. Worse, um, both in the rural and, and, and urban areas, then that is gonna start to leave a mark. And, and again, you know, um, like I said, this is something that everybody in, in Canada is dealing with. Um, there's not a, a lot of solutions, but that Kevin knows when you're in government, that's you're in charge and people need somebody to blame. Uh, so that could, that can have some lasting damage. Hey, Scoop friends. Dale here again. Just wanted to quickly jump in and remind you to take the Scoop listener feedback survey for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Hit the link in the episode show notes. It'll take you to a really quick survey monkey listener feedback survey for quick questions, really basic info, and you can enter yourself to win a $50 gift card. Thanks very much. Sally, do you have another burning question? Beyond he, beyond the healthcare system? Uh, you know, I, I think again, it's that affordability, right? We, we seem to be coming a little bit out of the, the acuteness that that was, um, you know, at this summer, um, with inflation and everything. But, um, You know, particularly as you head into that, that that leaner se uh, season, um, you know, kind of seasonal workers who aren't working during, during the summer, um, you head into to Christmas, which is an expensive time. Um, you know, a again, it's that kind of. Y you can talk about the economy of like, here are all the metrics that say we're doing really well. Um, but if people don't feel it, um, how are we actually going, going to deal with that? Right. Um, you know, in terms of housing, , uh, affordability. You know, Saskatchewan has still got one of the lowest rent rates in Canada. And again, it's a, it's, it's a national, uh, problem. Um, but, you know, can, can we continue to talk about the economy in a way that doesn't reference the people that is actually affecting, Right. So, I, I, I just, you know, that's a broad way to say. I, I think affordability is gonna continue to be, um, a, a big issue, uh, moving. Kevin, here's, here's my second burning question and then I'll go to you for your next one cuz these are fun. I'm having a good time with these. Will we start to see some of the MLA's that are not planning to run in the next election? Will we start to see some announcements that so and so from ex constituency, will not run in the 2024 election? In that will we start to see jockeying for, for nomination races? Will, will some pot, uh, potential new, new candidates who are gonna run there, will, will that start to be, uh, will that start to come out? Um, I think more likely, um, just to answer my own burning question first, I think this is more likely to happen this spring, uh, than this fall. But, uh, I think there's a, there's a couple of MLA's, at least on the SaaS pretty side that, that have, uh, told people pseudo publicly that they, that they're not going to run in 2024. And some of that is moving along, but I wonder if that will now, you know, two, two years out from the next election, who, you know, who, who were those folks? And, uh, and will that. Uh, what do you guys think about don't know the answer to that question in the sense that we're still two years out from an election, right? So, uh, you're right. There's been a couple of members who have said they're not running again. And so, uh, that will be well known within, within their constituencies and people that are actively involved in politics and someone who might be eyeing up a, a potential nomination is probably getting organized now. And, um, And sussing out their, their chances raising some money, doing all the things you have to do to, you know, sign up members, do all the things you have to do to win a nomination. Uh, but two years out still, you know, that's, uh, uh, I, I think that the, the boundaries have to be solidified yet. So there's still the commission to report and, and the legislature to, to ratify those boundaries so that there is any major changes to a particular constituency. And I'm thinking about, you know, Randy Weeks and Ken Francis over on the west side there, where apparently, uh, they would have to run against each other if they stayed within the same boundaries that the. Their new constituencies, um, uh, would be ratified. Uh, they overlap each other and have to compete for a nomination unless one of them, uh, decides not to run again or, or goes to a different constituency, I guess. Um, Well, the consensus that I've heard there is that is that Randy and Ken will, it will not run against each other, so it it, it'll be one of the, one of the latter options that, that you just outlined. From a party perspective, you know, uh, I can't speak for the ndp, but I can tell you that the SaaS party will be eyeing up seats that they don't hold and will wanna get nominations done there so that those candidates can get door knock and get working there. Uh, As, as quickly as possible, particularly in seats, they might be able to flip, you know, and I, uh, they'll be, I, they'll have better numbers than I have access to with respect to what, what seats might be vulnerable there. But, uh, um, that's a pretty sure tell sign of, of what seats, uh, either party thinks are, are vulnerable, is to how quickly they'll nominate candidates and get them at work in the doors. On the flip side for the ndp, what, what I'm interested we're, we're still ways is away from the kind of the nomination periods for those, those seats that the ndp, uh, that thinks they, they can. But what the period we're in right now, kind of two years out is that kind of recruitment phase of, and, and I think that that's always an indicator to, to me, of the momentum of a party is the caliber of candidates you're attracting. Um, and, and, and, and winnable, um, or building what we call second, you know, second tier seats. Um, so that'll be really interesting to me. I've already kind of, you know, heard, heard some interesting names kind of being floated around. Um, and you Oh dude. Tell dude. with well, no, you guys aren't you? Well, what, why don't you tell me who's who, who's, who's not running again? Well, a couple of MLA's, but Yeah. Okay. Um, you know, but that, that's, that's that kind of period now is trying to get those kind of, the, the high caliber candidates that, you know, conform a cabinet where you can, you know, like this person could be finance minister, this could be, you know what I mean? All these, um, getting that kind of real solid team put together. You know, speaking of, there was a Regina City counselor that had a letter to the editor, published in the leader post. Today. He has the initials, Andrew Stevens, and I was shocked to read in the, in the Byliner in the subtext. At the end of his letter it said Andrew Stevens is, is a city Regina counselor, period, but he is writing this as a private citizen. And I, I was shocked to read. I could've, I couldn't believe it. It would be like if Kevin or, or I or you Sally wrote a, a letter or an op-ed and we didn't disclose what our former jobs were. I mean, it's just, you know, well, the, the, the concept, Yeah, no, the concept of being an elected official and, and also being a private, Those, those, I and I, um, I, I had to explain that to, to an mla. One, a newly elected MLA once of, you know, Well, what about my personal opinion? I'm like, Well, you don't have one anymore, I'm afraid. That's I. And it was like, you know, they, they, they, they just didn't know that. They didn't realize that. Right. Yeah. You could express that. personal opinion behind those doors and that once you step up behind those doors, you don't express personal opinions. Yeah. no, you, Well, and, and that's like jokes aside, that's you, you are a public figure and anything you say publicly, Reflects both on, on your party, on your constituents, on your, you know, all, all those things, right? Sally j just before I go to Kevin for the, for the last burning question, uh, speaking of the, people not running again, the NDP caucus, they're generally speaking, they're quite new, most have been elected in the last couple of terms. Generally speaking, do you expect any to, to maybe not run out of the current crew? It, it kind of seems like likely not Likely not. Maybe one, maybe two. But I, I don't think, I think most of the caucuses, um, is, is, is in for, uh, for the long haul or at least medium haul at. Right. Kevin, what's your next burning question? And then we'll move on to our, our final predictions for the, for the Oh, the the finance minister will have to deliver the mid-year report by, typically by the end of November. Uh, it, I think it has to be out before the end of November, or by the end of November. And so we'll see, uh, what the, uh, what the next ensuing three months in the fiscal year have presented. Uh, as far as the numbers, I mean, you'll recall back in August when the. The deputy premier slash finance minister released her her first quarter report. Uh, they had made some adjustments, obviously cuz things had changed from their forecast and the budget. So we'll, we'll see if those forecasts are holding, uh, the different pricing levels that they put on the different commodities that, that impact the provincial budget. If those, uh, forecasts are holding and they're still able to deliver on, on the things that, uh, the government said, um, that they wanted to do with, with respect to paying down debt and. Uh, holding the line on on other different things and, and injecting some additional cash into some specific areas. So we'll see if that's gonna hold, uh, for the first six months of the fiscal year when she delivers that by the end of November. Okay. Final predictions really quick. We won't have any, any, any discussion unless one of you or, or I say something really amazing. Sally, what's your, your prediction for this fall legislative session? It could be that the premier will will wear an orange tie talking lots about the premier's wardrobe today. Uh, . I have, I have no real, uh, predictions, uh, to, if I'm honest. Um, There's, uh, a lot happening in, in the rest of the world. Uh, my prediction is that, you know, only so many people will be, uh, massively aware of what is happening in, uh, in the Saskatchewan legislature. This, this fall. Uh, there's awful lot of ins and outs and what have yous in, uh, the rest of the country and certainly in, in the rest of the world. Well, yeah, I guess you're right. Boy, that's, that's sorry, sorry. Scoop listeners. Sorry, sorry. But that's the thing. We're here for those who are, you know, have that interest right. That's right. Kevin, what's your Yeah, I'm gonna be, uh, interested to see what legislation they're gonna bring in or what, you know, around the, uh, the drawing, the line document, the premier release last week, uh, on asserting, uh, provincial jurisdiction to see what that legislation actually looks like. Uh, asserting provincial jurisdiction, the constitutional provisions that, uh, uh, Uh, pertain to, uh, the province's rights within the Constitution. So I'll be interested to see what that legislation looks like. And then, uh, at the event we were at last night, Dale, the, the Justice Minister made reference to the fact, uh, and the Premier did that, uh, uh, you're gonna see some additional things with respect to. Crime reduction coming up. Um, and this is, this relates back to what we just saw in the BC municipal elections for those that maybe weren't paying attention to it, but it seemed like law and order was a huge issue for all of the different civic elections, municipal elections, which in BC they hold on the same day. It's typically a Saturday. Um, Right across the province. Uh, I guess same as what we do here in Saskatchewan on, on municipal elections. But I read some of the articles, uh, because I used to live out there. And so I know some of the, the, the players that, uh, are involved in municipal politics and if you read the, uh, The narrative there that it seemed like every mayoralty candidate that ran on a law and order in reducing crime platform, uh, won. And, and I was telling you this story last night, Dale. I, I relate to the city of Camloops and uh, I was interested in Camloops cause I have a sister and brother-in-law that live there. And the candidate that ran for mayor there that won, uh, owns a car dealership downtown. And, and I was reading an interview of his after he won and he won overwhelmingly on a law and order. So he has a car dealership downtown that apparently is near some, some drug houses and, and, uh, where there's a lot of drug activity. He has 90 files open with the RCMP right now on vandalism and theft and other issues associated with his own respective car lot. And he said I was just fed up with it. So I decided I was gonna run for, I was gonna run for mayor. And I'm gonna run on a platform of pleading this mess up. And he won overwhelmingly. And I think we saw, uh, similarly play out in the largest cities in van in, in the lower mainland in Vancouver and Surry and other places. So, you know, law and order issues in that province played a key role in a number of incumbent, uh, uh, mayors and counselors being defeated. And, uh, I know for a fact that crime issues still are very pervasive in the rural areas. It certainly in our urban areas in Saskatchewan, but in the rural areas, You know, notwithstanding the tragedy we saw in James Smith and the, and the response time for RCMP in, in that particular issue, uh, coming out of Milford, but it, there's, there's many places in the province where the response times of, of law enforcement is just too long. And, and crime is of a major concern to people in rural Saskatchewan, as it is in urban Saskatchewan. But in rural Saskatchewan, the circumstances are much different. So, All of that to say that I'll be interested to see what the, what the government announces or, or is putting forward with respect to dealing with, uh, crime reduction issue. Yep. Yeah. It was interesting that the minister teed it up in her, in her speech last night. There hadn't been that much chatter about it. My prediction is that the thing, whatever it may be, coming outta this fall session, won't be the white paper. It won't be affordability. Or, or inflation, it will be Kevin, as you, as you noted, uh, the unknown unknown, which the thing that will might make the, the SaaS party shit, their pants during question period. You know, And it, it's who, who knows what that may be? you know, it could, could be a piece of legislation that gets more, more attention than, than maybe the government thought or maybe maybe the opposition, um, thought. But, um, That's, that's quite often the case. Uh, you know, I mentioned lean. That's, that was the big thing coming outta that one session, uh, that I, that I can recall. It, it, you know, it goes back to, I forget the Prime Minister in the UK years ago, and they asked him, you know, What keeps you awake at night? He said, It's events, my dear boy events and. Harold McMillan. Okay. Um, so that, you know, and so there are gonna be events that transpire, uh, globally, nationally, and provincially that you're right, uh, you, you've gotta deal with. And, uh, that may impact your economy or may impact something to do with, um, you know, the, the provincial government. So you have to be prepared for the unknown unknowns and, uh, uh, there's always something like that that pops up. So, Well, we're all looking forward to it. good luck to both the government and the opposition as they head into, into this session. There'll be the pomp and circumstance on Throne Speech Day, which, which will be different from, from last. There wasn't, there wasn't all that stuff. Uh, so there will be a, uh, speech from the throne, from the King's representative, which will be the first time that this will happen in Well, they, they tried, I mean, the pomp and circumstance, they tried to do a last, uh, last fall, but they had protestors out front. I, I think it wasn't because of Covid, they shut it down. They couldn't get the left tenant governor out there because of all the protestors. So, um, so hopefully they'll be able to, to kick it off this year with the way that, because it is, it is, if you've never ever been to the opening of the legislature, it is a fun thing to go and observe. If they have the, the gun salute and the, uh, you know, the, the. What do you call it? The reviewing of the guard or whatever that the left tenant governor does. And it's, uh, there's a lot of po and circumstances associated with it, so hopefully they're, they're able to do that this year. Yeah. Me too. All right. Well, thanks to everybody for listening to the scoop. we are the most listened to political podcast in Saskatchewan, and that's thanks to Sally and Kevin. So thank, thank, thank you guys for, for doing this you. me again this week and every other week, or you know, most weeks at least. All right. Thanks everybody. We'll see you next week. This has been this school. Kevin Doherty is a senior strategy advisor at Prairie sky strategy. You can learn more about his Sally Hauser is the senior manager of public affairs for Canadian strategy group. You can learn more about her That's CDN and I'm a podcaster and public affairs professional. You can learn more about my work at 3 0 6 media productions dot. Or just look me up on LinkedIn. The scoop is made by my podcast production company, 3 0 6 media productions. If you liked this podcast, don't forget to follow it in your favorite podcast app, Ron Spotify, apple podcasts, and all major podcast apps. Thanks for listening to the scoop. See you next week