author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
Both are incredibly important to me, but only one of them makes sure I can eat.
There is no time more stressful than the last few weeks of March, particularly for university students attempting to struggle lifelessly through yet another semester (almost done, right?). No one is looking up from their textbooks, or the palms of their hands, until a distant bell is rung: the distant, fear inducing funeral bells of a Brad Wall budget.
Anyone who treasures education, artistry, libraries, or basic transportation watched in horror as the big man himself cheerfully traipsed through our wilting flower gardens and pulled thousands of dollars from the hands of the already feeble and poor. Thousands from education, thousands from the arts, and the STC bus system cancelled altogether – oh, Mr. Wall, you really outdid yourself this time.
As members of the arts community, we are not unfamiliar with inhumane treatment at the hands of the provincial government; frankly, even now, I’m not all that surprised. Angry, heartbroken, yes. But surprised? No. I know how poorly Big Bad Brad views us; I would be absolutely, entirely shocked if we received anything more than a nod in our direction.
An attack on the terminally ill, however, that’s a new one. The cancellation of the STC service guarantees that an unfortunate number of ill and dying patients from rural areas will have no means of coming into Regina for treatment; to find alternative means, they would need to offer money they likely do not have, or simply forego treatment that may well save their lives.
Considering the majority of Wall supporters are the elderly, conservative residents of rural Sask., I can’t help but to marvel at the irony, and speculate about their feelings of betrayal. There really is no healthy conservatism without a viable batch of senior right-wingers to bolster the vote, but it doesn’t stop there.
What really baffles me here is the blatant disregard for general humanity. Instead of saving lives, thank god, we built a stadium beside an already standing stadium. Cool! And before anyone greets me with, “it will bring more tourism to Regina.” Just spare me. Tourism won out over human lives, people with terminal illness, children battling cancer – but thank god you have your football.
There is, perhaps, no better time for the otherwise uninvolved to pick up a newspaper, scan any form of media, and admit to themselves that things are wrong. This humble province of ours, otherwise unassuming and unimpressive, is causing its residents to suffer tremendously (and that’s not even speaking for the homeless and Indigenous populations).
My mother always taught me that there must be terrible tragedy before any real change can come, so let’s all consider this our “heads up.” I guess it looks like people have to suffer and die before people boo our beloved premier at a sporting event. Who knows, maybe from there, we’ll throw him to Alberta’s porch and he can swim in the oil he loves so much? Fingers crossed. Just remember, you can’t take a bus to visit!