It’s all fun and games until you blow up a psychopath’s favourite bridge

What Just Happened | Stephen Whitworth | Oct. 13, 2022

Suffering Psyche! Here’s the news that caught the What Just Happened desk’s attention over the last couple of weeks.

SATURDAY 1: MINIMAL INCREASE Saskatchewan’s minimum wage rose to a Canada-worst $13/hour from its previous Canada-worst $11.81/hour today. The highly inadequate increase, the first of three planned annual $1/hour hikes, will nevertheless help workers trying to survive on poverty wages. And that’s good. “Our government is committed to ensuring life is affordable for our low-income residents by increasing the minimum wage over the next three years,” said Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan in a press release. “This commitment to affordability will support Saskatchewan workers, and ensure Saskatchewan is the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” added Morgan, who makes over $155,000 a year sitting with colleagues who have seen their salaries increase by over $7K/year since 2018, according to an April 23 CBC Saskatchewan report.

THURSDAY 6: SMITH HAPPENS United Conservative Party members gave leadership candidate Danielle Smith just under 54 per cent of their votes to make her the next premier of Canada’s most oil-crazy province. Smith, who ran on a rickety platform of Alberta autonomy and opposition to federal “climate cops” (which don’t exist), replaces naked mole rat Jason Kenney in the Premier’s chair. While it would seem difficult for Albertans to sink lower than Kenney — a right-wing corporate stooge who once helped block a gay man from visiting his dying partner in hospital — they may have done it with their new leader, who has vowed to ignore federal laws she doesn’t like and called unvaccinated Albertans “the most discriminated-against group that I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime.” Pop the popcorn, this ought to be good.

MONDAY 10: PETTY PUTIN Vladimir Putin responded to the attack on his precious Kerch bridge, which links Russia to his illegally annexed Crimea, with revenge missile strikes on several Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv. At least 19 people were reported killed. Putin sucks. Get him, Herc!

TUESDAY 11: HOCKEY, MOE, LANSBURY WOE First up, Hockey Canada’s embattled and out-of-touch-with-reality leadership finally, FINALLY took the long overdue step of, well, stepping down. CEO Scott Smith and the organization’s entire board of directors resigned following a mass exodus of major sponsors — including Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire, Nike, TELUS and the Keg. Board chair Andrea Skinner previously resigned on Oct. 8, after a petulant appearance before the Canadian Heritage Committee where she suggested Hockey Canada was being unfairly scapegoated. Wah wah waaah.

A new board will be elected Dec. 17, and an interim committee will run Hockey Canada until then.

Also today: movie and television star Dame Angela Lansbury died, five days before what would have been her 97th birthday. The Murder, She Wrote actor is nostalgically remembered by the What Just Happened desk for her performance in 1971’s Bedknobs And Broomsticks, a children’s movie that followed the adventures of a Nazi-fighting, correspondence-school-trained witch (Lansbury). Rest in peace.

Finally, Premier Scott Moe released his so-called “plan” to save Saskatchewan from the carbon-taxing minions of the evil federal Trudeaus. Moe’s paper, titled Drawing the Line: Defending Saskatchewan’s Economic Autonomy, debuted at a chamber of commerce luncheon in the teeming metropolis of North Battleford (pop. 13,836 and shrinking). Its proposals include new provincial legislation, legal action against the feds and taking greater control of immigration and taxation.

Critics offered a few off-the-top-of-their-heads opinions on Scott Moe’s paper. They suggested it is, first and foremost, a sleazy and cynical attempt to fire-up support for Moe’s lazy, entitled and tired Saskatchewan Party government which consistently opposes the federal Liberals for sordid partisan political reasons. Critics point out, for example, that there is exactly zero chance of the Sask. Party government pulling this grandstanding nonsense if Conservatives held power in Ottawa.

Remember when the Sask. Party gave their friend, then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a break by shutting down a lawsuit by the former NDP government against Ottawa that demanded accommodation for Saskatchewan’s non-renewable resources in equalization calculations? Pepperidge Farm remembers, and so does the What Just Happened desk.

Critics (okay, fine, it’s me) ALSO added that climate change is real regardless of the misinformed if not delusional opinions of many core Sask. Party supporters, and Saskatchewan has moral, legal and pragmatic obligations to take this global crisis seriously before we get left behind in a world that’s moving away from fossil fuel — whether rural Saskatchewan likes it or not.

At press time, it was unclear whether the premier flew to North Battleford or just drove there in the biggest, gas-guzzlingest truck he could find.