Stackhouse Soapbox - Drinking and driving needs to end

When it comes to sports in Saskatchewan, we focus a lot on the success stories of hockey and football; but we tend to miss a lot of other great achievements.  For example, former YRHS student Megan Nagy is blazing a path towards the Olympics in beach volleyball.

The 29-year-old is a former Canadian college player of the year and there’s an excellent article on her in the Medicine Hat News (where she went to college) if you want to read up. Google is your friend here.
Christmas brings out a lot of emotions in all of us. For many, it involves the usual happiness that I don’t need to go over further here in this column. But for others, there’s a lot of pain and emptiness. It’s never a pleasant experience to be without a loved one, but I can’t help but think what Christmas will be like from now on for the family of the 11-year-old girl who was killed on Friday night near Warman in a traffic accident where alcohol was involved. Another needless death caused by someone who shouldn’t be driving. Saskatchewan really has an issue with this crime and we refuse to address it. Sure, penalties are a little stiffer than they used to be, but that doesn’t prevent anything. We need to be more proactive by allowing police to have the manpower, resources, and ability to set up checkstops. We also need to allow police to ask any individual stopped for a breath test. Suspicion shouldn’t even matter and if you haven’t been drinking, why do you care anyway? The legalities involved when it comes to processing a drunk driver are ridiculous. It takes two officers off the road for many hours during their watch so I know why they aren’t in a hurry to go out and catch people committing this offense.

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According to CBC News, and we  know you can’t often take what they say seriously, the RCMP are facing a staffing crunch so they are looking at changing the qualifications in order for potential officers to become eligible to serve.  At the moment, if you have a criminal record you are banned from being an RCMP member. That stipulation is under review. As are aptitude tests. Seems like the sensible thing to do: not enough people are qualified to work so lower the qualifications. I can recall over ten years ago, I was approached by a couple of senior officers who served in Yorkton to apply to become an officer. At the time, there was an emphasis on hiring females as well as visible minorities. In addition, there were a few cases in the media where RCMP employees had run into trouble as far as having grievances launched against them by criminals looking to get even and it appeared as though these officers weren’t backed by upper management so I just felt it was too risky a position to put myself in. I wonder if more people have thought about it like me and perhaps the emphasis away from hiring white males has caused white males to look somewhere else when it comes to a career.

Perhaps I’d be closing in on 25 years with the RCMP had they looked at me in the early 1990s, but I was a no-go because of my height (too short) and my pre-corrected eye prescription (too blind).  I believe both of these requirements have since been adjusted as well.

I had a recent discussion with a younger person on what motivates them to vote left wing and one of the arguments presented to me is that young people are hesitant to put a man like Andrew Scheer in charge because he is on record as opposing abortion and isn’t a fan of same sex marriage. The fact that Scheer has these beliefs but has also gone on record as saying he respects that Canadians have already made decisions on these social issues and he isn’t about to re-open them doesn’t resonate with young people. Things like the economy, illegal immigration, and employment levels take a back seat to liberal social positions. That’s just the way it is.

NBC tweeted out a promotional video over the weekend that showed an 11-year-old child in drag. The point was how this 11-year-old is using his voice to encourage LGBTQ youth to be themselves. Many people thought this was a beautiful story so you can imagine the reaction I got when I called it child abuse. Pretend that’s a 10-11 year-old girl and the dress-up is in provocative clothing with heavy make-up designed to make the child look like a beauty queen. Would it still be a beautiful story or would we cringe?

A bit of clarification for those who maybe missed this: The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has endorsed a carbon tax. Make no mistake. The Saskatchewan Chamber voted against it (as did Ontario, I believe). Yorkton is also not in support. A notion that Canadian Chambers are unanimously with the Liberal government is nothing short of a lie by media that reported it and the Canadian Chamber, while I don’t think they should have endorsed it at all, isn’t necessarily in support of the exact ideas our federal government has.

Nice people mentions this week:  Christine Fitzgerald, Karin Nabe, Kristin Karcha, Gaylene Putland, Shaune Beatty, and Sharla Schrader.

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