Letter to the Editor - How thought out was Moe's Bucks for Pucks?

Dear Editor:

In the midst of one of the worst epidemics that the current generation has ever witnessed was the handing over of four (4) million dollars to the WHL and the SJHL the best use of borrowed money by our provincial Government?  I think not and from personal experience I do hope that all the right questions had been asked. Or could have $4 million been provided to the hundreds of small businesses that may not survive or have already folded not been a better use of those dollars?  

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If the readers feel I just don’t have a use for the hockey world, I believe my personal record proves otherwise. Along with my wife we not only billeted a couple dozen SJHL players over a dozen or so years. Plus a number of years volunteering for the local executive of a SJHL team plus 6 very eventful years as the President of a SJHL team as well at least that many years as a Governor to the Board of the SJHL. Yes I do understand the hard work and the endless fund raising that happens to make a community owned SJHL team survive. Watching budgets grow and listening to endless requests by players and sometimes even their parents so junior could be comfortable in this new community playing out his dream of being a hockey player. And the WHL, well I certainly understood they always took the best out of our roster. However my departure from the SJHL eventually led me to be a big fan of the WHL. And I am proud to say that our daughter and son in law somewhat followed in our volunteering footsteps as they became deeply involved with their hometown team Swift Current Broncos of the WHL. And yes the work and fundraising only gets more and possibly harder because of the largeness of the WHL.

However now to my comment “was all the right questions asked”?  Once your near the top of a Junior team you quickly learn that once you are out of playoff contention the expense’s all but nearly stop. Once the boys are sent home only office expenses and possibly some coaching and general manager staff do continue to be on the payroll. So have the respective teams been asked to limit expenses to the absolute minimum?? Yes they may fire up the season in the end of March, however the numbers in Saskatchewan are not slowing down, the vaccination process in Saskatchewan appears to be developing almost as poorly rolling out as Premier Moe’s ability to understand how to slow down the pandemic.

Also on asking the right questions: both the SJHL and WHL have head offices with at a minimum a President at the top. So I’m curious will the money firstly go in that direction with a League President and possibly staff still maintaining day to day office work, auto rentals and other expenses which will skim off the thousands that they need and possibly sending out a lot less to the respective teams with possibly equal amounts to the community owned teams and also to the ones owned by well off owners. SO were the right questions asked? My hunch is not!

And while we are helping out sports teams my question is whose next?  The riders? The provincial football league? Well how about the countless senior hockey teams that exist throughout Saskatchewan in all those ridings that Moe proudly boast’s as his, don’t they deserve some of this excess new cash that Moe and company appear to have found?

I’ll end with a comment which to me is the direction this provincial Government should have gone!

Firstly who were the people that lobbied the Government on behalf of the WHL and SJHL?

Lets find them and have the Provincial Chamber of Commerce hire them to lobby the Provincial Government to get cash and a program to support all the small and local small business that have struggled to survive this pandemic and in many small communities are all thats left there as far as a Commercial Business.

All residents of Sask need to ask their Government MLA, was “Moe’s Bucks for Pucks” the best use of 4 Million dollars at this time.?

Micheal Halyk
Melville, SK

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