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Quality of Life

I had an uplifting conversation with a local woman yesterday.  We took turns talking about all the advantages of living in Moose Jaw.  She gets it.  It made me happy.

You see, I have friends and acquaintances who live all around the country and all around the world.  There are times that I envy them and their lifestyles and there are times when they question why I've chosen to stay in Moose Jaw.

Well, there are a number of reasons why I like it here.  Life is simple in The Friendly City.  We have wonderful outdoor spaces to enjoy and fabulous facilities for our leisure time and the entertainment options have never been better.

Now, back to the conversation.  I pointed out to the local woman that I had made an appointment to do business with her on Wednesday.  I got in to see her on Thursday.  We got it done.  I also booked some professionals to perform a home maintenance job on Wednesday.  They got it done about 24 hours later.  That just doesn't happen in the big city.

These are some of the reasons why she lives here, why I live here - why WE live here.

Trudeau Scandal

They feel betrayed.  They're angry.  Some are worried.  They are your friends and mine - Canadians who are more than concerned with what has turned into a scandal on Parliament Hill.

A court case involving Montreal-based construction firm SNC Lavalin is at the centre of the story along with our now former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould.  She let it out yesterday.

"I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the Attorney General of Canada," she said.

This scandal is about big business and big money.  It's about Montreal and Quebec.  It's about votes.  It's about the Member of Parliament for Papineau - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  It's about the next federal election on October 21st.  

Voter turnout was over 65% last time around.  I'm going to predict it's much higher 8 months from now.

Feedback

Yesterday, I spoke up in favour of a move by city council to approve free access to city facilities for city workers as part of an "employee active living program."  I pointed out city council approved it with a 4-3 vote and I told you which councillors voted against.

I suggested we probably won't see them out swimming, skating or working out at Yara Centre and that if we do, we should ask them if they paid their way.

One of those councillors, Scott McMann, sent me an e-mail to let me know councillors are not included in the program and therefore won't be accessing our facilities for free.  I appreciate the feedback and I stand corrected.

Mr. McMann added, "...I do utilize the walking track at Yara Centre..."

I also got a letter of support for the commentary.  A local woman reacted by writing:  "Feeling like you're viewed as a human being with wants and needs outside of the workplace...is probably better for productivity and creativity in the workplace."

"Plus", she said, "if I spent my days being verbally abused over parking tickets, water main breaks, and potholes...the promise of some exercise later to unleash my stress would keep me from losing it on the general public."

Perks

You can call it a perk.  There will be free swimming, skating and workouts at YaraCentre for City of Moose Jaw employees in the coming weeks.

City council voted 4-3 in favour last night on a motion to direct the human resources department to "develop and implement an employee active living program...providing access to city facilities..."

City manager Jim Puffalt pointed out that having healthy employees could reduce "sick time" and this will be, overall, a benefit to the city.  He also noted that families of civic employees will have to pay fees like the rest of us.

It seems reasonable to me.  I think it's the kind of perk that might help attract and retain employees.  That's a good thing.

It's interesting to note, for the record, councillors Brian Swanson, Dawn Luhning and Scott McMann voted against the motion.  I don't suppose you'll see them out skating, swimming or working out at YaraCentre.  But, if you do, be sure to ask them if they paid to get in.

Water Main Breaks

You could say it was "frank, straightforward and honest."  Therefore, you could call a Thursday news release from the City of Moose Jaw "candid."

It was information about the "rash of watermain breaks" in our city.  The release stated there had been 11 breaks and 7 had been repaired.

The release detailed the worst problem, a transmission line over on Caribou Street West at 14th Avenue:  "...crews were unable to isolate due to faulty or non-existent valves and incomplete construction records," it reads.

And, so I wonder who was in charge when those valves were supposed to be installed and who was responsible for those records.  If one could narrow down when that infrastructure was installed we could figure it out and we could point fingers and lay blame.  But, do we need to do that?  Does it matter now?  I don't think so.

And, I don't think that's what city administration wants either.  They just want us to know about some of the challenges they're facing.  You can't blame them for that.  I appreciate the candidness.

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