Brandon misses the boat again!
My wife and I visited the new Sand Hills Casino in Carberry, and what a beautiful facility it is! Well-trained, friendly and helpful staff in all the areas both in the casino itself and in the outstanding buffet restaurant. So nice to see the great employment opportunities created for our young people, many of them of aboriginal descent. Neither of us are gamblers, but we did invest $10 in a slot machine, and after an hour’s entertainment, and two outstanding meals (free during the opening days!), we even had 12 cents left! Cost $9.88! Not bad for two hours of fun and food! As we drove home, I remarked to myself, “What is wrong with the people in Brandon and the administration of this city?” Stodgy, closed-minded individuals, who are frightened to death to take on something new and exciting. Downtown Brandon could suddenly come to life and the core of this city could be revitalized. But no! We would rather not disturb the poor intoxicated soles lying on the street corners after dark. A scourge on this city, with nothing being done about it! If you don’t approve of gambling, don’t go to the casino. Stay home in your safe little cocoons. But don’t let your personal likes, dislikes and beliefs stop others from moving forward. (And this includes the mayor and councillors!) Brandon blew it again! We had an opportunity to get on board the ship to prosperity and to show we are a forward-looking city, but no, not Brandon! If you keep missing the boat time and time again, after a while the boat doesn’t even bother to stop to see if you want to get on board. Pity! Congratulations, Swan Lake First Nation, for your progressive thinking and leadership. One of these days, you will be bigger than Brandon and will continue growing as we just sit back in our rocking chairs and watch.
Producing real wealth
A carpenter builds a house, a farmer brings in a crop, and at the end of the year, both can clearly show you what they have produced. They each have created something of value or real wealth. The recent opening of the Sand Hills Casino near Carberry is reported to generate $150 million over the next 10 years, but I wonder what will really be produced or created by it. This will not be new money, and will almost all come from Brandon and the surrounding communities. But sadly, at the end of the year what will be created will surely be some real misery, some lost jobs, broken homes, hungry kids and personal bankruptcies. But I am sure our government will put programs in place to look after all that.
Why are city employees targeted to have their names made public because they earn more than $50,000? People make the argument it is because our dollars are paying their wages. Who do you think pays the extreme wages of oilfield employees, bankers, construction workers and many other private sector jobs? It’s us — they just increase the price of their goods and services to cover their wages. It would be very interesting to see the number of individuals, the names, as well as the actual wage of the people in the private sector of the Brandon area who make more than $50,000 a year. Think about it, what did the largest part of your income go to last year — city taxes or fuel? I see this as another fail on the part of our government to bully one sector into the disclosure of names and wages of employees while other businesses routinely up their prices to the consumer to cover huge wages they don’t have to publish for us to scrutinize.