By Joan Janzen 

True story – a couple invited a group of friends to dinner. At the table, the wife turned to their six-year- old daughter and asked her, “Would you like to say grace?”

“No, Mommy. I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied.

Her mom tried to boost her confidence by suggesting, “Just say what you hear Mommy say.”

So their daughter bowed her head and said, “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

I’m sure this family valued every person sitting around their table, yet the hostess didn’t fully appreciate them that evening. Like this hostess, we can focus on every day challenges and lose sight of all the good that surrounds us.

It wasn’t too long ago that Saskatchewan was classed as a have-not province and people were thinking “Why on earth do I live here?” But today there’s plenty of assets to be found in Saskatchewan.

Did you know that our province boasts an extraordinary amount of exports to foreign countries? Saskatchewan exports more to non-U.S. customers than any other Canadian province, except for British Columbia. We’ve surpassed Ontario with respect to exporting food, and our exports have almost doubled since 2007.

Our province can credit our farmers and entrepreneurs for the export of fertilizer, food, potash, and for providing energy security to Asia. We export uranium to India and China, countries that are otherwise building coal plants.

It’s nothing less than extraordinary for a province with a population of 1.3 million to export $35 billion annually to foreign countries. Saskatchewan is clearly an example of economic freedom in our country, and we definitely want to do everything we can to keep it that way.

We also have long standing provincial Crown corporations, including Saskatchewan Government Insurance, established in 1945; Sask. Energy founded in 1952, Sask. Power in 1949, and Sask. Tel had its origin as far back as 1908. These are well established and have proven to be beneficial to residents of Saskatchewan and our province.

The following story about two old friends illustrates how we can take for granted all that we have. When two friends met on the street, one fellow looked very sad causing his friend to ask, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”

The sad man said, “Three weeks ago my uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars.”

“That’s a lot of money.” his friend responded.

“Yeah, but two weeks ago a cousin I never knew died and left me eighty-five thousand dollars.” he added.

“Sounds like you’ve been given a lot of cash.”

“You don’t understand!” his friend interrupted. “Last week my great aunt passed away and I inherited almost a quarter of a million from her.”

Now the man’s friend was really confused. “Then, why do you look so sad?”

His friend moaned, “This week … nothing!”

We live in a province where we have been given much on a regular basis. Yet at the same time, we can’t afford to just assume and take for granted continuing prosperity. We need to be ever grateful for what we have, and remain united in building our province.

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