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Warriors Attendance

They came in buses, they came in cars and trucks.  One bus load of Swift Current Broncos fans came on Friday, stayed overnight and joined us for game 2 on Saturday night.

Our Moose Jaw Warriors, as you likely know, played host to the Broncos in games 1 and 2 of their first round Western Hockey League playoff series on the weekend.  I'll guess there were 200 to 300 Broncos fans in attendance - maybe more.  It's great to see.

We're survivors in Moose Jaw and Swift Current.  Remember, our teams, our cities, are competing in a league with teams in major cities like Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Seattle and Portland.  We're underdogs.  Always will be.

Many marvel at the fact we're able to support major junior hockey clubs in our cities. Think about it.  Attendance on Saturday night at our Mosaic Place was 3610.  That's about 10% of Moose Jaw's population.  Capacity at the Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current is 2879.  That's about 19% of Swift Current's population.

Remarkable, I'd say.

STC

You can call it the end of an era if you like but really, the era ended long ago.

10 years ago the subsidy, per passenger, was $25.  Today it is $94 per passenger.  If we were to continue the service, $85 million would be needed from government to continue the operation over the next 5 years.  Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said, "STC has become an unsustainable model".  

STC buses will stop running later this spring after serving us for over 70 years.  

Apparently, ridership peaked back in 1980.  It has dwindled since.

I clearly remember riding those buses back in the 70's and 80's.  I took many a trip between Moose Jaw, Regina and Saskatoon.  The trips I remember best were the 6 hour rides from North Battleford back in '85 when I took my first radio job up north.  You see, those buses stopped at just about every community along the way.  There was freight to exchange and people to pick up.  I'll never forget those tours of downtown Aylesbury and Hanley and Kenaston and Bladworth.

I actually looked forward to each stop because the bus driver would open the door and let the cigarette smoke clear.  Yes, those were the days when the first 7 rows were for non-smokers.

Provincial Budget

The new provincial budget will impact our lives.  That is clear.

The PST is up to 6% from 5% and will now be applied to a number of things that were exempt, like children's clothing and restaurant meals.  

The Saskatchewan Transportation Company is folding.  STC, which started back in 1946, is losing money.  224 people lose their jobs and we save $17 million a year.

Tobacco and alcohol taxes are also going up.

Down east, in Ottawa, Finance Minister Bill Morneau also announced tax hikes for smokes and booze.  The Liberal government also made changes to ride-sharing services like Uber.  They must now charge the GST.

Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose reacted on Twitter:  "Tax hikes on transit, Uber, beer & more. Canadians are being nickel and dimed to pay for Justin Trudeau's out of control spending."

I thought Ambrose nailed it on live TV yesterday, saying "They just ruined your Saturday night."

Feedback

Let's make it clear.  This commentary is here for your entertainment.  The aim is to generate conversation as I share stories, facts and my opinion.  

We generated conversation and feedback last week when I shared some of city councilor Brian Swanson's comments on the funding model for cast iron water pipe replacement. He said we're in a "crisis situation".  I called him "Captain Obvious".

One listener took issue with that.  "Realist" sent an e-mail, telling me my "brain is smaller than we thought".  He says "...Swanson tried to push for our infrastructure needs in the early 90's and was voted down every time by the likes of councilors (Chow and the rest of his buffoons)...your (sic) just as stupid as they were."

Local listener "Brenda" also sent a message.  It says "Regarding Carnie's Comments...nothing short of brilliant!  Special mention to the "Captain Obvious" referral - this is the kind of get up and go broadcasting that is needed in a city where unfortunately change is almost unheard of and new ideas are ignored...way to go, Rob."

Thanks, Brenda.

Dylan

A couple of people who follow 800 CHAB on Facebook say they won't be going to see Bob Dylan when he comes to Moose Jaw this summer.  One guy says Bob should "hang it up already".

But, another says "You simply gotta go.  Super live show".

Bob Dylan is an icon.  He was, is, an influential songwriter and performer.  As a young man, he had the courage to write and sing and talk about things that others were afraid to address.  Some of his songs became anthems for the anti-war movement and civil rights.

Bob Dylan's tour includes 28 shows in 6 weeks in Great Britain, starting April 1st.  Then he'll take a month off and fire it up again in June with a few shows in the US before he starts at extensive Canadian tour.  His Saskatchewan stops will be in Saskatoon on July 14th and in Moose Jaw at Mosaic Place on Saturday, July 15th.

Oh, and on May 24th, Dylan will turn 76 years old.

I think it'll be special just to be in the same room.  Tickets for his Mosaic Place show go on sale Friday morning.  "You simply gotta go."

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Golden West Broadcasting. Publication on this website should not be considered an endorsement. GWB and its employees do not express or imply any warranty or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information on this website. GWB will not be held liable for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising under this disclaimer or in connection with our website. By using our website, you accept this disclaimer in full.

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