Resources are the backbone of Souris-Moose Mountain, says MP


Our province has many amazing features, including an abundance of natural resources beneath our feet. While oil, coal and potash have been exploited for several decades, exciting developments are also being made in materials used in alternative forms of energy. Dr. Robert Kitchen, MP for Souris-Moose Mountain, believes these resources should be explored further, especially given the opportunities in our own region.

“We have the geothermal power station in Torquay which is being reviewed and there is a huge amount of lithium in the brine that comes out of there,” he said. “My understanding is that there is also a huge amount of lithium in the Stoughton area, a product that is needed. Look at graphite and all the minerals that go into solar panels. These are things that we have huge amounts of in our constituency and these are things that we need to take and use where appropriate rather than importing them from dictatorial countries around the world who treat their citizens with utter disregard.”

From a global perspective, Kitchen says, commercializing the resources found in Saskatchewan makes both economic and ethical sense.

“Germany had to go back to coal power and wants LNG – we have natural gas in Saskatchewan that could be exported to Germany and instead we have the current government sending parts back to the Russians so they can export their natural gas to Germany,” he said. “And now we have Russia and its illegal invasion of Ukraine and we want to turn around and say 'that's OK' but we don't want to use our own natural gas even though we can use LNG and ship it to that part of the world. It just doesn't make sense.”

Kitchen also mentioned a crucial resource that he values ​​most: the people of his constituency and the fortunate opportunity to meet them and learn about their successes and concerns.

“The ability to communicate with my constituents and be out and about with them is very important to me,” Kitchen said. “Whether that's in Moosomin and surrounding areas – Rocanville, Fairlight, etc. Getting out to those areas to communicate with them and hear from them, I think, is probably the biggest benefit of what we've done over the past year. I can't thank my constituents enough for the opportunity to sit there and talk to them and hear not only the positive things but the negative things as well.”

“There were a number of negative aspects that we wanted to change and we will continue to push to ensure that we make those changes when we get the opportunity to vote,” he said.

When asked about the biggest challenge his constituents have told him about over the past year, Kitchen pointed to the high cost of living and the impact it has on everyone.

“Ultimately, I think the biggest issues are obviously the huge inflation costs that all Canadians have to bear,” he said. “Whether it's rent or groceries, these things have a huge impact on Canadians. Going forward, we absolutely want to restrict and reduce these things; reduce the prices of our groceries, reduce heating costs. Likewise, the inflation costs of rent and even the housing market have risen pretty exponentially.”

One part of the solution seems to be in agreement among Kitchen's colleagues: abolishing the carbon tax entirely. Such a measure may not be implemented unless there is a change of government, but for now, Kitchen says MPs will continue to seek changes to the tax in its current form.

“We've said for a long time that we're going to get rid of the carbon tax, that's what we want to do,” he said. “Of course we want to be in government and we're going to do everything we can between now and then to put pressure on this government to at least get rid of the tax, whether it's for the people who get simple little tax exemptions on their heating tax. This Liberal government created that tax exemption for the East Coast but not for our constituents in Souris-Moose Mountain. We want to make sure we get rid of that tax because the tax exemption puts money in your pocket. It's not just that tax that's going up, there's a GST on top of that. So, again, if you get rid of that tax, the GST is gone, the tax is gone, the money is now in your pocket and you can make decisions about what you think is best and where to best spend the money.”

While the next federal elections may not take place until October 2025, Kitchen sees the change as an opportunity.

“The big opportunity I see and want to see is this election,” he said. “That's the most important thing — getting to that election and finding a way to bring down this government. The unfortunate thing is that we have an NDP-backed government and that gives the Liberals so many opportunities. It's a big challenge to bring them down, but the ultimate goal is that we bring down this current government.”

Ryan Kiedrowski, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, The World-Spectator