We know that prairie people are very generous, even when they leave the land of their birth far behind and make bushels of money elsewhere. A prime example is 88 year old Jimmy Pattison, Canada’s 4th or 5th wealthiest person, depending on how the markets are doing at any given time.
He spent his very early years in the village of Luseland, Saskatchewan, in the depths of the great depression. Vancouver has mostly been Jim’s home since then, and even today he says what he enjoys most in this world is ‘going to work’. His companies employ more than 40,000 people in several countries, and total revenue generated this year is expected to be just over $10 billion. A few days ago, Pattison traveled to Saskatoon and wrote a cheque for $50 million. It will enable the government of Brad Wall to finally finish the province’s long-awaited Children’s Hospital.
Saskatchewan is one of only two provinces in Canada that does not have such a special place to take care of our most precious loved ones. When the doors finally open, it will have Jimmy Pattison’s name on it. They broke ground for the hospital in Saskatoon more than five years ago, but it’s still barely half finished.
Quite frankly this is a major league ‘disgrace’. In the capital of Regina, the Roughriders have already moved into their brand new stadium, a facility that was seen as ‘desperately needed’, by almost nobody.
Yes, Taylor Field was the oldest playpen in the Canadian Football League, but it could easily have sufficed for a couple more seasons, while higher priorities were taken care of.
God bless the Jimmy Pattisons of this world, but Uncle Brad, if you don’t realize that a children’s hospital is a higher priority than a football stadium, you just don’t have your eye on the ball.
I’m Roger Currie