We had breakfast with the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Gordon Barnhart and then took a tour of the Depot Division of the RCMP where Assistant Commissioner Dale McGowan showed us the training facilities that are the first step for every RCMP recruit. After a turn in the driving simulator I realized I don’t have a career ahead of me in law enforcement.
We then drove from Regina to Saskatoon. The countryside was beautiful and we were lucky enough to drive past two lakes where the snow geese were assembling for their trip south. When we were approaching the first lake I saw tens of thousands of white lumps on the lake. I had no idea what they were. As we got closer I was amazed at the assemblage. I understand they congregate in the same locations every year. How do they know?
We then joined Peter MacKinnon, the President of the University of Saskatchewan for a tour of the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron. Since I am not a nuclear physicist I must say a lot of the technology went over my head. But I was impressed that the largest science project in Canada was located in Saskatoon. I was also impressed with the level of cooperation between the CLS and similar projects in the United States and around the world. A similar facility is being built in Lebanon for researchers from nations in the Middle East. World leaders (and diplomats) have a lot to learn from scientists.
After watching the Stampeders and the Roughriders on TV fight to a tie (which allowed me to be diplomatic to my friends in both Alberta and Saskatchewan) we had dinner with Rob Norris, the Saskatchewan Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labor, along with his wife Martha (who is a professor of American History at the University of Saskatchewan) and a large group of people who are active in civic affairs. Their pride in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan was palpable.
One thing Rob mentioned was that the room we were eating in was the same one where he and many Saskatoon citizens had watched the returns on November 4 when Barack Obama was elected. That a group of citizens from Saskatoon were interested enough in the US political process to spend their night watching our results was very rewarding and emblematic of the closeness of our two people.
Tomorrow it’s off to Manitoba.