(Ron Writing) We enjoyed beautiful weather and a fun Labor Day (here it’s Labour Day) in Regina. We drove to the central part of the city to tour the Legislative Building. The Legislative Building is located at a beautiful park surrounding a lake and there was a Labour Day Picnic celebration nearby in the park. So we spent several hours in the area enjoying the nice weather and some of the events at the picnic.
The Saskatchewan Legislative Building is considered to be one of the most impressive government buildings in Canada. We’ve only seen this one and the Alberta Legislative Building but we’d agree that this building compares well with Alberta’s and many of the state capitol buildings we’ve toured in the USA. It was built in 1905 and incorporates a great deal of marble from around the world. Especially beautiful are the huge columns in the rotunda that are made from an unusual dark green marble from Cypress. This color marble was only found at that one location and it has all been quarried so there will never be any more.
We had a private tour today since there were no other visitors at the time we took our tour. The young lady, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and we were able to ask her many questions about the government of the province. We learned that Saskatchewan has historically had one of the most “left-leaning” governments of the provinces although currently the more centrist Saskatchewan Party is in power. The opposition party is the New Democratic Party, probably somewhat of a misnomer since it is more Socialist than Democratic. We also learned that before Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Yukon were separate provinces or territories they were all part of the huge Northwest Territory and that Regina was the seat of government for that territory.
Adjacent to the Legislative grounds the various Labour Unions were having their annual Labour Day picnic celebration. There was entertainment, games for the kids, free food: watermelon, hotdogs, chips, popcorn, candy, soda, etc. and, of course, several rousing speeches aimed at creating support for the New Democratic Party candidates in the upcoming elections. This is probably the most highly unionized province in Canada and these folks intend to keep it that way!
It was a fun and interesting day learning a little about the province, its government and politics, all while enjoying a great day in a nice park in a beautiful city. This was the warmest day we’ve had since leaving the US around the first of June!
Late this afternoon we stopped back at the Chapters. This is the first bookstore in Canada we’ve found that has a fireplace to sit by while browsing books. The first time we saw this was the Barnes & Noble Store in Fairbanks. Another first today was finding a medical clinic in the new WalMart Supercenter where we are parked. The clinic has four doctors and accepts walk-in patients. McDonalds, housed at WMSC, offers free coffee during the morning hours on Thursday...another 1st!
Weather: Overnight low was 48°, today it was sunny with highs in the high 80’s.
Tonight’s stop: Regina, SK WalMart Supercenter parking lot.