|I didn’t have far to go today – just about 100 km but the first 35 km was over a very rough road so it was slow. I’d booked into an RV Park on the east side of Regina & was hoping to find a parking place somewhere near the centre of town so I could have a look around the capital of Saskatchewan.
I found a good 2 hour park on a side street near the museum & not far from the Legislative Building which is what I wanted to see. It’s a very impressive building, one of the largest legislative buildings in Canada, & was the vision of Saskatchewan’s first premier, Walter Scott.
Scott was a remarkable man. He was elected to federal politics in 1900 after a successful newspaper career as owner of the Regina Leader & Moose Jaw Times. He helped craft the legislation that created the provinces of Alberta & Saskatchewan & was elected Saskatchewan’s first Premier in 1905.
Believing that Saskatchewan would grow into one of Canada’s most populous provinces (it’s never come close to his estimate of 10 million – current population is just under 2 million), he immediately started work on this grand building & it was completed by 1912.
He spared no expense either. There are 34 different kinds of marble & the 5 ton main pillars in the rotunda are made from rare green-veined marble from Corsica.
I wasn’t sure whether the building was open for visitors so I asked some gardeners who were planting tulips out the front & they said the doors were open so I went straight in through the front doors. There seemed to be no security of any kind but the bloke behind the desk told me there was a free tour of the building due to start in 10 minutes. How lucky was that?
I was the only one on the tour so, of course, it lasted over an hour instead of the normal 30 minutes & was most interesting. Not only is the building very grand & beautiful, it has lots of history & from a base of zero, I now know a bit about the Canadian legislative system. Today was the last sitting day of the session & they finished early so I even got to go into the Chamber.
They don’t have an upper & lower house – apparently Quebec is the only province that still has a Senate & although the chamber was built for a legislature of 125, they only have 61 seats right now. The Saskatchewan Party has a whopping majority of 50 – 11.
Walking back towards where I’d parked the motorhome I came across a very nice statue of Queen Elizabeth sitting on her horse. Not so unusual until I read that this was her favourite horse called Burmese which was born & raised at Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan & was presented to her by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969. She rode him at the annual Trooping of the Colour until 1987.
It was a beautiful sunny day although it must have been cold last night because the water was frozen in my hose this morning. I wasn’t in any hurry to get up so I switched on my very efficient ducted gas heating & went back to bed for an hour.