Although Alberta’s defining physical landscape is the Rocky Mountains, it is still regarded as Wild Rose Country. However, it appears the province’s ruling Progressive Conservative government wants to alter that slogan.
On Tuesday, four Tory cabinet ministers gathered in the Stampede City where they announced that new licence plates — featuring the mountains as a backdrop — will be introduced in spring 2015.
The licence plate switch — the first one since the 1980s — will also cost Alberta motorists. Vehicle registration fees will jump from $75 to $80, which Service Alberta Minister Doug Griffiths explained would cover the cost of the new licences and deal with increased expenses in the registry system.
The government estimates the cost attached to the new licence plates will be $15 million. However, the thousands of unregistered vehicles on Alberta roads will be forced to register, bringing about $12 million into provincial coffers.
Until Aug. 19, Albertans will have an opportunity to vote for which of the three prospective plate designs they would like to see replace the current white with red text-laden plates.
So how does this pertain to Saskatchewan?
Our licence plates, like Alberta’s, are very simple. They are also white, but the green text on our plates is a sign of provincial unity.
In 2005, the Land of Living Skies slogan was slapped on the bottom of Saskatchewan licence plates. It is the only major change the province has made to licence plates since 1977, when they adopted the wheat sheaves and switched from red to green text.
Does Saskatchewan need new licence plates? No, we don’t. And even if the Wall government dangled three plate options in front of provincial residents to choose from, what would those options be?
Alberta is fine in becoming like Manitoba and British Columbia before them and adding graphics to their licence plates, but Saskatchewan has no need to follow, especially since there would a multi-million dollar cost attached to the idea — money that could, and is, being spent on more pressing issues such as health, education and infrastructure.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.