Ideology-based decisions costly

Concern over the Harper government's disdain for evidencebased public policy has made international headlines.

Whether it's because the government doesn't believe it to be a threat or that it is a federal issue, Ottawa's refusal to take a leading role in the battle against the mountain pine beetle has put Saskatchewan on the front lines of what could be a very costly infestation.

The beetle, which already has wreaked havoc on British Columbia's forest, has been marching across Alberta for the past decade and cost that province more than a quarter of a billion as it tries to slow the beetles' progress. Ottawa was a minor partner in the war until 2009, but has since cut its funding.