The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party’s newest candidate for the Lloydminster riding, Colleen Henning, plans to meet face-to-face with constituents leading to the 2020 election.
Henning was informed on Tuesday night that Election’s Canada has given candidates permission to go door-to-door during their campaign.
“I’ll be getting more information from the NDP within the next couple of days on the specifics on exactly how we will do that to make sure that we’re following all guidelines for maximum safety,” adds Henning.
This came after the party announced her candidacy during an online nomination meeting held on Zoom conference call.
“A lot of people would rather talk to a candidate face-to-face and I would rather talk to people face-to-face and on the phone as well. We will start to do that pretty soon,” said Henning.
She was born and raised in Lloydminster with a long resume which includes human service and accountant experience.
Henning was also a treasurer for the Lloydminster Coalition Action Society when the Men’s Shelter was coming to fruition.
The 48-year-old candidate, who is currently a teacher at Holy Rosary High School, believes her experience will give her an edge relating to the constituency.
“I think I have a good sense of what we need,” said Henning.
Her main focuses are job and income security, mental health, and addiction services, roads, and internet/cellphone service.
She adds the pandemic has shaken a lot of businesses that were successful before being impacted by provincial closures.
“We’ve seen business closures right here in Lloydminster, unfortunately. That’s huge right now. We need to think about how we can support local businesses, local industries, provincial businesses, provincial industries so that [residents] can prosper.”
Henning believes poor road conditions, especially in the northern part of the riding, also has a huge impact on residents looking to access the resources they need.
“People there can’t access the things they need to be safe and prosperous in terms of employment and education.”
She believes the pandemic also showcased the need for better internet and cellphone service for rural areas.
“There are a lot of dead zones [in the riding], and [Service] can be unreasonably expensive. This service is sometimes not up to the needs of technology,” adds Henning.
Henning believes the government needs to provide more support for mental health help in the province.
“It’s harder for people to access resources during [the pandemic] but even before[ the pandemic], Saskatchewan lacked some of the necessary treatment options that people needed.”
As an example, she mentioned that In June, the provincial government turned down the Saskatchewan Strategy for Suicide Prevention Act.
The government would label suicide as not only a mental health issue but also a public health issue through the bill.
The provincial election is set to take place this fall no later than October 26th.
Henning is running against incumbent Colleen Young with the Saskatchewan Party.