Saskatchewan New Democratic Party candidate for the Lloydminster riding Colleen Henning has hit the street to talk with constituents about changes they want to see leading to the 2020 Saskatchewan election.
Henning, who was announced as an NDP candidate at the beginning of July, said residents wanted to speak on issues that related heavily towards worries surrounding COVID-19.
“Funding for elementary and secondary schools was an example of a specific COVID matter [ that was brought up].”
Henning believes there should be funding for supplies that are needed in schools more than ever when classes resume.
“They’ll need more cleaning supplies, more need for janitorial hours or maybe more janitorial staff, but no additional funding has been provided for that, and that’s a concern to people because the money will have to come from some other party’s operating budget and that’s a problem.”
Although the Saskatchewan side of Lloydminster saw a slight drop in its unemployment rates last month, many residents may be worried about their next paycheque.
Henning said jobs were an issue before the pandemic due to the oil and gas industry.
“Partly because of our reliance on natural resources as an economic driver in Saskatchewan. We probably need to diversify more so the NDP for example, wants to boost the economy coming out of COVID. Well now, and as we come out of COVID.
Henning looks to put money into family services like education, job training, and housing.
“For every dollar, we invest in families, in those services, we actually get back two dollars in economic growth so that’s the way to grow the economy and create jobs.”
Henning mentioned one resident who spoke with her about the $15 minimum wage, which is an ongoing topic in the NDP platform.
“It’s really important to Lloydminster because we’ve got such an inequity across the border and it makes it hard for businesses in Saskatchewan.”
Other issues brought up by constituents includes post-secondary funding and the choices the government makes with spending money.
Overall, Henning believes a change needs to happen to veer away from the “status quo”.
“Lloydminster has been in a bit of a slump, and then we pull out a bit, and then we slump again. The world is changing and I’m not saying we need to throw out natural resources or anything like that. I’m not saying, let’s end oil, we as a party are not anti-oil. We’re not anti-pipeline, but that can’t be the only thing we rely on.”
Until the writ drops, Henning plans to continue going door-to-door to speak with constituents.
“Our team will do a bit more phoning as well. I’m also going to be starting to hand out some sort of pre-campaign information for people leaving it safely in their mailboxes for them to pick up.”
The provincial election is set to take place this fall no later than October 26th.
Henning is set to run against Incumbent MLA Colleen Young with the Saskatchewan Party.
Young began her campaign trail in July to speak with constituents about life during the pandemic.
She continues to also speak on issues such as cellular service, accessing healthcare for constituents, and issues faced by the oil and gas industry as well as the agricultural sector.