One-on-one with NDP leader Ni­cole Sa­rauer

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - FRONT PAGE - PETER LOZIN­SKI

The Daily Her­ald sat down with the in­terim leader dur­ing her stop in P.A.

The pro­vin­cial NDP held a cau­cus meet­ing in Prince Al­bert Wed­nes­day and reached out to sev­eral lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions in the com­mu­nity. Leader Ni­cole Sa­rauer stopped by the Daily Her­ald of­fice Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon and spoke about the up­com­ing fall ses­sion, what the party has been hear­ing and where it’s headed over the next three years.

Note: this in­ter­view has been lightly edited for length and clar­ity

blocked our at­tempts to ques­tion key wit­nesses in com­mit­tee.

Even yes­ter­day, when Cathy Sproule our critic should have been able to ques­tion (for­mer deputy min­is­ter of the GTH) Laurie Pushor, one of the key folks be­hind the GTH, he didn’t show up for com­mit­tee. The party needs to be more trans­par­ent. We have con­tin­u­ously called on the gov­ern­ment to call a ju­di­cial in­quiry into this.

The peo­ple of Saskatchewan de­serve to know what’s go­ing on with the GTH land scan­dal and what’s go­ing on with the GTH in gen­eral. We’re go­ing to con­tinue to push for that.

Q: You guys have ses­sion com­ing up in Oc­to­ber. It’s been a more ex­cit­ing sum­mer break than we typ­i­cally see in pol­i­tics. It’s been lots of drama. But what our your pri­or­i­ties go­ing back to ses­sion in a month?

A: It’s been an in­cred­i­bly busy sum­mer for us. We’ve been all work­ing very very hard reach­ing out to all four cor­ners of the prov­ince and speak­ing with dif­fer­ent folks in dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties, hear­ing about their con­cerns, hear­ing about what their vi­sion is for the fu­ture of the prov­ince.

We also worked re­ally hard to make sure that we added Vicki Mowatt our new MLA for Saska­toon Fairview to our cau­cus so that we would have an­other strong mem­ber to our team.

Ses­sion is an­other op­por­tu­nity for us to hold the gov­ern­ment to ac­count and push them on con­cerns we’re hear­ing from folks across the prov­ince. Grow­ing ques­tions about the GTH is one ex­am­ple, cuts to ed­u­ca­tion, fam­i­lies who don’t know how they’re go­ing to get their kids to school and low in­come units we’re hear­ing are be­ing sold of across the prov­ince are just a few of many ex­am­ples of what we’ve been hear­ing that peo­ple want to see ad­dressed in the fall ses­sion.

Q: This was year one. There are three more years of this ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment. What do you guys have to do over the next three years?

A: We’re cur­rently go­ing through a lead­er­ship race That is a process by which we can build our move­ment, talk about pol­icy and fig­ure out what di­rec­tion we want to move in the com­ing months. We’re un­der­go­ing that process. We’re grow­ing as a party. We’re go­ing to con­tinue grow­ing. We’re go­ing to con­tinue reach­ing out to folks and we’re go­ing to keep build­ing to­wards form­ing gov­ern­ment in 2020.

Q: Of course the job of the op­po­si­tion is to op­pose the gov­ern­ment. We’ve heard things like the slo­gan “mis­man­age­ment, scan­dal and waste.” A crit­i­cism could be maybe, yes, maybe they mis­spent money. If they did, that money is now gone It’s spent. What do you do now? What can they do now? What would you do?

A: A large part of that shapes up in our lead­er­ship race. A large part of that is the work be­ing done by our lead­er­ship can­di­dates, and we’re re­ally ex­cited by the out­reach work they’re do­ing and the plat­form and pol­icy ideas they’re go­ing to come out with.

But it re­ally is true that this gov­ern­ment did mis­man­age and waste hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars on the by­pass and mil­lions of dol­lars on the GTH. When we’re talk­ing about, for ex­am­ple school di­vi­sions hav­ing to cut day­care for chil­dren with spe­cial needs or school di­vi­sions that have to cut bussing ser­vices for kids in kinder­garten, this money re­ally adds up.

What would we do? What I can say we would do now, we would open the books, we would fig­ure out ex­actly what’s go­ing on. We would fig­ure out what’s hap­pen­ing in th­ese scan­dals that hae wasted mil­lions of dol­lars. That money should be go­ing to, for ex­am­ple, restor­ing th­ese ser­vices.

PETER LOZIN­SKI/DAILY HER­ALD

In­terim NDP leader Ni­cole Sa­rauer poses in front of City Hall. She stopped by the Daily Her­ald while in town for a cau­cus meet­ing on Sept. 13.

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