One-on-one with NDP leader Nicole Sarauer
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.
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.