What to Expect
The Saskatoon Meewasin by-election will shift into GOTV (get out the vote) mode this week as advanced polls open. The Saskatchewan Party has had many boots on the ground throughout the riding over the last three weeks in its attempt to take the seat from the opposition NDP. Only the governing party and the NDP have a chance of winning the seat, but the other three candidates could potentially be spoilers. The Buffalo Party took some votes (2.5 per cent of the total vote) from the Saskatchewan Party in the 2020 general election in select rural ridings, enough to finish a distant third. The Green Party and Saskatchewan Liberals are also running candidates (including Liberal leader Jeff Walters), which could take votes from the NDP. The race will be tight enough that every vote is going to matter.
The Regina Chamber of Commerce will host new NDP leader Carla Beck at a “meet and greet” this week sponsored by the Saskatchewan Building Trades. The event will give Beck an opportunity to connect with the Regina business community.
In Manitoba, the focus will be on the Premier and a legal filing by Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont. Lamont asked the Court of King’s Bench to expedite a hearing on whether Stefanson violated the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Conflict of Interest Act by failing to disclose the sale of more than $31 million in property in 2016 and 2019. Lamont is going through the courts as that’s the only way to hold a member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly to account if they’re alleged to have violated the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Conflict of Interest Act.
The Week That Was
On September 14, the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan secured an exemption from the federal government to allow oil service rigs to move freely between the two provinces. The joint application for a class exemption began in June of 2019 when the premiers of both provinces signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help remove provincial barriers to the movement of service rigs.
The governments of Saskatchewan and Canada are investing $5.4 million to increase wages for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs). This Wage Enhancement Grant, funded through the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, will be used to provide up to a $2 an hour wage increase to ECEs.
On September 14, Premier Stefanson announced that the provincial government is providing $200,000 to the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC) to support emergency disaster relief efforts in flood-stricken Pakistan. Manitoba is one of the first two Canadian provinces to pledge financial assistance for the emergency response in Pakistan.
The Manitoba government has reached an agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart to provide free menstrual products to schools and other agencies to improve accessibility and reduce period poverty. As part of this partnership, more than 3.3 million menstrual products will be donated to the initiative each year for three years.