Saskatchewan

Almost 10% of Sask. Party candidates have been convicted of drunk driving

Six candidates running for the Saskatchewan Party have previous convictions for drunk driving. That's almost 10 per cent of the total number of candidates running for the party in the fall election.

Party disclosed that two recently nominated candidates have previous impaired convictions

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is one of six Saskatchewan Party candidates running in the upcoming election who have previous impaired driving convictions. (Matthew Garand/CBC)

Six candidates running for the Saskatchewan Party have previous convictions for drunk driving. That's almost 10 per cent of the 61 candidates running for the party in the fall election.

The party's office made the disclosure on Friday afternoon, shortly before the start of the long weekend. 

Four of the candidates are current MLAs for the Saskatchewan Party, including Premier Scott Moe. Those convictions had been publicly revealed before the last election. 

Today, the party disclosed that two new candidates — Terry Jenson, running in Martensville-Warman, and Manny Sadhra, running in Saskatoon Fairview — also have been convicted of impaired driving. 

Some of the convictions are from decades ago while others are quite recent. In two cases, the politicians have been convicted twice. 

Candidate Constituency Date of conviction(s)
Terry Dennis Canora-Pelly 1978, 2001
Don McMorris Indian Head-Milestone 2016
Terry Jenson Martensville-Warman 1994
Scott Moe  Rosthern-Shellbrook 1992
Manny Sadhra Saskatoon Fairview  2008
Eric Olauson Saskatoon University 1992, 1993

 

CBC asked for an interview with a party official about why so many candidates have impaired driving charges. 

In an email, the party's executive director, Patrick Bundrock wrote, "candidates are evaluated individually, not on a cumulative basis related to how many candidates have some particular characteristic or history." 

According to 2015 data from Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan is one of the worst provinces when it comes to drunk driving. 

"Saskatchewan recorded the highest impaired driving rate among the provinces in 2015, at 575 incidents per 100,000 population," says a report released in December 2016. "This rate is considerably higher than that of any other province; Alberta ranked next with a rate of just over half that of Saskatchewan." 

The Saskatchewan Party's news release said the party made the convictions public as part of its "candidate disclosure process."

When asked if there were any candidates with criminal convictions besides impaired driving charges, Bundrock said "these are the only candidates with criminal records."

CBC asked the NDP if any of its candidates in the upcoming election have been convicted of drunk driving. An official with the party said he was unable to provide that detail immediately but it will be disclosed in the future. 

The next provincial election is slated for Oct. 26.

About the Author

Geoff Leo

Senior Investigative Journalist

Geoff Leo has been a reporter for CBC News in Saskatchewan since 2001. His work as an investigative journalist and documentary producer has earned numerous national and regional awards.

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