Saskatchewan

15 constituencies to watch when Saskatchewan votes

The polls suggest a predictable outcome to the overall result of Monday's vote, but there may still be some surprises in store.

CBC Saskatchewan's political reporter highlights more than a dozen races to keep an eye on

Printed material is warehoused by Elections Saskatchewan prior to the vote on April 4. (Elections Saskatchewan)

Cumberland

This is one of two northern seats in the province which the NDP has held for many decades.

This time, incumbent Doyle Vermette will be up against the young mayor of La Ronge, Thomas Sierzycki. The Saskatchewan Party considers the young mayor one of its star candidates.

Kindersley

This race got a lot more interesting, when former Saskatchewan Party MLA Jason Dearborn entered the race as an independent to challenge the incumbent Bill Boyd. 

Boyd, a founding member of the Saskatchewan Party, has been a fixture in the seat for most of the past few decades but has weathered some controversy in recent years — from exploding smart meters to a land sale west of Regina. 

Moose Jaw North

This seat was held by the NDP until 2007, when Warren Michelson won it for the Sask. Party over long-time MLA Glenn Hagel.

This time, he will campaign against the NDP's Corey Atkinson who is a journalist and father who advocates for kids with cognitive disabilities.

Moose Jaw Wakamow

This was another steal by the Saskatchewan Party in 2011. It had been an NDP stronghold since the mid-1980s, until Greg Lawrence squeaked out a win over veteran MLA Deb Higgins, now the city's mayor.

Lawrence is being challenged this time by Karen Purdy, a nurse who may get an extra helping hand from the allegation, which he vehemently denies, that Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski referred to her as an NDP whore. (Lukiwski says he meant NDP "horde".)

Prince Albert Carlton

Could the Gateway to the North return to its NDP roots? If so, it may begin in PA Carleton. This was an NDP stronghold until a local police officer, Darryl Hickie, won the seat in 2007.

This time, the Sask. Party candidate is Joe Hargrave, a prominent businessman promising to continue the lobby for a second bridge in the city.

The NDP, meanwhile, is already promising a new bridge. Its candidate, Shane Lazarowich is the executive director of the Prince Albert Multicultural Council as well as a member of various boards and groups.

Prince Albert Northcote

This seat was held by the NDP for two decades until the Sask. Party's Victoria Jurgens won it in 2011 by fewer than 200 votes and a few percentage points.

This time, she's up against Nicole Rancourt — a social worker who deals with mental health and is active in her union.

Regina Coronation Park

Mark Docherty won this seat for the Sask. Party in 2011, after it had been held for two decades by the NDP's Kim Trew.

Docherty is well known in the community for his work with groups such as the Street Culture Kidz Project and the North Central Community Association.

However, he's up against an equally well-known opponent in Ted Jaleta, who describes himself as someone who's been a "runner, prisoner, refugee, immigrant, world-class athlete, coach, leader and motivational speaker".  

Regina Douglas Park

An upset win for the Saskatchewan Party in 2011, when Russ Marchuk — who spent three decades working in Regina public schools from teacher to trustee — defeated the highly unpopular NDP Leader Dwain Lingenfelter in this seat.

Prior to that, it was held by the NDP for most of its history, including from 1986 until 2011. Redistribution hurts the Sask. Party's lead in this constituency, but the leader of Saskatchewan's Green Party is also running here, which may draw votes from the NDP.

Regina Lakeview

This constituency was held for more than two decades by veteran NDP MLA John Nilson until his retirement from politics. However in 2011, it was close.

He won by fewer than 150 votes, with 48.3% to the Sask. Party's 46.6%.

Both parties have new candidates this time around, in Dan Cooper for the Saskatchewan Party and Carla Beck for the NDP.

Regina Rosemont

The new map drops the NDP's lead in this constituency from 822 votes to 461 votes, for the party's deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon.

He's up against the Saskatchewan Party's Kevin Dureau, a member of the city's business community.

Regina University

This will be an interesting competition between two fairly well-known women in Regina, both who have experience in education.

Sask. Party candidate Tina Beaudry-Mellor is known as an instructor of political science at the University of Regina and Aleana Young, for the NDP, is a school board trustee.

Saskatoon Fairview

The Sask. Party stole this seat from the NDP in 2011, when First Nations candidate Jennifer Campeau defeated the NDP's Andy Iwanchuk.

Since then Campeau has been given a cabinet portfolio which should boost her profile, but the NDP candidate Vicki Mowat has been campaigning for almost two years straight — since May 2014.

Saskatoon Meewasin

This was another steal for the Saskatchewan Party from the NDP in 2011, when business consultant Roger Parent knocked off veteran MLA and former cabinet minister Frank Quennell.

This time, Parent will run against former reporter and community activist Nicole White.

Saskatoon University

In this constituency, Saskatoon city councillor Eric Olauson is favoured to win for the Sask. Party, although he briefly caused confusion by telling the local newspaper "no comment" regarding when he would step down from council to become an MLA if he won.

And he's now joined the list of candidates with impaired driving convictions, with two offences in his past. He's running against a newcomer to the NDP, Jennifer Bowes.

The Battlefords​

This constituency has mostly been NDP in its past, although the Sask. Party candidate Herb Cox defeated long-time MLA Len Taylor in 2011 by more than 1,000 votes (or about 15 percentage points).

However, the leader of the Liberal party in 2011 ran in this seat and took nearly 12 per cent of the vote. Running against Cox for the NDP this time is lawyer Rob Feist, who is also a former captain in the Canadian Armed Forces.

About the Author

Stefani Langenegger has been with CBC Saskatchewan for more than two decades. She covered provincial politics for more than 15 years, before joining The Morning Edition as host.

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