Sask. NDP to hold leadership vote in late June, cap campaign expenses at $200K

The Saskatchewan NDP will elect a new leader in June. Party representatives selected the timing and leadership contest rules this weekend.

Candidates must receive signatures of women or gender diverse members to qualify

The Saskatchewan NDP has decided to have a new leader selected by the end of June. (Cory Herperger/CBC)

The Saskatchewan NDP will elect a new leader in late June in Regina.

Ryan Meili announced his resignation as party leader on Feb. 18.

The NDP provincial council, which consists of constituency representatives, diversity committees members and the party executive, selected the timing and leadership contest rules this past weekend.

To enter the race, leadership hopefuls must be members in good standing and meet the following requirements:

  • Signatures of at least 100 members — half of whom must be women or gender diverse — from at least 20 constituencies.
  • A non-refundable $4,000 registration fee.
  • Observe a campaign expenditure limit of $200,000.
  • Receive approval from the Saskatchewan NDP.

An exact date for the leadership contest has not been determined.

Party members in good standing will be eligible to vote via mail-in-ballot or online.

On Friday, Saskatchewan NDP president Sheila Whelan said members prefered to hold the vote in June.

The fee to enter the race and the campaign expense limit are identical to the 2018 leadership race, which saw Meili defeat Trent Wotherspoon.

For comparison, the Saskatchewan Party's 2017-18 leadership contest required a $25,000 entry fee from its five contestants. The Saskatchewan Party also received $75,319 in surplus funds from four of the five leadership candidates in 2018.

Sarauer endorses Beck

While no one has officially entered the NDP leadership race, deputy leader and former interim leader Nicole Sarauer endorsed her Regina caucus colleague Carla Beck on social media on Sunday.

"[Beck] is the best person to bring people in, build them up, and replace Scott Moe. I'm joining efforts to encourage Carla to run," Sarauer said.

Beck and Sarauer were elected in Regina Lakeview and Regina Douglas Park respectively in 2016.

"Carla Beck is the strong and unifying leader we need to build our party and deliver for people across our province," Sarauer said.

Beck has not said whether she is officially running, but said last week, "I appreciate the calls of support I've been getting. I've been having some very good conversations."

A Facebook page supporting Beck's potential candidacy was created days after Meili's resignation.

Another former interim leader, Regina Rosemont MLA Trent Wotherspoon, seemed to lend his support to a Beck candidacy as well.

Wotherspoon shared Sarauer's tweet and wrote, "So very well said. [Carla Beck] is that person. Let's make it happen, Saskatchewan!"

Wotherspoon and Saskatoon Centre MLA Betty Nippi-Albright both said publicly they would not be running for leader after Meili's resignation.


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