Saskatchewan

Sask. Liberal Leader Jeff Walters running in Saskatoon Meewasin byelection

The leader of the Sask Liberals will run in the upcoming Saskatoon Meewasin byelection, which was prompted by the former provincial NDP leader stepping down.

'If you don't show up, you'll never have a chance,' says Walters

On Tuesday Saskatchewan Liberal Leader Jeff Walters announced his candidacy for the upcoming Saskatoon Meewasin byelection. (Theresa Kliem/CBC Saskatchewan)

The leader of the Sask Liberals will run in the upcoming Saskatoon Meewasin byelection, which was prompted by the former provincial NDP leader stepping down.

Jeff Walters announced his candidacy on Tuesday outside St. Anne Elementary School, which he said he attended as a child.

"Saskatoon Meewasin truly has a bit of my history and a bit of my heart," said Walters.

"I'm very humbled and proud to be here as someone who is and once was a resident of this great constituency."

The Saskatoon Meewasin seat was previously held by former Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili before he announced in May that he would be resigning his seat and leaving politics. 

Walters became the leader of the Sask Liberals at the party's 2021 convention.

He is a lecturer at the department of sociology and social studies at the University of Regina.

His party hasn't played a major role in Saskatchewan politics for years. The last seats the Sask Liberals won in a general election was in 1999.

"If you don't show up, you'll never have a chance," said Walters Tuesday.

"What we are doing is the definition of democracy, giving people a different choice…. I'm as optimistic and confident as I can possibly be."

He said his first focus, if elected, would be campaign finance reform.

On the party's website, Walters claims the Sask Liberals are not the same party as they were 10 years ago. 

"It's been a rough road for the Sask Liberals these past several years," the website says.

"Multiple leaders, a dwindling base, and lack of candidates have put the party at the lowest point in its history of existence."

NDP and Sask Party candidates

Earlier this month the Saskatchewan Party and the NDP announced their candidates.

The Saskatchewan Party nominated longtime Saskatoon resident Kim Groff to run in the byelection, while Nathaniel Teed is the candidate of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party.

"I'm working hard to ensure that the Saskatchewan Party wins this byelection, and that I have the honour of representing the residents of Meewasin," Groff said in a news release.

NDP's Teed said he feels humbled to have received the support for the party members.

"I believe in the potential of this province — I've seen it first-hand," said Teed.

"We have so much opportunity here in Saskatchewan, we just need a government that recognizes the need to build our communities and energize our economy."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Theresa Kliem

Journalist

Theresa Kliem is a journalist with CBC Saskatoon. She is an immigrant to Canada and loves telling stories about people in Saskatchewan. Email theresa.kliem@cbc.ca.

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