Regina MLA Trent Wotherspoon says he won't seek Sask. NDP leadership

The Regina-born MLA has been an interim party leader, and previously tried for the permanent role. Now he says family is the focus.

'At this stage of our family's life, I'm just not prepared to make that sacrifice,' he says

Trent Wotherspoon was first elected as MLA for Regina-Rosemont in 2007. He has since been an opposition critic for several portfolios. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)

Trent Wotherspoon is making it known he will not consider another leadership run for the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party.

The long-time Regina MLA told CBC News it comes down to family and being present for his seven-year-old son. 

"I know what kind of sacrifice and grind it takes to serve as a leader and run for leader. At this stage of our family's life, I'm just not prepared to make that sacrifice," he said.

"I'm committed and motivated to serve as an MLA and a full member of the team. To do the hard work towards that next election to deliver change."

On Friday, Ryan Meili announced he will be stepping down as leader of the Saskatchewan NDP.

will remain in the role until the party chooses his replacement, and said he intends to stay in caucus as the MLA for Saskatoon Meewasin.

"I've been thinking about this for a while," Meili told CBC News in advance of his public announcement.

"I think it's time for a different voice."

Wotherspoon, 42, spoke with CBC News during a break between games at his son's hockey tournament in Hague, Sask., on Saturday. 

"I love to coach hockey, coaching in the community, and seeing [my son] at the end of each day," he said.

"We love our quick outdoor pursuits with a fishing rod or in a canoe. And, you know, time ticks by awfully quick." 

Trent Wotherspoon posts about his family's outdoor adventures on Twitter, including a day of skiing with his son in January. (Trent Wotherspoon/Twitter)

Hours earlier, Wotherspoon tweeted about his decision not to run. He said people had reached out, urging him to consider another shot at the top job.

"It's overwhelming in many ways to receive all the pledges of support," he said. 

"But I wanted to be clear with folks about where I'm at, and to be thankful for that support now and in the past."

The Regina-born MLA first ran for party leadership in 2013, when Cam Broten was chosen to carry the Saskatchewan NDP.

When Broten resigned a week after 2016 provincial election, Wotherspoon served as interim leader from April that year to June 2017.

He resigned from the interim role to run for permanent leadership of the party in March 2018.

Wotherspoon lost that bid to Meili, who he now thanks for his service and dedication to the party and the province.

"And to his family, just thank you so much for sharing him with us," Wotherspoon said.

The MLA noted the upcoming leadership race is a chance for someone "exceptionally strong" to bring new change to the party.

"To have that fire in the in the belly and, importantly, to build the party. But also be able to build trust with the broad public all across Saskatchewan," he said. 

He wouldn't name names, but added there will be people stepping forward in the coming days for the leadership bid.

Wotherspoon was elected as the MLA for Regina-Rosemont in 2007 and re-elected in 2011, 2016 and 2020. 

He is the opposition critic for agriculture, finance, SaskTel, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation and Crown Investments Corporation. Previously, he has also been the critic for education and economy. 


  • A previous version of this story indicated Wotherspoon had run for leadership once before. In fact, he has run twice.
    Feb 20, 2022 9:48 AM CT


Daniella Ponticelli is a reporter for CBC Saskatchewan. She has worked in print, broadcast and digital journalism in Manitoba and Saskatchewan since 2012. Get in touch with Daniella at or on Twitter @dponticelliTV.