The Saskatchewan election is officially underway.
Premier Scott Moe visited Lt.-Gov. Russ Mirasty this morning to dissolve the legislature and kick off a campaign that has been unofficially underway for months.
Voting day will be Oct. 26.
NDP leader Ryan Meili got a head start with a morning campaign launch in the gardens in front of the legislative building, where he outlined five immediate actions a government he leads would take. They include making health care available when people need it “without American-style user fees,” safer schools with smaller class sizes, a Sask-First plan to use companies and workers for infrastructure projects and a $15-per-hour minimum wage, improving long-term care and expanded home care for seniors, and “ending the Sask Party’s broken politics by taking big money out of politics.”
Meili said the choice is between investments and cuts.
He said the Sask Party has already said it will run austerity budgets for the next four years, which means deep cuts to health care and education.
“The choice facing Saskatchewan voters couldn’t be more clear. A commitment to invest now in health care and education or the Sask Party’s plan for dangerous cuts during a pandemic,” he said.
Meili then headed to Moose Jaw for an event with the two candidates in that city’s constituencies: Moose Jaw Wakamow and Moose Jaw North.
Moe also launched the Sask Party re-election campaign in Regina, first visiting the Regina Pasqua campaign office and then installing lawn signs in the Regina University riding.
Flanked by Regina candidates, Moe said the party will unveil a plan for a strong economic recovery that makes life more affordable and includes growth.
“The ballot question this election will be, who do you trust to lead Saskatchewan’s economy recovery,” he said. “I know this for sure. It isn’t the NDP.”
He said his government successfully re-opened the province after the COVID-19 lockdown in March, but the NDP wanted to shut more things down.
Despite a strong majority heading into the election, Moe said all 61 constituencies are battlegrounds.
This morning I met with Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty and asked him to dissolve the Legislative Assembly.
— Scott Moe (@PremierScottMoe) September 29, 2020
At dissolution, the Sask Party held 46 seats and the NDP held 13. Two were vacant, but had been held by Sask Party MLAs who turned to federal politics.
Generally, the 12 Regina constituencies, 14 Saskatoon constituencies and two each in Moose Jaw and Prince Albert are considered urban.
There are 29 rural seats, all currently held by the Sask Party, and two northern constituencies held by the NDP.
The battle will be waged in the larger centres.