🗳️ Departures

MLAs not running again, Harm reduction a topic in Question Period, Moe and MLAs barred from Regina Pride, and violent crime up in Saskatoon

May 14, 2024 | Advertise with us

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Good morning.

Here’s The SKoop for Tuesday, May 14:

  • Veteran MLAs not seeking another term,

  • Harm reduction group advocates at Legislature,

  • Moe, government MLAs barred from Regina Pride Parade and,

  • Violent crime up in Saskatoon.

Today’s Top Stories

Pair of Sask. Party MLAs not running again

In a news release posted to X late yesterday afternoon, the Saskatchewan Party announced that MLAs Hugh Nerlien and Marv Friesen would not be running again in the fall election.

Both incumbent MLAs were previously nominated to carry the Sask. Party banner in their respective ridings in the upcoming 2024 election.

Nerlien has represented the riding of Kelvington-Wadena since 2016. The riding is considered a safe seat for the party. In the release, Nerlien says he wants to spend more time with his family.

Friesen was elected by narrow margins in the traditional NDP riding of Saskatoon Riversdale in 2020. In the release he noted personal health challenges as a reason for reconsidering.

The party says it will have nomination meetings in place in the coming weeks for both constituencies. The party now has 48 candidates nominated ahead of the next election. You can read about the other government MLAs not running again here.

Harm reduction, addictions topic of the day in Regina

Prairie Harm Reduction in Saskatoon

Harm reduction, addictions, and mental health are topics top of mind for many families across the province and it was the topic of debate in Question Period on Monday. Student researchers and medical students in the field of addiction and harm reduction were in Regina today to advocate for changes to the government’s drug policy.

“Nearly every family in Saskatchewan has been affected by substance abuse or addiction in some way,” said Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck. “Saskatchewan people deserve a government that will make addiction treatment available when and where it's needed. After 17 years of Sask. Party mismanagement, it’s time for a change.”

Under Saskatchewan’s new Action Plan for Mental Health and Addictions, the Government of Saskatchewan has committed to adding 500 addiction treatment spaces across the province. So far, 183 of these spaces have been announced.

The Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Minister Tim McLeod referred to his government plan and contrasted it to the NDP government in British Columbia that recently reversed course on a decriminalization policy. The Saskatchewan government made changes to its addiction policy earlier this year when McLeod stated “there is no safe use” of illicit drugs.

Drug policy and addictions are likely to be hot-button topics in the upcoming elections at all levels. Federally, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has been campaigning on drug policy. Municipally, SUMA participants have called for better support from the province.

Focus on infrastructure this election season

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Queen City Pride bars Premier, Sask. Party MLAs from Regina Pride events

Former NDP leader Ryan Meili walks alongside Premier Scott Moe at the Regina Pride Parade in 2019. (Photo by CBC News)

Queen City Pride has cancelled the traditional provincial flag-raising ceremony at the Saskatchewan Legislature to proclaim pride month in June.

In a release to the media, Queen City Pride stated, “We do not believe the current Saskatchewan government is our ally, and we do not believe it would be appropriate to allow them to take part in such an important event for our community.”

The organizers of the annual pride parade in the provincial capital has also barred the Premier, and any Saskatchewan Party MLAs from attending the event. The release continued, “We will not allow them to masquerade as allies and supporters, then put our community in danger for the other eleven months of the year.”

The group is taking action in protest of the government’s Bill 137 and use of the notwithstanding clause to enact the ‘pronoun policy.’ The legal dispute between UR Pride and the Government of Saskatchewan is ongoing.

The Queen City Pride Parade will take place June 15. Saskatoon Pride has not made a statement at the time of publishing.

In 2019, Moe surprised some when he became the first Saskatchewan Premier and Saskatchewan Party leader to attend a pride parade in Saskatoon.

Saskatoon police report shows 10% violent crime increase

Crime and public safety are continuing to be top of mind for residents in the province’s largest city. Violent crime in Saskatoon was up by nearly 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2024, according to new data from the Saskatoon Police Service.

Interim police chief Dave Haye reported to the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners that property crime fell by just under 12 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2024.

One notable exception is residential break-ins, which were up nearly 38 per cent — that translates to 168 break and enters reported across Saskatoon in that period.

Despite evidence of a modest decrease in theft and non-residential break-ins city-wide, on Friday the North Saskatoon Business Association wrote a letter to the board of police commissioners saying it is “deeply concerned about the recent increase in crime and its effects on businesses.” 80 percent of NSBA members have reported instances of being directly or indirectly impacted by rising crime rates.

Saskatoon has had four homicides this year, while Regina’s first homicide of happened just recently.

The report comes at a time when Saskatoon is welcoming a new Chief of Police, Cameron McBride. In a statement, the SPS said, “Incoming Chief McBride, both through his achievements in his 27-year policing career and through this recruitment process, demonstrated to the Board his exceptional leadership skills, an ability to think strategically, and an absolute commitment to upholding the principles of justice and public service in our community.”

As city council and mayoral campaigns ramp up this summer, voters may be looking for candidates to address crime.

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2024 Election Candidate Tracker

  • Premier Scott Moe - Rosthern Shellbrook

  • Lisa Lambert - Saskatoon Churchill-Wildwood

  • Muhammad Fiaz - Regina Pasqua

  • Jeremy Harrison - Meadow Lake

  • Lori Carr - Estevan-Big Muddy

  • Eric Schmalz - Saskatchewan Rivers

  • David Buckingham - Saskatoon Westview

  • Bronwyn Eyre - Saskatoon Stonebridge

  • Steven Bonk - Moosomin-Montmartre

  • Jeremy Cockrill - The Battlefords

  • Ken Cheveldayoff - Saskatoon Willowgrove

  • Gene Makowsky - Regina University

  • Alana Ross - Prince Albert Northcote

  • Christine Tell - Regina Wascana Plains

  • Hugh Nerlien - Kelvington-Wadena

  • Marv Friesen - Saskatoon Riversdale

  • David Marit - Wood River

  • Doug Steele - Cypress Hills

  • Terry Jenson - Warman

  • Daryl Harrison - Cannington

  • Travis Keisig - Last Mountain Touchwood

  • Everett Hindley - Swift Current

  • Todd Goudy - Melfort

  • Sean Wilson - Canora-Pelly

  • Warren Kaeding - Melville-Saltcoats

  • Tim McLeod - Moose Jaw North

  • Paul Merriman - Saskatoon Silverspring

  • Terri Bromm - Carrot River Valley

  • Joe Hargrave - Prince Albert Carlton

  • Colleen Young - Lloydminster

  • Jim Reiter - Rosetown-Delisle

  • Jim Lemaigre - Athabasca

  • Kim Gartner - Kindsersley-Biggar

  • Khushdil "Lucky" Mehrok - Regina South Albert

  • Blaine McLeod - Lumsden-Morse

  • Megan Patterson - Moose Jaw Wakamow

  • Darlene Rowden - Batoche

  • Laura Ross - Regina Rochdale

  • David Chan - Yorkton

  • James Thorsteinson - Cut Knife-Turtleford

  • Rahul Singh - Regina Northeast

  • Riaz Ahmad - Regina Coronation Park

  • Ghislaine McLeod - Saskatoon University-Sutherland

  • Jamie Martens - Martensville-Blairmore

  • Maureen Alice Torr - Saskatoon Meewasin

  • Barret Kropf - Dakota-Arm River

  • John Owojori - Saskatoon Southeast

  • Mike Weger - Weyburn-Bengough

  • Brad Crassweller - White City-Qu’appelle

  • Greg Seib - Cumberland

  • Nicole Rancourt - Prince Albert Northcote

  • Joan Pratchler - Regina Rochdale

  • Betty Nippi-Albright - Saskatoon Centre

  • Aleana Young - Regina South Albert

  • Trent Wotherspoon - Regina Mount Royal

  • Nicole Sarauer - Regina Douglas Park

  • Meara Conway - Regina Elphinstone Centre

  • Matt Love - Saskatoon Eastview

  • Nathaniel Teed - Saskatoon Meewasin

  • Erika Ritchie - Saskatoon Nutana

  • Vicki Mowat - Saskatoon Fairview

  • Jordan McPhail - Cumberland

  • Melissa Patterson - Moose Jaw Wakamow

  • Bhajan Brar - Regina Pasqua

  • Tammy Pike - Martensville-Blairmore

  • Darcy Warrington - Saskatoon Stonebridge

  • Tajinder Grewal - Saskatoon University-Sutherland

  • Carolyn Brost-Strom - Prince Albert Carlton

  • Noor Burki - Regina Coronation Park

  • Jared Clarke - Regina Walsh Acres

  • Jacqueline Roy - Regina Northeast

  • Brenda Edel - Rosetown-Delisle

  • Tom Kroczynski - The Battlefords

  • Don McBean - Saskatoon Chief Mistiwasis

  • Grady Birns - White City-Qu'Appelle

  • Lenore Pinder - Yorkton

  • Lorne Schroeder - Kelvington-Wadena

  • Thera Nordal - Last Mountain-Touchwood

  • Cheantelle Fisher - Moose Jaw North

  • Kim Breckner - Saskatoon Riversdale

  • Alana Wakula - Saskatoon Willowgrove

  • Trina Miller - Batoche

  • Sally Housser - Regina University

  • Wynn Fedorchuk - Canora-Pelly

  • Mike Tapola - Wood River

  • April ChiefCalf - Saskatoon Westview