Saskatchewan Party candidate Everett Hindley has had a high energy start to the Swift Current by-election campaign.
Hindley had signs pop up all around Swift Current over a snowy weekend, and on Tuesday he had a campaign visit from newly selected Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.
Things have obviously been moving steadily for Hindley since earning the Saskatchewan Party nomination in late 2017.
“We’ve obviously been doing some preparation since that nomination meeting on the 11th of December. We’ve got a volunteer team that’s anxious and ready to go,” Hindley said from his 1100 South Service Rd E. campaign office on Friday.
And, despite the arrival of snow and cold on the weekend, he also began taking his campaign door to door.
“I’ll begin door knocking, going door to door to folks to see them at their places of residence and their place of business and talk to them about the issues and concerns here, and talk about some of the exciting things that are on the horizon for Swift Current, and also what some of the challenges and priorities are for the people in this community.”
Hindley noted that the issues he heard about during the SaskParty nomination campaign were a snapshot of what to expect during the by-election.
“During the nomination I think we heard a lot. There’s some cautious optimism here in terms of the economy here with the oil and gas sector. I had a chance to talk to some of those folks and they’re excited for things on the horizon.”
“In terms of issues of concern, I think both myself and the other candidate that was involved in the nomination, heard on the education side of things.”
In a Tuesday announcement, Premier Scott Moe approved $7.5 million in immediate mid-school year funding to assist in dealing with front line pressures.
In a press release, Hindley commented this announcement would have an impact in Swift Current and the Southwest.
“Premier Scott Moe’s announcement today that $7.5 million would immediately be invested by the Government of Saskatchewan into province-wide education funding is very welcome news. More importantly, it is great news for the students, families, teachers and staff in the Swift Current constituency, where $383,000 more is being invested in the two area school divisions.”
On the campaign trail, Hindley said he also heard about how people have been impacted by the SaskParty’s spring 2017 budget.
“In addition to that I think there were a few concerns on the doorstep about some of the decisions made in the recent budget, whether it was with regards to the expansion of the PST, or perhaps some reductions in some other areas.”
“When I talked to folks during the nomination race, and I’m sure we’ll get it in the days and weeks ahead, it’ll be important to hear what folks have to say and to represent to those views on their behalf in Regina.”
Hindley said the SaskParty leadership race brings a series of positives heading into a new legislative session.
“I think that this is an exciting time for us across the province in Saskatchewan. We’ve got some new leadership at the helm for the party. Premier Moe was just officially sworn in today, along with his Cabinet. He made some changes there to the Cabinet structure in terms of which ministers are in which portfolios. But he also made some commitments during his leadership race on some things that he would do – including some investments into education as an example, and some changes on some of the PST expansions that were part of the last budget.
“I think that’s what’s exciting for us here too. I would say that if I get the chance, and if I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be the elected representative here for the folks of Swift Current, I would take those concerns forward on their behalf. And I think there’s no better method to do that than by getting out during an election campaign, a by-election campaign, and we’re always looking forward to seeing what people have to say.”
Hindley was also looking forward to the by-election process and being the candidate on the ballot. Having worked as Executive Assistant to the Premier, he was part of the Leader’s Tour for Brad Wall for province wide campaigns in 2007, 2011 and 2016.
“The last time I did a door to door campaign would have been 2003. And it’s just exciting to get back to it again. It’s one thing to get a perspective around the province of what the issues and the priorities are for Saskatchewan residents. But it’s really good to be able to get door to door right here in Swift Current and talk to your friends and your neighbours and your family members about what they see as being the issues of concern, but also some of the ideas that they have for the province and for the community going forward.”
“Its been a bit of a shift for me. Its been a little bit different,” he admitted “looking at the signs on the walls and the logos on my vehicle, it’s a little surreal at times.”