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Kropf also seeking Sask Party candidacy in Outlook-area riding

The residents of the local riding will decide on April 11 who gets their vote.
Barret Kropf has put his name forward in the hopes of representing people in the Dakota-Arm River riding. Photo provided by Barret Kropf.

OUTLOOK - The candidates seem to be coming out of the woodwork in the wake of current Dakota-Arm River MLA Dana Skoropad announcing his plan to step back from provincial politics, as another person is throwing his hat into the race.

Barret Kropf, a Caronport man with a long background in athletics, has done just that, joining other candidate Trevor Reid. Kropf has actually been doing his homework and getting to know this part of the province since early December.

"My background is in sports," he said, speaking to this reporter in a phone interview. "I've spent the last thirty years coaching, managing, and directing in multiple different sports across Saskatchewan, around Canada and around the world. I currently call Caronport home, and I just finished a contract with Prairie Hockey Academy."

His extensive travel not only around our home province, but across the country, helped remind Kropf of the uniqueness of Saskatchewan. He says that it's the people who call this province home that helped inspire him to enter the political arena and vie for the candidacy of the Dakota-Arm River riding.

"My opportunities over the last thirty years, getting a chance to work and travel outside of Saskatchewan, have given me the opportunity to realize how amazing Saskatchewan is," said Barret. "We sit back and we think, 'Well, we don't really have much potential here and there's not much to do', but yet when you leave here, whether it's for a holiday or for work or school, you soon realize that you miss the humble and hard-working people of this province. So when I heard at the convention in November that Dana Skoropad was not going to be running, I just felt that it was the time for me to step in and try to represent this riding with some continued class and excellence that Dana has demonstrated over the last four years. I really don't feel that we need managers in elected positions; we need visionary leaders to make sure that our people and resources continue to have opportunities to flourish and make an impact on the world stage. I really truly believe that the world needs more of what Saskatchewan offers. Our people and our resources, I truly believe that they're world-class."

Of course, one of the biggest issues currently facing the province is the ongoing back-and-forth between the government and Saskatchewan's teachers. Kropf hopes that a peaceful resolution is found between the two parties, but also says that the province's health care and business sectors need equal attention if they're to remain viable in the future.

"There's the low-hanging fruit when it comes to education and finding some peace in wanting to get that resolved," he said. "I do believe that the sides will eventually get to the table and will continue to understand and realize how amazing our teachers and administrators are, and the difference that they make, and the government side will continue to make sure that family values are protected and that kids are getting a great education. I also think there are two areas of concern. One would be, in the wider scope of things, health care. It's not just a medical thing as health care's a wide field and includes things like seniors, health care centers, and nurses who do great work, but it also includes things like emergency response services. This riding is surrounded by lakes, and so water rescue also plays a part in that. How do we care for people who are out on the water too? We also need to make sure that our agriculture and business communities are flourishing. If we're not making sure that those opportunities are protected and growing, we won't have the resources to make sure that health care and education are strong going forward."

Local constituents will decide who gets their vote in the Dakota-Arm River riding on Thursday, April 11 at the town hall in Davidson from 5:30 to 7:30, where the nomination meeting will decide who will represent residents of the riding. Barret says he's been able to speak with people about what's important to them, and he believes that now is the time for this riding to move forward and find ways to flourish in the hopes of maintaining a positive future.

"I've covered every corner of this riding over the last four months," he said. "I've been out to a plethora of events and got a chance to meet and greet people and look them in the eye. As much as I want to brag about Saskatchewan, I want to make sure that we continue moving forward in this riding, too. That's not going to be a management skill set, it's a leadership and visionary skill set that I feel I bring to this table that can really help this riding get to the next level and help our province continue to be a world leader."