PRINCE ALBERT —Former MLA for Prince Albert Northcote Nicole Rancourt has announced her intention to seek the NDP nomination once again after representing the region from 2016 to 2020.
“I was honoured to represent Prince Albert Northcote for over four years. That was during a time [when] residents of Saskatchewan faced austerity budgets and the start of the pandemic,” said Rancourt. “I have a lot of work I want to do in Prince Albert Northcote and I believe it’s time for our constituency to have a strong voice once again.”
Rancourt has a long history with the NDP, having become a member of the party on her 13th birthday. As an active member of the Prince Albert Northcote executive, she worked on many campaigns over the years in various roles and was the Returning Officer in Prince Albert Northcote in two provincial elections.
“We know at this time Saskatchewan residents are struggling,” said Rancourt. “The cost of living continues to increase, and people are facing long wait times for health care and are also being told to go out of province to receive medical services they should be receiving right here.”
Rancourt and her husband Darren have four adult children and five grandchildren, making her concerned with overcrowded, underfunded and understaffed classrooms all that much closer to home.
“If elected, I will work hard for the residents of Prince Albert Northcote defending their interests and concerns in the Provincial Legislature with enthusiasm and passion,” Rancourt said. “Prince Albert Northcote deserves an MLA who is willing to listen to their concerns and work hard for them”.
As a social worker and the Acting Chief of Mental Health Services at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary, Rancourt stated that she’s always been passionate about advocating for people.
“This passion led me to a career in social work,” said Rancourt. “That passion is also what guides me to public office.”
One of Rancourt’s main concerns that she would like to address if elected is mental health and addiction services in Prince Albert.
“I’ve always been a strong advocate for mental health, and I see the services for mental health are decreasing in Prince Albert, with losing psychiatrists and the closure of our child and youth psychiatric ward,” said Rancourt. “Those are really concerning things for me.”
Rancourt is a member of the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers and was actively involved with her local association of social workers. She is the past chairperson of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Saskatchewan Penitentiary and Prince Albert Parole and served as the regional representative for the Prairie Region Mental Health Council.
She’s also a member of the Prince Albert Council of Women, Prince Albert Heart of the Youth Pow Wow Committee, Prince Albert Historical Society, Parkland Restorative Justice Committee, member of the Coalition Community Networking Committee, and the mental health support for the Critical Incident Stress Management team at Saskatchewan Penitentiary.
Having recently been honoured for her extensive advocacy work in the community, Rancourt is hailed as a dedicated and active volunteer. She joined her daughter in the Prince Albert Women’s Hall of Fame following a ceremony on March 11 as the Prince Albert Council of Women’s newest inductee for 2023.
Rancourt is the only declared candidate so far, according to a Sask. NDP Caucus spokesperson.
While there has been no official date set for a nomination meeting as of yet, the party has plans to announce more details next week.