SASKTODAY.ca staff reached out to the candidates in all of Saskatchewan's ridings with a universal questionnaire.
We will be publishing these results in order they were received.
Name: Ken Rutherford
Running for: Maverick Party
Profession: College instructor/entrepreneur
Currently residing in (city or neighbourhood): Live in rural area in the RM of Britannia (northeast of Lloydminster)
Previous political experience:
I currently sit as a member at Large on the Saskatchewan Party’s board for the Lloydminster area. I have only become more involved in politics this last couple of years.
Who is your political hero?
Sir Winston Churchill.
What inspired you to enter the election race?
My wife encouraged me to put my name forward. Both of us have voted for the Conservatives since we were 18 years old. Until the Maverick Party was created, with Erin O’Toole’s version of the Conservative Party no longer aligning with our beliefs, we felt politically homeless. I was inspired to enter the political race to join a party that will take a stand for Western Canada.
What topics are most important to you in this federal election?
I will offer a broad answer here, as there are many topics of concern. Any issue that is harmful to Western Canada, I will stand against. Any issue that is good for Western Canada, I will support. A good example is the carbon tax that is supported by the Liberals and the Conservatives. The Maverick Party does not support the carbon tax.
Are you concerned about the short campaign timeline for this election?
Yes I am concerned. However, the setting of election day is out of my control. I can only control how I react. I have chosen to react with positivity and intensity to help the west.
What supports, if any, do you feel are needed to help businesses and residents with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic?
From the lock downs last year, it is my opinion that many businesses and residents suffered financially. I believe we should come together and ensure we buy locally to support our local businesses community. It is also my opinion that we should continue to work hard to protect the most vulnerable members in our society.
What, if any, agricultural federal programs and initiatives do you feel are necessary to help support farmers and ranchers in this year's conditions?
With this being a drought year in many areas, I would be in support of federal agricultural programs that aids the farmers in need.
Is there an issue that people are focusing too much?
I believe whatever issues people are focusing on are the issues that are important to them. I believe it is the job of political leaders to listen to the concerns of the constituents, not tell them what they are focusing on too much.
Is there an issue that doesn’t get enough attention?
From my perspective, the well-being of our youth is often overlooked. The COVID-19 pandemic was hard on many our children. As our kids do not vote, they do not have lobbyists speaking for them, and they do not yet hold positions of power in our society, it is easy to forget about the well-being of our children. So in short, the overall health and well-being of our children I feel should get more attention.
Why did you choose to run for your particular party?
The Maverick Party is the only party that represents Western Canada, and only Western Canada. With the Bloc Quebecois representing Quebec, and the Liberals and Conservatives focusing on the 199 seats in Quebec and Ontario (out of the total of 338 seats) there has been a lack or representation for the west.
What is the biggest issue facing your party’s chance at success?
The number one concern voters have, with respect to the Maverick Party, has been about vote splitting between the Maverick and Conservative Parties. However, when we explain that in the last election Rose Marie Falk (CPC) had 28,030 votes and second place went to the NDP with 4,098 votes, people see that the 28,030 cannot be split between two parties to let either the NDP or Liberals through.
How will you engage and encourage young voters to participate in this election?
We are relying a lot on the social media platforms. Also, we are listening to the concerns of voters of all ages, from young to the elderly.
What is your party’s leader’s biggest flaw?
Our interim leader is Jay Hill. He was elected under the Reform Party as well as the Conservative Party under Stephen Harper. While his extensive political experience is his primary strength, he has made it clear he will not be running in any more elections. This is his biggest flaw, as I wish he would run in this election. However, he has grandchildren now, so his decision is very understandable.
Once elected, your job is to represent your entire riding. How do you plan on representing individuals who didn’t vote for you?
This is simple. When elected, my job will be to represent all the people in our area, regardless of how they voted.
What informs your political stance? What books, publications, relationships or experiences?
The number one influence on my political stance comes from the people in our area. There have been so many good people from all walks of life who have taught me, encouraged me and mentored me. I am thankful for the opportunity to grow up in a strong community.
What local project or service would you advocate for more federal spending?
Advocating for increased federal spending for a specific project or service requires interactions with industry and the local constituents. If elected, I would have to communicate and, more so, listen to the people in our area first. It is my belief that I should listen and think first, talk second
What is something people don’t know about you?
Most often, people are surprised when I tell them that my wife and I have six children. There is never a dull moment in our home.
Where do you stand with respect to the oil and gas and energy industry? Do you support carbon pricing or a carbon tax?
The Maverick Party supports scrapping the national carbon tax in its entirety – period.