Rick Swenson, the leader of the Saskatchewan Progressive Conservative Party has decided to toss his hat into the ring in the Last Mountain-Touchwood Constituency in this year’s provincial general election.
“After several months of consideration, meeting with party executive members and local residents, I have decided to seek election in Last Mountain-Touchwood,” Swenson said.
The PC Leader said he has been talking on the phone with residents in that constituency for many months about the particular problems they have been experiencing in that area. In making the decision, Swenson said the lack of effective representation by their current Sask. Party MLA assisted him in making the decision. Last Mountain –Touchwood has been hit particularly hard by years of flooding, deteriorating road and highway infrastructure and indifference to health and housing needs of seniors, he suggested in making his intentions known publicly this week.
On top of those everyday needs, Swenson said the current provincial government has granted a huge land exemption of 60,000 acres to a Chinese coal company to develop a solution potash mine in the Earl Grey-Southey area. He said local residents are concerned the mine may go ahead without proper due diligence and consultation and residents were concerned about what long-term effects this might impose on the community with the granting of this exemption. The last minute attempts to deal with the Quill Lakes flooding situation and the proposed draining of these lakes into the Qu’Appelle River system, without a long-term plan in place, are a couple more major concerns, the PC Leader said.
“Many voters in Last Mountain-Touchwood believe my previous experience as an MLA, cabinet minister and leader of the official opposition can provide them with the voice necessary to have their concerns heard and respected rather than taken for granted by the current Sask. Party government,” Swenson said.
“The PC Party of Saskatchewan has shown it can be an effective voice for change by stopping the Wall government’s sale of Saskatchewan farmland to outside pension plans and speculators, and exposing the waste of taxpayer dollars on the south Regina bypass. The provincial government seems to have an extra billion dollars for this bypass project to satisfy the business interests of the Premier’s political friends. Maybe some of that money should be directed toward the real needs of Last Mountain-Touchwood.”
So far, the party has nominated three candidates, including Paul Carroll in the Estevan constituency and they said they would be announcing the upcoming nominations in at least five more constituencies, including Swenson’s. Party sources indicated the nomination total could climb to 14 or more within the next two weeks as interest in the revived PC Party appeared to be growing, making it an alternative choice for voters.