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: Erin Hidlebaugh
Running for: NDP, in Regina–Wascana
Profession: Community Connections Coordinator for Moose Jaw Pride
Currently residing in (city or neighbourhood): Moose Jaw
Previous political experience: My experience is on the ground, campaigning and grassroots volunteering for the NDP.
Who is your political hero?
There are many folks in political history I admire. People like Tommy Douglas, Jack Layton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Bernie Sanders are pretty obvious choices for list toppers.
What inspired you to enter the election race?
I was asked to run by the search committee. Chelsea Broom and Stacey Landin gave me the confidence to go for it and my children gave me the desire to fight for better.
What topics are most important to you in this federal election?
I’m so passionate about healthcare, including dental, optical, pharma and mental. In addition to this, I’m really thrilled about the entire platform. Long term care homes, women’s and indigenous rights are topics that strike me right in the heart.
Are you concerned about the short campaign time line for this election?
I think it is really unfair Mr. Trudeau called the election at this time. Its too short of a span, BC is on fire and the farmers on the prairies are dealing with draught conditions.
What supports, if any, do you feel are needed to help businesses and residents with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic?
The pandemic has shown us a guaranteed basic income is possible and necessary. The NDP had to fight the Liberals to ensure folks got what they needed. As for businesses, I think the best way to help them is by helping families. Ensuring people have what they need, ensures the success of the economy.
What, if any, agricultural federal programs and initiatives do you feel are necessary to help support farmers and ranchers in this year’s conditions?
Climate change is real and farmers and ranchers feed the country and the world. The NDP is committed to protecting the environment. Agriculture Critic, Alistair MacGregor speaks about creating a strategy to protect the health of the soil.
Is there an issue that people are focusing too much?
In my opinion, if people have concerns than they should be raised. I don’t think it is fair to say any issue has too much focus.
Is there an issue that doesn’t get enough attention?
I don’t think Indigenous rights in general get enough attention. Reconciliation is in the news because of the recent discoveries; however the horrors are not new. The quality of life on reservations is not new. Lack of potable drinking water is not new.
Why did you choose to run for your particular party?
I have been a long time supporter and volunteer of the NDP. Fighting for people is a passion of mine.
What is the biggest issue facing your party’s chance at success?
People who try to vote strategically. They need to vote with their hearts and vote for NDP.
How will you engage and encourage young voters to participate in this election?
I am active on social media and am attending two events on the U of R campus.
What is your party’s leader’s biggest flaw?
Jagmeet is an incredibly charismatic and likeable person, I am certain there are people who underestimate him. They shouldn’t – he’s a force.
Once elected, your job is to represent your entire riding. How do you plan on representing individuals who didn’t vote for you?
By listening to them. I will spend more time listening than talking.
What informs your political stance? What books, publications, relationships or experiences?
My heart. My kids. My community. Those I fight for and serve.
What local project or service would you advocate for more federal spending?
Harm reduction. No question in my mind. And decriminalization of drugs. People are going to continue to self-medicate as long as they have reason to. This is a major reason I am so excited about mental health and pharmacare as brought forth by the NDP.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I hate socks and shoes. I don’t even own socks and wear shoes as little as possible. During October to March I have to wear them outside, but in my office I have slippers.