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Regina–Lewvan candidates talk climate change, COVID response during public forum

Plenty of party shots and back-and-forth took place during a public forum hosted Tuesday for Regina–Lewvan candidates
Regina–Lewvan candidate forum
Regina–Lewvan candidates Warren Steinley (top left), Tria Donaldson (top right), Susan Cameron (bottom left) and Michael Wright (bottom right) traded commentary during a public forum on Tuesday night.

REGINA — Four of five federal candidates vying for the Regina–Lewvan electoral seat in the upcoming election took part in a public forum Tuesday night, answering questions about hot voter topics and exchanging party barbs back and forth.

The virtual forum is the fourth hosted by the Cathedral Area Community Association, said moderators, and the most well-attended with over 130 virtual guests.

Candidates Warren Steinley for the Conservative Party of Canada, Tria Donaldson for the NDP, Susan Cameron for the Liberal Party and Michael Wright for the Green Party joined the forum. 

People’s Party of Canada candidate Rod Kletchko was not present.

Questions gravitated towards topics of climate change, Indigenous rights and reconciliation efforts and forward movement in the nation’s COVID-19 recovery.

Incumbent MP Steinley used his opening remarks to defend his vote against banning conversion therapy in Bill C6, citing concerns over the vagueness of the bill’s definition of conversion therapy — which Liberal candidate Cameron described as an “interesting” choice to begin the forum.

During the Q&A portion, candidates were quizzed on the top concerns they’ve been hearing during door knocking campaigns in the riding, which led all four to discuss affordability policies.

Wright noted that his door-to-door experience revealed a large number of constituents concerned with outing Steinley from office. Donaldson said her campaigning has heard many express a desire to see better action on reconciliation efforts and Indigenous rights issues.

Candidates also fielded questions on climate change policy, the rising student debt crisis, implementing a wealth tax and which way they would have voted for the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People legislation.

Steinley, as a currently serving MP, voted against, while the other three candidates said they would have voted in favour.

Here is a short summary of the campaign points mentioned by each candidate during the event:

  • Steinley (Conservative): plans to recover jobs lost during the pandemic; to create a three-digit mental health help line; to stockpile PPE and develop vaccine manufacturing capabilities in Canada; to reach climate change targets without “pitting region against region” and accept Premier Scott Moe’s proposed carbon tax alternative plan.
  • Cameron (Liberal): plans to create a $2 billion fund to support economic diversification in Sask.; to create a tax free savings account for under-40 residents saving for a first home; to remove interest on post-secondary tuition and create more affordable childcare options; to increase taxation on “ultra rich” who make over $1 billion annually.
  • Wright (Green): plans to halt the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline; to promote reconciliation by stopping child apprehension by social services; to address clean drinking water concerns in rural communities; to implement a wealth tax.
  • Donaldson (NDP): plans to create inclusive pharmacare and dental care coverage; to increase funding for long-term care facilities; to eliminate tax loopholes and “get tough” on tax evasion; to create a climate plan that creates jobs and reduces emissions; to provide clean drinking water to Indigenous communities and fund schools on First Nations; to implement paid sick leave for workers and long-term hiring bonuses for employers.

Steinley directed several comments towards Donaldson and the NDP regarding their unclear support of trans-national pipeline projects, which Donaldson countered during closing statements.

“We need to be looking at protecting these jobs while also protecting the environment,” said Donaldson.

Final comments included Steinley promising he will “stand for Saskatchewan” as a returning MP, and Wright saying he is the most “progressive option for this riding.”

Cameron closed the forum by encouraging voters torn between NDP and Liberal platforms to vote red, to ensure a non-Conservative government has a chance at a majority.

Regina–Lewvan is one of three ridings that include the city of Regina. At the time of publishing, no other candidate forums in Regina have been scheduled.

The full forum video can be viewed on YouTube, posted by the Cathedral Area Community Association at