A reminder of how Saskatchewan’s political landscape shifted 20 years ago.
It was on this day in 1997, the Saskatchewan Party was first formed. It was established by four former Liberal MLAs and four former Progressive Conservatives – all who wanted to unseat the Saskatchewan NDP.
The eight MLAs were: four former Progressive Conservatives (Dan D’Autremont, Ben Heppner, Don Toth, and PC leader Bill Boyd) and four former Liberals (Bob Bjornerud, June Draude, Rod Gantefoer, and Liberal caucus leader Ken Krawetz).
History teacher and local blogger Gal Krawetz has written a book about how the Sask Party started. She relied on personal interviews and extensive research to tell the story, adding the beginnings of this political party were sparse.
“They started with no members and no money in the bank account,” Krawetz said. “The one thing they did have was the 8 MLAs in the Legislative Assembly.”
Krawetz says what makes the history of the Saskatchewan Party so interesting are the people who played very pivotal roles when the party first started.
“Very little had been written,” Karwetz said. “So, I relied heavily on the personal interviews. And that was one of the reasons I wanted to write this book because people were telling me ‘somebody better write this quickly’ because memories were starting to fade.”
“It is going to tell the true stories about how events unfolded,” Krawetz said in an interview with 620 CKRM News. “Because I think to this point, there has been a fair bit of speculation about how things might have unfolded. I’m going to tell it from the people who have lived that story.”
In fact, former Premier Roy Romanow often accused members of the Sask Party of simply being rebranded conservatives, given there had been a corruption scandal hanging over the Saskatchewan PCs.
To mark the Sask Party’s 20 years , a new book will be released later this year called Risk & Reward: The Birth & Meteoric Rise of the SaskParty.
Krawetz says it’s going to tell true stories about how events unfolded in the forming of this political party.
“I want to make this more than a historical account of facts and dates,” Krawetz said. “Very much, this book brings the personalities into play. That’s what makes it interesting are the people who played these pivotal roles in what took place.”
Risk and Reward: The Birth & Meteoric Rise of the SaskParty will be released in early November.