Canadians go to the ballot box Monday, in a federal election some feel was not needed.
Just under two years after winning a minority government, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau decided it was time for another election, in a move highly questioned as the fourth wave of COVID-19 rolls across the country.
At dissolution, the Liberals held 155 seats in the House of Commons, while the Conservatives had 119, the Bloc Québécois 32, the New Democrats 24 and the Green Party two. Five seats are held by independents.
In Saskatchewan, it was a blue wall in 2019 as the Conservative Party won all 14 seats available and in doing so, knocked long-time Liberal MP Ralph Goodale out of office as he was beaten by Conservative Michael Kram.
While it is expected the Conservatives will have another strong showing Monday night, there are some political pundits wondering if it will be a clean sweep again as the riding of Regina-Lewvan is expected to be close with some believing Saskatoon-West could also see a change. The Liberals are hoping the presence of former long-time Saskatchewan NDP MLA Buckley Belanger will give them a seat in the riding of Desnethe-Mississippi-Churchill River.
The following is a quick snapshot of the 14 ridings in Saskatchewan;
Rosemarie Falk captured the riding for the Conservatives that long-time MP Gerry Ritz held for a number of years. Falk won in 2019 by taking 69.5 percent of the vote.
CARLTON TRAIL-EAGLE CREEK
This riding came into existence in 2015. In both elections, Kelly Block has won for the Conservatives and she will be back to try and make it three straight. Block, who was the last MP for the Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar constituency before electoral districts were re-drawn, won in 2019 with 78.6 percent support.
The Conservatives have held this riding since it was first formed in 1996. David Anderson held the riding until the 2019 election when he stepped down with Jeremy Patzer running and winning for the Conservatives. Others running include:
Green Party: Carol Vandale
Independent: Maria Rose Lewans
Liberal: Mackenzie Hird
Maverick Party: Mark Skagen
NDP: Alex McPhee
People’s Party of Canada: Charles Hislop
The Liberals best shot in Saskatchewan at winning a seat may be in this northern Saskatchewan riding. After serving as an NDP MLA for the Athabasca riding for years, Buckley Belanger stepped down to see the seat for the Liberals. In 2019, Gary Vidal beat the NDP’s Francine Jolibois, who had been representing the riding after winning in 2015. This is a riding that many feel could go one of three ways.
MOOSE JAW-LANIGAN-LAKE CENTRE
A new face will represent this riding. After first being elected as an MP in 2004, Tom Lukiwski decided to retire. In the 2019 election, he won by 24,000 votes in a riding that is considered a Conservative stronghold. Running under the Conservative banner is someone who is no stranger to politics as Fraser Tolmie stepped down as mayor of Moose Jaw to take a run at becoming an MP. Others running are:
Green Party: Isaiah Hunter
Liberal: Katelyn Zimmer
Maverick Party: Craig Townsend
NDP: Talon Regent
People’s Party of Canada: Chey Craik
Randy Hoback has served as the MP for this riding since 2008 for the Conservatives in a riding they have owned going back to the Reform/Alliance days when Derek Konrad and Brian Fitzpatrick served as MP’s.
Regina-Lewvan has been an interesting riding since it was created in 2015. The riding, which is basically the western side of Regina, was captured by the NDP’s Erin Weir in 2015, but former Saskatchewan Party MLA Warren Steinley captured the seat for the Conservatives in 2019. This is a race that is also expected to be close as the NDP’s Tria Donaldson and the Liberals Susan Cameron are trying to gain the seat from the Conservatives. Other candidates in this riding include Michael Wright of the Green Party and Roderick Kletchko of the People’s Party.
A country watched this riding with interest in 2019 as Conservative Andrew Scheer was vying to become Prime Minister. While Scheer did not win that race losing to Justin Trudeau and the Liberals, he safely held on to Regina-Qu’Appelle to continue serving as the MP which is something he has done since 2004.
The riding includes northeast Regina along with the communities of White City, Emerald Park, Indian Head, Wynyard and the southern side of the Quill Lakes.
Others contesting the riding are
Green Party: Naomi Hunter
Liberal: Cecilia Melanson
NDP: Annaliese Bos
People’s Party of Canada: Andrew Yubeta
After holding a riding that encompasses southeast Regina for the Liberals since 1993, Ralph Goodale was defeated in 2019 by Conservative Michael Kram. Kram is looking to keep the seat in the hands of the Conservatives, but Sean McEachern, who had worked with Goodale and spent several years with SUMA, is trying to win the seat back.
Green Party: Victor Lau
NDP: Erin Hidlebaugh
People’s Party of Canada: Mario Milanovski
Former Saskatoon sportscaster Kevin Waugh will be looking to win this seat for the 3rd time having won in 2015 and 2019. In 2019, Waugh, who was the big force in getting single sporting event betting legalized, captured over 53 percent of the vote.
Those voting in this riding will see many names on the ballot as seven people are vying to become the MP.
In 2015, Brad Trost won the seat for the Conservatives, but in 2019, he lost the nomination to former SaskParty MLA Corey Tochor who retained the seat for the party.
This is another seat that some feel the Conservatives could lose. Sheri Benson had the seat for the NDP in 2015, but Brad Redekopp took the seat away in 2019. The NDP are hoping former Metis Nation president Robert Doucette can win the seat back.
Since being formed in 1988, this riding has traditionally been one held by the Conservatives/Reform/Alliance. While the seat did go to the Liberals in 1993, Roy Bailey took it back in 1997 under the Reform Party banner. Bailey held the seat until retirement with Robert Kitchen maintaining the seat for the Conservatives in 2015.
This is a riding that has been held by the Conservatives/Reform/Alliance since 1993 when Garry Breitkreuz defeated Lorne Nystrom of the NDP who had held the riding since it was established in 1968. Cathay Wagantall kept the seat with the Conservatives in 2015 after Breitkreuz stepped aside.
Once the polls close at 7:30 p.m. Monday evening, 620 CKRM will have live updates every half hour.