The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party will be electing its new leader this Sunday.
Carla Beck and Kaitlyn Harvey are running to be the next Offical Leader of the Opposition.
Harvey is a lawyer from Saskatoon and previously ran in the 2020 election for Saskatoon Willowgrove but lost to Ken Cheveldayoff.
She said she was gearing up to run again in 2024; however, she made the decision to run in this election after the loss of a family member changed her plan.
“When I decided to run was the day I lost my younger cousin to a drug overdose in the Prince Albert Penitentiary. That was kind of a breaking point for me; that was one family member too much. I’m concerned for my family, for my kid, concerned for the future of this province and this party, and that passion has driven me to step forward.”
She feels that it’s time for the Sask. NDP to change.
“As a party, as a province, we have a lot of work to do, and we need to come together under some common goals and understanding and put forward the vision of what we can do.”
Harvey said that the environment and lowering the province’s emissions had been a big focus for her.
“We know we need to drop our emissions, but there’s uncertainty on how fast we need to do that or how we need to do that,” she said. “We need to be clear that this is not something that we can push aside and deal with next election. This is something we need to address now; we need to be honest with what we are dealing with and put forward those solutions.”
As for addressing issues in the province, Harvey said that it’s important to hear from both sides of the table.
“Understanding people’s interests and diffusing the conflict by making sure that is a safe space to have diverse opinions and that it will be respected,” Harvey said. “We have to move past that into resolution, and that resolution needs to be designed by the people who are at the table. We cannot continue to be our own worst enemies. We have to come back together.”
With all but one MLA for the NDP Party being elected in a Regina or Saskatoon riding, Harvey said that they need to listen and understand how to address the issues of rural areas by ensuring rural Saskatchewan is connected to the urban centres.
Currently, the NDP is outnumbered 12 to 48. Harvey said to make the voice of the party matter and be heard; it’s simple. They need more people in the house. However, that is easier said than done, but Harvey believes that the party under her leadership will attract more people to the party.
“Roughly half of the province didn’t vote in the last election, and there is a huge chunk of the population that doesn’t feel that politicians are putting forward something that is worth voting for,” she said. “Making sure that our MLAs are connected with the community members who are impacted by Sask. Party policies.”
When Sask. NDP members go and cast their vote this Sunday; Harvey explained why people should cast their vote for her.
“I’m an advocate by training and my character. I’m not one to stay silent in the face of injustice in the face of oppression. When I see that there is a wrong, I have a strong desire to write it, and there are a lot of people in this province who really need a strong advocate right now. We need to do things differently, and I’m not afraid of that conflict, of having those hard conversations.”
When not working as a lawyer, Harvey is a photographer on the side, something she has been doing since high school.
“I do a lot of music festivals and events. I really like that creative element of capturing colours and movement,” she said. “I do event decorating, and stage design, and I do a lot of volunteering with the music and arts community.”
Harvey is also involved in working with youth.
“A really like working with youth and being a support or a role model, or just a helping hand especially when I see younger kids really struggling with mental health issues and just needing someone to talk to.”
She is also a part of Climate Justice Saskatoon where she works to empower youth.