The Saskatchewan provincial election held this past Monday was destined to be unique. With COVID-19 preventative measures in place, campaigning in Saskatchewan had been unlike any time before. Despite the less than favourable conditions, Green Party of Saskatchewan Leader, Naomi Hunter travelled across the province, having socially distanced conversations with Saskatchewanians from all walks of life, as well as staying active on social media, trying to spread her message to a larger audience.
The evening of October 26 saw the final results of the Saskatchewan provincial election. The Scott Moe-led Saskatchewan Party swept the competition, winning 63.13% of the vote and 50 of the 61 legislative seats, making this their fourth consecutive majority government. They were followed by the Saskatchewan NDP, receiving 29.21% of the vote, and winning 11 seats, being the only other provincial party to win a seat in this election.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan finished the election with 9,108 votes, or 2.37%. While this number is a significant improvement from the 2016 provincial election, no seats were won in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan.
A statement was issued to Global Green News by Naomi Hunter regarding her experience, her current attitude, and what she looks forward to in the future.
Hunter states that those for whom she was fighting remained on her mind during the campaign, which provided extra motivation, especially when times were tough. Hunter expresses in her statement, “I’m inspired by the newcomers, the single moms, those left on the margins by an ugly, cold, uncaring world… That’s why I ran in a riding that’s one of the poorest in our country. These are the people that need someone to believe in. My job, as political candidate, representative, or regular ol’ single Mom in the ‘hood is to reach out and care for those who need it most”.
Despite the loss, Hunter states that she’s staying upbeat and looking forward to getting back at it; “I feel fantastic really, haven’t skipped a beat… Now, it’s back to work. We have four years until the next provincial election. I will invest that time with Greens all across Saskatchewan. Together we will build strong riding associations, cultivate great candidates and all the while continue to strengthen our provincial party structures”.
It comes without a doubt that if it hadn’t been for a simultaneous election in BC and a Toronto by-election that took most of the attention of newly minted Green Party of Canada leader, Annamie Paul, The Green Party of Saskatchewan would certainly have garnered more cross-provincial support. In spite of these unfavourable circumstances, Naomi helped the Saskatchewan Greens gain 14% in the polls compared to their 2016 campaign.
This year, the Green Party of Saskatchewan went into the election with more candidates than ever before, and in nearly every riding. Hunter explains, “We doubled, then tripled the membership base. Funds were secured to run an election. Then we got down to the work of finding candidates. It took some effort, and many, many miles, but in the end, we fielded 60 of 61 candidates, giving almost every person in this province the ability to vote for the Green Values they believe in”.
“As long as there’s breath in my lungs, I will act. I will love. I will build and I will dream.”Naomi Hunter, Leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan
In the end, Hunter maintains that she is proud of the efforts put forward by her party, and plans on building up support for the Green Party come the 2024 election. Hunter states, “It quite simply comes down to good old-fashioned organizing. One meeting at a time, one supper, one fundraiser, again and again, ever building both our local supports and the provincial infrastructure that in turn support them. Then we just expand that outwards”.
Moving forward, Hunter offered this inspired statement, “I will continue to reach out to people in diverse communities because we know, I feel it every day, Green values resonate with them regardless of any pre-conceived political leanings or loyalties. I feel like this is my calling, and I’m just getting started”.
Photos: Kelly Green