The Saskatchewan NDP have selected local riding association president Wayne Byers as their candidate in the upcoming byelection.
Byers, who previously ran in 2011 and 2003, took a shot a the Saskatchewan Party for plunging the riding of Lloydminster into an early byelection one year before the next general election.
“We are in this byelection because the MLA, who I ran against in 2011, decided to leave part way through his term. I’m not sure about him, but when I ran in 2011, I ran on the understanding that I would represent the people of Lloydminster for the full four years,” he said.
Byers said that hopefully the weather will co-operate with the byelection timing, giving him the chance to get out and knock on as many doors as possible over the next 20 some odd days left in the campaign.
“As of Tuesday morning, we will have been on the ground, and we have a few signs left over from the last campaign,” he said.
During his speech to party supporters Monday night, Byers said that the key thing that he has been hearing from locals was that their government wasn’t listening. But what Byers will be doing most during this byelection is listening to the people of Lloydminster. That’s an aspect that he said was not there under the previous MLA.
“I feel that under the government that we had in the past seven years, it has been a government that wants to deliver the message from Regina to Lloydminster,” he said.
“This government is not taking direction from the people of Lloydminster and local governments.”
Byers said that the major issue that this government hasn’t been listening to locals on is the state of seniors care in the riding.
“It’s important as an MLA and as opposition to effectively listen to the concerns of the people of any riding,” he said. “I think that we, as an opposi- tion, will get some action on this issue.”
Cam Broten, the leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, said that he was thrilled to have someone who is dedicated to the people of Lloydminster, and looks forward to walking Byers into the Saskatchewan legislature after Byers is elected on Nov. 13.
“I’m very pleased to have Wayne as our candidate in the byelection in Lloydminster,” said Broten. “He is a man of great character and great commitment to the constituency of Lloydminster.”
Broten added that Byers is dedicated to the wellbeing of this constituency.
The NDP have made a couple of stops in the riding of Lloydminster since the summer recess started, once in August, when Broten met with seniors’ groups, and again when the entire Saskatchewan NDP caucus planned for the fall session earlier this month.
“In all of my visits in the last couple of months, I have heard a common message from the people in the constituency,” said Broten. “They understand what is going on in the province, and they see examples of good things that are happening, but they aren’t feeling the benefits. That isn’t translat- ing into better things for their families.”
Byers will face off against Colleen Young of the Saskatchewan Party, Saskatchewan Liberal Leader Darrin Lamoureux and Luke Bonsan of the Saskatchewan Greens. The Progressive Conserva- tive Party of Saskatchewan has yet to announce their candidate, but party executives have said early this week that an announcement would be made on who would be carrying the banner in the upcoming byelection.