Deb Higgins, former New Democratic Party member of the legislative assembly for Moose Jaw Wakamow, is running for mayor.
Higgins confirmed rumours that have been circling for a few months at a news conference at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery.
“I feel that every person has a responsibility to give back to their community. I did that I guess for 12 years as a provincial representative, but I still feel that I have skills that will work well at the municipal level,” said Higgins.
“Many things you deal with provincially are issues also at the municipal level. It’s a great community. I’ve loved living here and I just want to give back to the community when I can.”
Higgins said her official platform details will be released soon and that the conference was mainly about making the announcement. But she said topics such as infrastructure, recycling and other public services will be big, as well as job opportunities.
“Moose Jaw is no different than any other city in that we need some pretty big investment to fix aging infrastructure plus build new that will accommodate the people that are moving to our community,” said Higgins.
She was the Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA from 1999 to 2011 and served six of her 12 years as a provincial cabinet minister. In the 2011 provincial election, Greg Lawrence of the Saskatchewan Party defeated her in the riding.
“After serving provincially, when you look at municipal politics it’s a non-partisan area. I think one of the big assets that I bring to this race and being able to step aside from politics … is that I’ve always had a reputation,” said Higgins.
“I think it’s a huge asset to be able to work with people from all walks of life and been considered fair, being able to look at all sides of issue in an argument and I think that will serve me well when we look at municipal politics and how it works here.”
She added she doesn’t believe it will be difficult to work and deal with the provincial government if elected as mayor.
“Politics should never be personal and I don’t take it that way,” said Higgins. “I think when I left politics, the province was a better place for the work that had been done. Now it’s time to move on and give back more directly to the community and that’s my goal.”
While the NDP is in a state of flux, Higgins said she doesn’t believe that will be a problem.
“No hiding I’m a New Democrat. I ran as a New Democrat previously,” said Higgins. “But now you step aside from the politics of it and it’s non-partisan municipal politics.”