Common perspectives leads Hagel to endorse Wotherspoon for NDP leader

Lisa Goudy
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Glenn Hagel can relate easily to provincial New Democratic Party (NDP) leadership candidate Trent Wotherspoon.

“I’ve known of Trent much longer than I’ve known him. I wasn’t in the Legislature at the same time he was. So over the last couple of years we had occasions to meet when he came to Moose Jaw,” said Hagel, former cabinet minister and Moose Jaw mayor. “I just found myself feeling very comfortable with the man, with his perspective on the future of Saskatchewan and his approach to dealing with issues.”

This week Hagel endorsed Wotherspoon for the next leader of the NDP party. Cam Broten, Ryan Meili and Erin Weir are also part of the leadership race. The NDP leader will be elected on March 9.

“For me it’s not been a specific position that he’s taken but really more result of conversations that we’ve had and a feeling that we share some common perspectives and values about what it takes to make vibrant communities,” said Hagel.

Wotherspoon, first elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011, currently serves as the Opposition critic for finance, education, SaskPower, information technology office and the Global Transportation Hub. He also chairs the public accounts committee.

“What we require of our political leaders is a consciousness of those factors that young people look for when they’re deciding where to build their future,” said Hagel. “I think Trent really has a grip on that. He gets that and he’s also very personable. I think he’s well founded and he’s a young family man.”

He added Wotherspoon sees employment opportunities as an essential factor in getting people to settle in Saskatchewan. He said Wotherspoon recognizes the importance of good recreation and cultural aspects for young peoples as well as resources and social and health-related securities.

“There are four strong candidates for leadership of the NDP, but he’s the one that gives me the strongest sense of comfort and confidence about his leadership potential to eventually be premier of the province,” said Hagel.

Wotherspoon said he couldn’t be happier to have Hagel supporting his campaign.

“I’m thrilled to earn the endorsement and support of Glenn Hagel. This is an individual who’s been a leader not just in our party and in Moose Jaw, but to an entire province,” said Wotherspoon. “(He’s) someone who has always been committed to listening and engaging young people, the next generation and this is something I greatly value as well.”

He added the party and the government is better off listening and engaging young people who are the “next generation of leaders.”

“It’s a passion that Glenn Hagel shared and demonstrated in all of his roles,” said Wotherspoon. “I greatly value Glenn Hagel’s support, but as well many others in Moose Jaw that have stepped up and become part … of our team, a team that’s building momentum.”

He said he has a love for the province and values listening to people from all parts of the province. He said other parts of his comprehensive vision include transforming education, putting people first and doing something now to protect the environment for future generations.

“This is a time for us to go out to strengthen relationships, to restore relationships lost and to build brand new relationships all across Saskatchewan with new people, with communities,” said Wotherspoon. “It’s about reaching out to supporters and it’s about doing so in a way that we’re genuinely listening and reflecting what we’re hearing in our actions and our policy.”

Organizations: New Democratic Party

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

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