NDP looking to "make a comeback"

Lisa
Lisa Goudy
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Lorne Nystrom, former MP of Regina Qu’Appelle region, speaks at the NDP founding meeting for the riding at Timothy Eaton Gardens on March 30, 2014. The founding meeting was for the new federal riding of Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan.

Party holds founding meeting for new Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan riding

The new Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan riding comes with many changes.

It now includes from the south of Moose Jaw up to the north of Lanigan, the outer limits of Saskatoon and the outer limits of Regina, including the Global Transportation Hub and Lumsden.

“As a result of that, this is a founding convention to formally setting up the organization,” said Lorne Nystrom, former MP of Regina Qu’Appelle region who spoke at the NDP founding meeting for the riding at Timothy Eaton Gardens on Sunday afternoon. “All the parties go through the same process … We’re determined to make a comeback.”

Every 10 years, the boundaries need to be changed because of growth. Canada used to have 308 ridings and now has 338. Of those, 14 are in Saskatchewan. Three of those 14 ridings are in Regina that takes in mostly urban areas. That is why there is such a big change in the former Palliser riding.

The NDP is organizing itself nationwide, making it the first national campaign done by the party.

“We’ll be running hard in every single province and territory in the country,” said Nystrom. “We think we have more credibility now than ever. Tom Mulcair is a pretty effective leader of the Opposition.”

He said the NDP has been historically strong in Saskatchewan for the past 60 years or so. The next federal election is set for October 2015 by law.

“We’re going to argue that we are the option. We are the alternative to Stephen Harper and the Conservatives,” said Nystrom.

The key points of the party are building a strong economy to increase revenue for social programs such as healthcare.

“Agriculture’s always going to be big here on the Prairies. We need the wheat board … which the Tories have now gotten rid of,” said Nystrom. “Resources and potash are also very important as well. This riding has potash mines because of this new configuration and we have to be talking about resource issues.”

He said the party advocates for democracy and “getting rid of the unelected senate.”

“Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin have brought that home pretty hard as to why we should not have a senate that’s not elected and not accountable,” said Nystrom.

Another key point is the Tories’ proposed Fair Elections Act. He said if passed, the act would exclude people from voting according to every expert who’s assessed the proposed act. Those exclusions would include people with lower income; people who move a lot and seniors, he said, because vouching would no longer be allowed.

By starting the campaign early, he said the NDP could look for candidates for nominations and to meet with voters.

“The sooner we get organized, the sooner we can connect with people who want change,” said Nystrom. “It’s time for a change and we are in a position as the official Opposition to be the alternative.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

 

Organizations: NDP, Conservatives

Geographic location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw Lanigan Saskatoon Timothy Eaton Gardens Canada Palliser

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