© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
NDP Opposition Leader Cam Broten gives his address at the Saskatchewan NDP's annual convention in Moose Jaw on May 31, 2014.
Broten reflects on NDP convention and issues that matter to families
NDP Opposition Leader Cam Broten felt a sense of unity near the end of the Saskatchewan NDP convention.
“Members are excited and looking forward to carrying on the work in local communities,” he said. “It’s been a really good time for us as a party here this weekend reflecting on the hard work that we’ve done last year, the building that we’ve done and really looking ahead to the work that we have to do.”
The hundreds of delegates at the convention participated in a secret ballot leadership review vote required by the NDP’s constitution to see if they support the current leader. Broten’s leadership was approved by 98.7 per cent of delegates.
“I’m very happy to have the strong support of the party in the vote that we had (Saturday),” said Broten. “I feel we’ve made a lot of progress over the last year.”
He said the party would continue to focus on what is important to Saskatchewan families.
“That means we’ll continue our focus on health care, highlighting the misguided approach we see with this government’s lean pet project. We want those dollars going onto the front lines of health care,” said Broten.
“We’ll continue to talk about education, ensuring that our kids have the best possible classrooms, teachers and educators have what they need, and also we will continue to highlight the sense of entitlement that has crept in and taken hold with this government with some of the expense scandals that we saw in the recent spring sitting.”
He added people raise those issues to him as he travels to other communities and interacts with people.
While a detailed platform will be released closer to the next provincial election expected for 2016, Broten said health care and education are basic issues. He added the current government is “dropping the ball” on those basic issues.
The issues that matter to families are Broten’s primary motivation.
“I have young children and when I look at them and think about the future that I want for them, I want them to have the best opportunities and I want them to grow up in a province where opportunity is extended to more and more people, where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential,” said Broten.
“But I don’t just want that for my own kids. I want that for my neighbours and I want that for children in every community throughout the province and that kind of vision is what guides me and it’s what guides our party.”
Over the summer and into the fall Broten is expecting some nominations. The Saskatchewan NDP currently has nine seats.
But the main focus will always be the issues, according to Broten.
“That’s what families care about the most,” he said. “That’s where our values are aligned.”
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.