St. Paul’s Hospital, Saskatoon, SK
What’s a little-known fact about you?
In the 1980’s in Craven, I won a Garth Brooks look alike contest.
Why should voters hire you?
My experience, work ethic and values prepare me for the job:
- The province needs a leader with comprehensive political experience, passion for the job and vision for the future of Saskatchewan, guided by the premise that our best days are ahead.
- The future of our Party involves a deep respect for our grassroots members and the MLAs elected to represent all areas of the province.
Who should we call for a reference?
Individuals who can serve as my reference include those with whom I have interacted over the years in politics and as a citizen of Saskatchewan. Respect is intrinsic in how I interact with others.
What are your priorities for SK?
- Family: My job is to work with others to create an environment that best meets the needs of our Saskatchewan families There is nothing more important to Saskatchewan people than family.
- Youth: My priority is to keep our youth in Saskatchewan. They need a reason to stay in our province and setting the stage for growth and jobs is a key factor.
- Seniors: It is very important that we listen to Seniors to ensure they are well-cared for.
- Education: It is critical that we listen to those in the education system to plan for the best educational opportunities possible.
- Health: We will monitor the outcomes of the single Health authority and support our health care system so that we meet the health care needs of all of our citizens.
- Economic Growth: Provincial growth will attract investment that, in turn, can generate funds for Education, Health Care and Social Services.
- Balance the Budget: We will create a plan and follow its course to a balanced position.
- Unity and Renewal: Unity begins at a governmental level and moves beyond with positive interactions, honesty and integrity. Renewal follows as we focus on our jobs as elected officials to represent the people of Saskatchewan
What is your greatest strength?
A strength would be my strong work ethic. It is important to meet others outside an office, listen to their stories/situations and plan action items accordingly.
What is your greatest weakness?
Well, a weakness would have to be in the realm of pierogies – never met one I didn’t like.
Would you maintain the increase and expansion to the PST enacted in the budget?
No. We will reverse the PST on insurance retroactive to August 1st and institute a sixty-day tax commission to ensure our taxes are among the most competitive in the country.
Where do you stand on the provincial debt?
If every family and business must balance their books, so too should the government of Saskatchewan. The Canadian Tax Payers’ Federation provided me an opportunity to sign their pledge to balance the provincial budget in 2019, pay down the debt and hold the line on taxes.
What was the last book you read?
Nine Lessons my Father Taught Me by Murray Howe.
What is your favourite TV show?
Did the government handle the GTH controversy appropriately
We owe the people of Saskatchewan answers to questions around the Global Transportation Hub. An inquiry is a possibility after we learn the results of the RCMP investigation; this decision lies with the new Premier, Cabinet and Caucus. Mistakes the government made should be acknowledged along with admittance that government should not have been involved in this business venture from the onset.
How do you intend to maintain public trust in light of the GTH investigation?
First step is to immediately begin action to sell the GTH to the private sector, thereby demonstrating to Saskatchewan residents that their tax dollars would be recovered. This facility is a significant economic asset and would be taxed as such in the private sector. The revenue to the government can be used for more critical areas such as health care, education, and social services.
When your alarm goes off in the morning, how many times do you hit the snooze button?
No snooze button on my alarm clock; I like to get an early start to the day.
There have been complaints about the impact the budget had on the classroom. How will you ensure education needs are met across the province?
We must rebuild any trust that has been eroded, and move forward with our goals, together.
A Cabinet Committee of the Child will be formed to include the Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Education, Social Services, Justice and Health. The Committee’s goal will be to find duplication of services, barriers to access, and hindrances to the timely delivery of services. The Committee will be funded from the existing budgets of the participating Ministries, will begin work at once, and will be guided by policy and regulation. Such policy will ensure that Terms of Reference and deliverables are carried out in a timely manner.
Brad Wall is said to be the brand of the Saskatchewan Party. How do you intend to differentiate yourself from him and make your own stamp as leader?
No one can replace Brad Wall. It is important to move forward to build on the past ten years of growth and I am motivated to do so. It is important to reconnect with the people of Saskatchewan and ensure that our government works as a team to meet the needs of the people in Saskatchewan.
Who inspires you and why?
My brother Kevin inspires me because he is determined, caring, humble and respectful. He has worked hard in all pursuits and it is a work ethic I admire. Although he has a busy schedule and demanding job, he always makes time for family.
Is a carbon tax inevitable?
What will you do to work with the federal government on this issue?
We will continue to press against the current Federal approach. The carbon tax is ineffective. It harms Saskatchewan businesses when they compete in world markets with competitors not facing costs associated with a Canadian government-imposed carbon tax. A carbon tax will also harm consumers as they try to balance more costly necessities. We need to change the conversation around carbon taxes. Saskatchewan has developed technology that can dramatically improve the capacity of our crops, farmland and forests to recapture emitted carbon dioxide. This will help increase needed food production and create jobs in Saskatchewan while improving our environment. This approach requires better support from all levels of government and industry partners in Saskatchewan and the rest of Canada. It is an approach that will improve our economy and the environment in a meaningful way.
What is your guilty pleasure?
A great home-made meal is a guilty pleasure.
What is currently on your playlist and which song are you most embarrassed to have on the list?
Country music is my favorite genre. The Zac Brown Band currently occupies my playlist.
There are no embarrassing songs on my list.
It is a day off and you can have anything you want for dinner. What would it be?
A sit-down meal with my family would be wonderful and the menu could be anything, as long as one of the dishes involved perogies.
If you could sit down for dinner with any famous historical figure, who would it be and why?
It would be incredible to sit down to dinner with Mr. John Diefenbaker. A first meeting with him occurred in grade school when our class lined up to shake his hand. The strategy was to shake his hand and run back in line to do so a second time. Since then, politics has intrigued me.