Where were you born?
What’s a little-known fact about you?
I love the outdoors. I grew up in fishing, hiking, paddling and hunting in the fields, valleys, lakes and rivers right across our province with my dad, and I’m so thankful to get to share those experiences now with my son.
Why should voters hire you?
First, I love our province and the people and communities that make it strong. I’ve got the experience that comes with being a teacher before politics and from being an MLA for the last 10 years. I’m ready to do the work it takes to win the next election so that we can build a province that works for everyone: to listen, connect and build all across our province; to stand strong for people and the things that give Saskatchewan strength; and to build and champion a vision that excites people.
Who should we call for a reference?
My colleagues in the NDP caucus. I’m incredibly honoured to have the support of six members of that amazing team, and I think that your colleagues know you better than almost anyone else. Having their support means so much to me.
What is your greatest strength?
People tell me that I’m a strong team builder, and that I can not only connect with all types of people but bring them together.
Saskatchewan is an incredible province full of incredible people, and I want to rely on that strength by reaching out, listening, and working together to address our opportunities and challenges and build the best way forward.
What is your greatest weakness?
If not my dance skills, probably my filing skills. At times a grain shovel would come in handy to clear my desk.
What would you do to grow the economy and increase provincial revenues?
I’m committed to building a strong and inclusive economy that works for everyone. I’d strengthen and diversify our economy by investing in renewable energy production and an energy efficiency retrofit program to create thousands of new jobs while reducing emissions, build a thriving tech industry, rebuild a film industry, support local economic development, entrepreneurs, value-added agriculture, work to make our rail transportation system perform, deliver a $15/hour minimum wage and pay equity legislation, invest in education and training, and importantly act on reconciliation, closing the economic gap and extending opportunity.
Revenues would grow from a strengthened economy and creation of good jobs. I’d also work to establish an additional tax bracket with a 2 per cent increase for income earned beyond $250,000, review our royalty framework to ensure we get the best value for our resources during periods of windfall revenue and act to establish a sovereign wealth fund for future generations.
What would you do to reduce the deficit?
I have committed to establishing an accountability and transparency commission to get to the bottom of the scandals and mismanagement, open up the private contracts, act to ensure best value and protection of public dollars. By getting our fiscal house in order, we can pay down debt and invest in the services people need.
I’d also make smart investments that make a difference for people, and that grow our economy and save money. For example, one dollar invested into mental health and addictions services saves seven dollars in healthcare costs and adds thirty dollars in economic activity.
What was the last book you read?
‘Towards a Prairie Atonement’ by Trevor Herriot
What is your favourite TV show?
Steph and I have always watched Modern Family together. But it’s Paw Patrol or the old Spiderman cartoons along with William.
Where do you stand on the Leap Manifesto and how would you distinguish yourself from your federal counterparts?
This is a document that is just not on for Saskatchewan people – it’s tone-deaf, naive, and wrong-headed when it comes to the economic realities in Saskatchewan. I’ll work with the federal NDP or any federal party when we have shared interests that benefit Saskatchewan people, but as Leader of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party – and hopefully Premier of Saskatchewan – my first job is to stand up for Saskatchewan people.
When your alarm goes off in the morning, how many times do you hit the snooze button?
I rarely need an alarm as William usually wakes me by around 5:45.
There have been issues of sexual harassment in your party? How would you seek to make your workplace a safer place to be?
There is an independent investigation underway, and once it is concluded, I would act on its recommendations and strengthen and improve our party’s policies around sexual harassment ensuring that our party is a safe, respectful place for all.
Health care remains a major priority. How would you address health care needs in Saskatchewan and how would you balance that with the private options that currently exist here?
I’ve committed on delivering universal mental health and addictions services for all Saskatchewan people. I would look to expand public options for healthcare, and would stop further privatization of our healthcare system. I would also look to improve health care by increase staffing on the front lines of care with more nurses, doctors, and care aides; working with the federal government to deliver on pharma-care, increasing access to reproductive care in urban, rural, and Northern communities, reintroducing mandatory minimum care standards in long-term care, and by expanding the availability of palliative care.
Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by all those working hard to overcome in face of adversity, like single moms working hard with often precarious work to pay the bills and put food on the table, people living with disabilities with incredible determination, and resilient, young people despite facing enormous challenges such as mental health challenges, addictions, abuse and neglect.
I’m also inspired by all those people that challenge injustice and oppression, those that selflessly serve and help others, and people and communities that rally to help when needed.
Is a carbon tax inevitable? What will you do to work with the federal government on this issue?
We clearly need a made-in-Saskatchewan climate change plan and solution to carbon-pricing that protects families, producers, and jobs in our province while lowering emissions. I’m committed to delivering on that as premier.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Farm auctions, garage sales and kijiji.
What is currently on your playlist and which song are you most embarrassed to have on the list?
Jason Isbell, Ryan Bingham, Sturgill Simpson, Tragically Hip, the Driver By Truckers, Jamestown Revival, John Moreland, Donovan Woods, Margo Price, Belle Plaine, Colter Wall, Kacy and Clayton, Valerie June, the Barr Brothers, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Marty Robins, Glen Hansard, Joe Pug, Josh Ritter
There might also be a few songs by Pink, I blame most of them being there on Stephanie.
It’s a day off and you can have anything you want for dinner. What would it be?
A rib-eye on the barbecue with fresh garden vegetables and potatoes – all from Saskatchewan of course – or fresh Walleye over a campfire.
If you could sit down for dinner with any famous historical figure, who would it be and why?
I never had the chance to meet Tommy Douglas before he died. I’ve heard so many incredible stories from folks across our province about him and his leadership, the fight for Medicare and the building of our Crowns, I’d love to sit down and hear those stories first-hand.