Former Saskatchewan Party MLA Rob Norris is officially declaring his candidacy for mayor of Saskatoon.
Norris told Global News he’s running in the upcoming election, scheduled for Nov. 9, to provide a safer, more prosperous and more affordable city.
“We need a city council and a mayor that really understands just how tough it is for families right now,” Norris said.
Norris touted his experience as a Saskatchewan cabinet minister, saying there’s been far too many consultations and far too few decisions.
“Sometimes I think perhaps (Mayor Charlie Clark) and maybe a few others have been around city hall, that bubble, maybe a little too long.”
In a statement, Clark said his full attention is on providing leadership during a challenging period in our city.
“I haven’t been hearing that our citizens are looking for the campaigning to start, considering the election is over four months away. I will be announcing my intentions at a later time,” Clark said.
Speaking to Global News over Zoom, Norris touted his political experience but provided few details about how he would achieve his goals for the city.
He said more information will be available during his official announcement on Thursday and in the coming weeks.
When asked how he would make Saskatoon safer and if he believes the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) should be defunded, for which some recent marches in Saskatoon have called, he said he stands “shoulder-to-shoulder” with the SPS.
“Let’s think about new training, let’s think about new recruitment activities, let’s think about new protocols,” he said, but added that conversations about the police having fewer resources sends the wrong message.
“Our police services do a terrific job. They’re not perfect but there is a real determined effort to help people.”
In terms of attracting new jobs to Saskatoon and making the city more affordable, he said he would put a greater emphasis on the private sector and economic development.
He said a focus on jobs and affordability is necessary to help the city recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Norris joins Jason Friesen in the race for the mayor’s chair.
Friesen was the first to announce his intention to seek the seat. The 39-year-old considers himself an underdog going into the election but is confident in his platform.
The municipal election will be held on Nov. 9, 2020.