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Ousted NDP candidate to run as independent in Regina Walsh Acres

Sandra Morin, a lifelong member of the NDP Party, says she will be running as an independent candidate in the Regina Walsh Acres riding.
Sandra Morin, a lifelong member of the NDP Party, says she will be running as an independent candidate in the Regina Walsh Acres riding. Daniella Ponticelli / Global News

After Sandra Morin failed to get an endorsement from the leader of the NDP, she is now running in Regina Walsh Acres as an independent candidate.

Morin, a former cabinet minister under the Lorne Calvert government, made the announcement on Friday to a crowd of supporters holding ‘We Stand With Morin’ signs.

Read more: Saskatchewan NDP leader, former cabinet minister at odds over candidacy

She says her decision to run as an independent candidate came within 24 hours of her official announcement, and several hours after the NDP selected a new candidate for the riding.

“The encouragement and support and, quite frankly, the amount of people asking me to do so was overwhelming,” Morin said. “At some point, you decide the system of politics is working the way it is or is there something that needs to change? And we decided the latter.”

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Supporters of Sandra Morin hold up ‘I Stand With Sandra Morin’ signs during her campaign announcement, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.
Supporters of Sandra Morin hold up ‘I Stand With Sandra Morin’ signs during her campaign announcement, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Daniella Ponticelli / Global News

Morin, a lifelong member of the NDP, won a contested nomination in 2019 to represent the party in the Regina constituency of Walsh Acres in the October election.

She previously held the seat from 2003 to 2011 but chose not to run again in 2016 after securing a civilian job with the RCMP, a job she is taking a leave of absence from during the election.

In August, Morin was notified through a phone call she wasn’t going to receive an endorsement from NDP Leader Ryan Meili, which she needs in order to run.

Read more: Elections Saskatchewan recruiting up to 17K workers for pandemic vote

Both Morin and Meili declined to comment on the specific reason she wasn’t endorsed, with the NDP further citing a confidentiality agreement, one Morin won’t release details of.

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“I have no interest in releasing rumours about myself and vexatious accusations by Mr. Meili. I’m going to move forward as a resident of Regina Walsh Acres, as the NDP members in Regina Walsh Acres have asked me to do,” Morin said.

“I will let my credibility stand on its own. I have nothing to hide.”

On Friday, Meili said there’s nothing personal between him and Morin.

“There was a decision made based on a vetting process that she wasn’t able to continue,” Meili said.

Morin says she will be releasing her platform in the coming weeks, which will be different from the NDP’s plan.

“Politics needs to change, and that has impacted my decision in terms of what I’m going to be doing,” Morin said.

On Oct. 26, a new MLA will be elected in Regina Walsh Acres after Saskatchewan Party MLA Warren Steinley won the Regina-Lewvan riding for the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2019 federal election.

After he resigned his provincial seat, no byelection was called to replace Steinley.

Read more: Election wish list — Economic recovery a top priority for Saskatchewan industries

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Regina Walsh Acres has historically been a stronghold for the NDP, with the Saskatchewan Party holding a seat in the riding for just two terms.

In the last election, Steinley defeated NDP candidate Gloria Patrick by 599 votes, 51 to 43 per cent.

Those running to become MLA for Regina Walsh Acres include Morin, Sask. Party candidate Derek Meyers, NDP candidate Kelly Hardy, Conservative Party candidate Ken Grey and Green Party candidate Tanner Wallace.

—With files from the Canadian Press and Daniella Ponticelli. 

Editor’s Note: Derek Meyers is a former employee of Global News Regina.

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