Six candidates running for the Saskatchewan NDP have previous Criminal Code convictions, according to the party.
Five candidates have been convicted of impaired driving, while another was convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
The list of candidates with convictions was released by the NDP Saturday as it announced it has 61 candidates running in the October general election.
“The Saskatchewan NDP believes that candidate disclosure is an important part of the democratic process. People expect openness and honesty from those seeking public office,” communications director for the Sask NDP campaign Thomas Linner said.
With six convictions, nearly 10 per cent of NDP candidates have a criminal record.
The NDP candidates with convictions include:
- Carter Antoine, who is running for a seat in Yorkton, was convicted of impaired driving in 2017
- Bhajan Brar, for Regina Pasqua, was convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm in 2011
- Ken Burton, for Moosomin, was convicted of impaired driving in 1973
- Bonnie Galenzowski, for Melville-Saltcoats, was convicted of impaired driving in 1982
- Rod McCorriston, for Carrot River Valley, was convicted of impaired driving in 1980
- Lyle Whitefish, for Saskatchewan Rivers, was convicted of impaired driving in 2011
“This is only one of several factors for voters to take into consideration in making their choice in this election. Each and every one of our candidates is ready to take on the Sask. Party’s plans for cuts and austerity, and to work with NDP Leader Ryan Meili to put people first,” Linner said.
The Saskatchewan Party also announced last week it is running a full slate of candidates.
In July, the Saskatchewan Party disclosed a list of six of their candidates who have all been convicted of impaired driving.
Four of the six members with a criminal record are current MLAs whose records have been known to the public. The remaining two are new candidates. Some candidates have two convictions.
The Saskatchewan Party candidates with an impaired driving conviction are:
- Terry Dennis, MLA for Canora-Pelly, was convicted 1978 and 2001
- Don McMorris, MLA for Indian Head Milestone, was convicted in 2016
- Terry Jenson, for Martensville Warman, was convicted in 1994
- Scott Moe, premier and MLA for Rosthern Shellbrook, was convicted in 1992
- Manny Sadhra, for Saskatoon Fairview, was convicted in 2008
- Eric Olauson, for Saskatoon University, was convicted in 1992 and 1993
According to Statistics Canada’s most recent data, Saskatchewan has the highest impaired driving incidents amongst all Canadian provinces, recording 575 incidents per 100,000 population.
“This rate is considerably higher than that of any other province,” said StatCan in its Impaired Driving in Canada report, published in 2015.
“Over the past 30 years, all provinces have seen substantial decreases in their impaired driving rates,” the report states.
For example, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba have experienced the most notable decreases during this period with all of their rates having fallen close to 75 per cent.
In contrast, Saskatchewan has seen the smallest decline, with 37 per cent, according to StatCan.
Saskatchewan’s 28th general election is on Oct. 26.