From Roche Percee to Onion Lake, Saskatchewan NDP Leader Carla Beck says she’ll visit “all corners of the province” on a three-week leadership tour she says will “share a vision of Saskatchewan that works for all of us.”
“As I said at the beginning, I am prepared to run my tires off my car,” she said on the steps of the legislative building Monday.
“That continues and you’ve got a team of MLAs behind me who are also prepared to do that work.”
Beck said while on the tour, which will include dozens of communities, her caucus will strive to hear perspectives from all sides of the aisle. She cited plans for activities like cattle branding that will take the NDP “into rooms we haven’t been in in a long time.”
“The vast majority of people in this province don’t identify as left or right. They want to live in a province where they can afford to live and ensure a better life for the next generation,” she said.
“Diversity is our strength, but our real power is unity.”
She also promised to have conversations about how to get the most out of the province’s natural resources, from oil and potash to lithium, and to capture votes not loyal to any one party along the way.
“People haven’t seen themselves in the NDP in a long time. We’re asking people to give us another look.”
While Beck has expressed intentions to lead her party back to power in 2024, the Saskatchewan NDP hold just 12 of 61 seats in the provincial legislature.
Speaking to Global News Monday afternoon, University of Saskatchewan Political Studies Assistant Professor Daniel Westlake suggested the Saskatchewan NDP may have some room to lean to the right as they work to gain back seats lost since the Saskatchewan Party took power in 2007.
“The one thing working for the NDP moving to the centre is their base doesn’t really have anywhere to go. There isn’t a strong viable further left party you could move to,” Westlake said.
“Very rarely do you win elections purely by catering to your base.”
He said though, that given the economy and demography of the province, the NDP are “fighting an uphill battle.”
“I think it does make sense that they would be trying to move, I wouldn’t say to the centre-right, but more to the centre to do this. It makes sense they’d be trying to go into that direction to try and pull voters away from the Saskatchewan Party.”