By Stan Ashbee
Maple Creek News-Times
Smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic, COVID-19 and #VoteSafelySK changed the way in which Saskatchewanites voted, but on Oct. 26 the polls were prepped and ready to roll, as mail-in votes were also a safe and alternative way constituents could cast their vote.
Doug Steele, according to Maple Creek News-Times projections (as of 8:45 a.m. Oct. 27) will remain as the Saskatchewan Party Cypress Hills MLA, as Scott Moe would remain, as the province’s premier-elect with a majority government. Poll numbers were updated from Elections Saskatchewan.
In the spring of 1997, a small group of Progressive Conservative and Liberal MLAs launched a landmark initiative that would forever change the face of Saskatchewan politics. They began talks with other Conservatives, Liberals, federal Reformers, and like-minded individuals to create a new party that could rally the growing sentiment for change in Saskatchewan under a single party banner, according to the Saskatchewan Party’s official bio.
In 2016, the Saskatchewan Party — led by former premier Brad Wall — was re-elected and formed a majority government. In 2018, Scott Moe was elected leader of the Saskatchewan Party.
Steele has been a member of the Saskatchewan Party since the creation of the party and has been a member of the Saskatchewan Party Government Caucus since 2016, when first elected as the MLA for the Cypress Hills constituency.
For the 2020 Provincial Election, there were 61,255 total issued vote-by-mail ballots — with 310 being issued for the Cypress Hills constituency. There were 841,807 eligible voters and 820,985 registered voters.
As of 8:45 a.m. Oct. 27, in the Cypress Hills constituency, the Saskatchewan Party’s vote count was at 4,508. The Buffalo Party’s vote count was at 1,365. The NDP’s vote count was at 603. The PC Party’s vote count was at 321 and the Green Party’s vote count was at 105. At the time of publication, provincially the percentage of eligible voters counted was at 46.96 per cent.
Cypress Hills NDP candidate Kelly Genert, from Maple Creek said the 2020 Provincial Election was her first time running as a candidate. “My mother ran in this constituency four years prior,” Genert noted, earlier this month.
Crystal Tiringer, the Cypress Hills Buffalo Party candidate, said the party was pushing for government accountability. “We need to put the peoples’ interest at the very top and hold the ruling party accountable,” Tiringer noted, earlier this month. Other Cypress Hills candidates included John Goohsen from the PC Party and Dianna Holigroski from the Green Party.