Questions surround future by-election for Saskatoon Meeswasin

The seat currently held by Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili will be up for grabs within six months of his resignation.

Ryan Meili’s recent announcement that he is leaving politics hasn’t given Premier Scott Moe much time to think about a by-election date.

“I haven’t had a lot of time to think about when the appropriate time for that by-election would be,” he explained. “Once we know we certainly will announce it.”

Meili will leave office on July 1st, just a few days after his successor as party leader is chosen. Two people are currently in the running for the position, Regina Lakeview MLA Carla Beck and Saskatoon lawyer Kaitlyn Harvey.

Harvey does not hold a seat in the legislature and could seek to run in Meili’s Saskatoon Meewasin constituency regardless of whether or not she wins the leadership. That by-election likely won’t happen until the fall.

Meewasin was a very close race in 2020. The NDP narrowly won the constituency with 51 per cent of the vote.

The Sask. Party came in second with 46 per cent of the vote with the Green Party distantly following with 3 per cent.

In addition to the Green Party, there could be a new political movement in the race, the Saskatchewan United Party.

Independent MLA Nadine Wilson has attended some Saskatchewan United meetings but hasn’t indicated whether she would be willing to affiliate with them.

“Well I take each day as it comes,” said Wilson. “So I can’t answer that right now.”

The premier believes a second by-election is warranted.

“I’ve been quite clear with respect to Nadine Wilson in Saskatchewan Rivers. She wasn’t elected as an independent. She was elected as a Saskatchewan Party candidate,” he said. “If she’s so confident that she has the support that she feels she has in her constituency, she should put her name on a ballot.”

Wilson is entitled to serve her four year term without facing a by-election although the premier has said he is willing to hold a vote in her Saskatchewan Rivers constituency at the same time as Saskatoon Meewasin.