The spring sitting of the Saskatchewan Legislature begins on Monday, but it is being overshadowed by speculation of an early election.
On Friday, Premier Scott Moe cited several reasons why a spring election may be warranted, including economic uncertainty over rail blockades and coronavirus.
"There are a number of things in flux right now. I'd say more than normal," said Moe.
So this weekend, the Saskatchewan NDP went into election readiness mode on speculation that the premier is about to call a snap election campaign.
"If he chose to do this, there's no way because that's good for the Saskatchewan people. It's because it's good for Scott Moe," said Ryan Meili, the leader of the Saskatchewan NDP. “He wants to avoid having to account for all the troubles in the economy that have happened under his watch."
The NDP held training sessions in Regina for candidates that could be gearing up for an election campaign sooner than expected.
"[It’s] a great springboard into an early election if that's what it's going to be and we're ready to go spring, fall, whenever it happens," said Thera Nordal, an NDP candidate.
The preparation for an early election comes just hours before MLAs meet for the spring session of the legislature. However, MLAs won't be in the house long if the premier decides to call an early campaign.
The first possible date for calling an election would be immediately after the presentation of the provincial budget on March 18. Voters would then be asked if they want to support the Saskatchewan Party’s economic plan.
"The premier does have the prerogative to call it early and you know I won't commit to either way." said Moe.
In the days leading up to the budget, Saskatchewan’s premier will be deciding whether to go for an early election or wait until the scheduled date in the fall.
Political Science professor Jim Farney says he thinks the Sask. Party is trying to keep the opposition on its toes.
He predicts the government using a balanced budget as a tool to win votes.
“There are real numbers in [the budget] and real decisions but it’s also the Sask. Parties election manifesto… the question is what comes next,” Farney told CTV Morning Live.