Candidates from three major political parties and an independent will be vying to take Saskatchewan’s Battlefords-Lloydminster seat from the federal Conservatives next week.
Five candidates are running in Monday’s federal byelection, which will see a new face replace long-serving MP Gerry Ritz in the House of Commons. Ritz had held the seat — with the Conservative Party of Canada since 2004, but also with the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance — for two decades before announcing his resignation in August.
Rosemarie Falk, a social worker and mother born and raised in Lloydminster, aims to keep the seat in the Conservative Party’s hands.
The 29-year-old spent a few months on Parliament Hill as an assistant to Conservative MP Arnold Viersen before electing to run. She says being young is an asset.
“I have energy; I have enthusiasm; and I am ready to hit the ground running.”
Falk will be up against New Democratic Party candidate Matt Fedler, the Liberal Party’s Larry Ingram, the Green Party of Canada’s Yvonne Potter-Pihach and independent candidate Ken Finlayson.
Fedler, a program coordinator for the Canadian Mental Health Association, is looking to up the number of federal NDP seats in Saskatchewan to four. The mixed martial arts fighter and former University of Regina wrestling captain was born and raised in the North Battleford area.
He said he doesn’t mind being an underdog in the race.
“I saw this opportunity to pull off the upset here and build on the momentum the NDP has here provincially, winning the last two byelections,” Fedler said.
Ingram, who ran for the Liberals against Ritz in 2015, is a small business owner and sheet metal contractor. He’s served on the council for the Rural Municipality of Mervin, and was born and raised in Turtleford.
A win for him would bump the number of Liberal seats in Saskatchewan to two — Ralph Goodale holds the Regina-Wascana seat.
Ingram said a Liberal MP in Battlefords-Lloydminster would make a big difference.
“I think that would have a positive outcome for the area, with having the nine reserves and where we’re going with reconciliation,” he said.
The Green’s Potter-Pihach, who lives in Lucky Lake, travels the province, working as an agricultural inspector. The mother of three holds a bachelor of science, specializing in agriculture, from the University of Saskatchewan.
Ken Finlayson, a long-haul trucker and a rancher raised in the Battlefords area, is running as an independent.
The byelection will be one of four across the country Monday. Byelections are also being held in British Columbia’s South Surrey-White Rock riding, the Newfoundland and Labrador riding of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity and the Scarborough-Agincourt riding in Ontario.
Polls in the Battlefords-Lloydminster riding will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. CT on Monday.