SASKATOON -- Former provincial cabinet minister and MLA for Saskatoon Greystone Rob Norris promised “a fresh perspective in the mayor's office" as he announced his mayoral bid Thursday.

Norris said in a news release that in the months preceding his announcement he has continually heard concerns about what he called current Mayor Charlie Clark’s unfocused agenda, jobs and affordability for families, safety and security in neighbourhoods, and the effect COVID-19 has had on Saskatoon's jobs and local businesses.

“People in Saskatoon are concerned about the city's recovery after COVID-19: they are concerned about jobs and their family's economic security; they’re concerned about paying for ever-increasing property taxes with no relief in sight; and they’re concerned about their personal safety and safety in their neighbourhoods,” he said in the release.

“As mayor of Saskatoon, I will urgently work to help each and every person and family in this great city that we call home,” he said.

In a statement, Clark said his full attention is on providing leadership during a challenging period in Saskatoon.

"Given what we are going through, I haven’t been hearing that our citizens are looking for the campaigning to start, considering the election is over 4 months away. I will be announcing my intentions at a later time.”

Former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall endorsed Norris shortly after the announcement.

"Rob was a hard working, responsive Saskatoon MLA and an effective cabinet minister. He was always advocating for the interests and the people of Saskatoon. Seems like a great choice for Mayor," he said on Twitter.

Saskatoon's local government election is set for Nov. 9.

Norris was first elected as the MLA for Saskatoon Greystone in the 2007 provincial election, and was re-elected in the 2011 election. During his time in government, Norris served in Wall’s cabinet as Minister for Advanced Education, Immigration, Employment, Labour, Innovation, and the Minister Responsible for SaskPower.

He was also Legislative Secretary to the Premier for First Nations and Metis Engagement, and Legislative Secretary for International Trade and Education.

Since 2019, Norris has been the government affairs director at the Canadian Light Source and previously worked as a strategic advisor on innovation at the University of Saskatchewan.