This past month has been a very busy one. Since our SGP executive's last meeting, I attended a major union gathering in Saskatoon. There I conducted a series of small group meetings with folks interested in talking about the Green Party. Predictably, most people I met with are NDP supporters, but it was a chance to build bridges and put away old assumptions. We need to flaunt our pro-labour stance and counter the propaganda to the contrary.
The federal Greens (GPC) sent Deputy Leader Jonathan Pedneault to Saskatchewan for a three-day visit. With 10 days' notice, I was fully engaged in setting up events and speaking dates– and it was totally worthwhile. Jonathan's first day featured two "meet and greets" in Regina. Our SGP Deputy Leader Valerie Brooks made it in for the one at the Unitarians'. Several GPC members took out memberships in the provincial party.
Day Two of Jonathan's visit included a number of student events on campus at U of R, a great opportunity to connect with youth. The evening event was all in French. (My French lessons paid off!) I introduced myself in French and conversed with attendees before and after Jonathan's speech. I handed out SGP contact info and spoke to everyone when the event let out.
On the third day, we had a really early speaking engagement at the University in Saskatoon, so we got up and hit the highway about 6:30 am. That event went fantastically well. Plus, while Jonathan handled GPC phone calls, I was able to have some valuable single and small group conversations. Excellent connections were made that day! Still mid-day, we followed with a valuable meeting with Warren Koch, our SK Federal Council Rep. Very grateful for his service on the Federal Council!
That (Tuesday) night, we had a "meet and greet" in Saskatoon, at the Green Goddess Artisan Shoppe. Nancy Carswell, our Chief Official Agent, came down from Shellbrook to join us. It was awesome. We had a potluck with way too much food and great company.
Jonathan and I put our heads together with what we had learned. I asked him to help set up a meeting with all of Canada's provincial Green party leaders, to be attended by himself and Elizabeth May. He is open to the idea. He agreed that if we worked together more, we could stop "reinventing the wheel" so much. We could coordinate our message on issues crossing provincial borders. I'm feeling hopeful this will happen. And that was the conclusion to the Saskatchewan portion of Jonathan Pedneault's tour.
We can expect two Saskatchewan byelections this year. Lyle Stewart, MLA for Lumsden - Morse and Mark Docherty, MLA for Regina - Coronation Park have both resigned. I'm speaking to everyone I know in both constituencies to suggest an MLA candidate well ahead of time. If you know any resident of those two ridings who might be good to represent their neighbours and our party on the ballot, either encourage them directly or send in their contact info -- I will happily do the recruiting -- the candidate search is on!
Lastly, more BIG news -- Elizabeth May has agreed to do a public event in Saskatchewan immediately following the Earth Day events. This would include a press conference here with me, showcasing Saskatchewan Greens. I'll update everyone as soon as arrangements are finalized. I've sent Elizabeth our AGM dates. She would be a wonderful speaker at our AGM.
I have dared you to keep me and my helpers busy, and you are responding! Thank you to every one of you who has reached out by email, phone or message this month. Our movement is a true group effort. Everyone's input is valuable and needed.
Sharing Our Green Values,
Naomi Hunter, Leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party