October 29, 2017
As President, I was honoured to preside over the 80th annual convention of the Saskatchewan NDP.
When I called the convention to order on Friday afternoon, I could not help but think how the delegates to our first convention in 1937 would have felt if they were with us. Undoubtedly, they would have been extremely proud to see what the movement that they had founded had become!
If I were to sum up the theme of our convention, I think that it would be building a party that is ready to win the next election.
We heard from our federal leader, Jagmeet Singh, who reminded us of the important work that New Democrats are doing in Ottawa and promised to help us in our fight against the privatization of STC. His charisma was undeniable and his speech brought the house down.
We heard from our interim leader, Nicole Sarauer, who inspired us with a speech describing how the NDP Official Opposition is standing up to the Sask Party every day in the Legislature and fighting for Saskatchewan families.
We had an electrifying leadership debate between Trent Wotherspoon and Ryan Meili who both laid out a positive vision for real change for our province. The debate, which was moderated by Steve Patterson from CBC’s The Debaters, was a definite highlight of the convention.
We had important panel discussions on building safe and inclusive places in our party, Sask Party cuts, the work of NDP MLAs in the Saskatchewan Legislature, and heard from Mike Farnsworth, House Leader from British Columbia’s NDP government.
A package of constitutional amendments passed that will make our party more modern, efficient, and democratic. A number of resolutions were adopted about stopping the privatization of Crown Corporations, enhancing the rights of transgendered citizens, and improving our social programs. We elected a young diverse provincial executive and our wings- Indigenous peoples, women, cultural diversity, rainbow pride, and youth- also elected executives made up of dedicated grassroots activists that are committed to building our party for the future.
We are coming out of this convention stronger than ever and prepared to fight the next election and form the next government in 2020!