Roger Parent of Sask. Party defeats incumbent MLA Frank Quennell in Saskatoon Meewasin; former teacher and incumbent NDP candidate David Forbes holds on to Saskatoon Centre.
For the first time since 1991, City Park residents are being represented by a provincial political party other than the New Democrats.
On Nov. 7, Saskatchewan Party candidate Roger Parent beat out two-time incumbent Frank Quennell, capturing 54 per cent of the popular vote compared to Quennell’s 42 per cent in the district of Saskatoon Meewasin.
The Saskatoon Meewasin riding currently includes the urban neighbourhoods of River Heights, Richmond Heights, North Park, Mayfair, Kelsey-Woodlawn and everything north of Queen Street in City Park. Quennell was elected MLA in 2003, when he took over the widely considered NDP stronghold from Carolyn Jones, who succeeded Carol Teichrob, also of the NDP.
The last time this particular region of Saskatoon was not held by the NDP was from 1986 to 1991, when Ray Meiklejohn of the Progressive Conservatives represented what was then the constituency of Saskatoon Mayfair.
Leading up to the Nov. 7 election, the province largely expected a Sask. Party landslide, however, collecting 49 of the possible 58 seats surprised even the cockiest of conservatives. In urban constituencies across Saskatchewan, the Sask. Party made substantial gains.
Due to both the crumbling of the Liberal Party of Saskatchewan, and the flimsy platform and poor leadership of the NDP, voters overwhelmingly bought in to the Sask. Party who promised to work on maintaining strong economic times for the province.
“Premier Wall has done an excellent job with the growth agenda for this province. We are forecasted to lead the nation in economic growth, we have the lowest unemployment in the country and we have a premier who stands up for us on critical issues, like health care and potash,” said Parent, on the Sask. Party’s website.
Parent has lived in Saskatoon Meewasin and is a graduate of SIAST in mechanical engineering technology and has a business administration certificate from the University of Saskatchewan.
According to SaskParty.com, “He has been involved with several initiatives within the community, including the Saskatoon Homelessness Initiative Partnership, sitting on the board of directors for the Saskatchewan Economic Development Association and most recently as a board member for the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation.”
Meanwhile, in Saskatoon Centre, which includes much of Saskatoon’s downtown core along with City Park, from 25th Street to Queen Street, incumbent David Forbes was one of the eight NDP candidates to win their race.
Forbes, a former school teacher, received 54 per cent of the popular vote, although the young Sask. Party newcomer David Cooper gave Forbes a good fight pulling 43 per cent of the vote.
This is Forbes’ third term representing Saskatoon Centre after first being elected in 2003. Under Lorne Calvert he served as Minister of Labour, and now he chairs the NDP caucus, as well as serves as the opposition critic for Labour, Municipal Affairs and Housing.