Former Saskatchewan Party MLA Nadine Wilson said Wednesday she’s aware of talks about a new political party possibly forming in the province that could provide a home for those “alienated” by the Sask. Party.
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While Wilson said she herself is not starting a party, she told Postmedia there have been conversations about it.
“People are feeling alienated from the Saskatchewan Party, and they are looking for a new political home because they feel unloved, unwanted and unwashed,” she said. “They are not being listened to.”
Wilson, who represents Saskatchewan Rivers, resigned from the Sask. Party caucus in September after misrepresenting her COVID-19 vaccination status.
She’s spent two sittings as an independent MLA since then, pressing the government on security issues in the legislature and on digital ID.
Her name has been listed as a speaker for events across the province billed as “the future of Saskatchewan,” promoted by a Facebook group called the Saskatchewan United Party.
When asked about her involvement, Wilson said she has been doing “motivational speaking to bring people hope.”
“I am seeing a growing movement of disenfranchised people looking for a political home,” she said.
Also listed as speakers are former federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz, former Saskatchewan Party MLA Jason Dearborn and Nadine Ness, who’s made headlines with Unified Grassroots, a group opposed to vaccine mandates, and for having a phone conversation with Scott Moe in which she addressed the group’s concerns directly with the premier.
Ken Rutherford, who ran for the Maverick Party federally in 2021 and is also a college instructor, has also been listed as a speaker.
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Sources have told Postmedia there are talks of a new political party forming, though nothing has been formally submitted to Elections Saskatchewan.
Wilson said people looking for a new political home are from all political stripes.
She also called out Moe after he said last week she should resign her seat.
“Instead of answering my question last week, as the public are inquiring and they want accountability and transparency, he’s suggesting I should resign. And I feel that’s a form of bullying,” Wilson said. “I am a sitting MLA. I have been for 14 years and I have helped many, many people throughout my career.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for my colleague to call me down.”
Moe had said he’s heard from constituents who would like a by-election because they didn’t vote for an independent MLA.
He has also questioned whether Wilson’s questions in the chamber are appropriate and reflect the constituents she serves.
Wilson said she’s getting calls from people in Moe’s constituency of Rosthern-Shellbrook who need help.
“I can turn it the other way, but I didn’t call him down,” she said. “Maybe he should turn it around and say, ‘Well, thank you, Nadine, for helping all these people.’ ”
She said her office has heard concerns about how the pandemic has made it difficult for people to get jobs because they were required to share their “medical health status.”
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“A lot of people have dropped through the cracks; parents and school children,” she said. “Parents are taking their children out of school because the school system has completely collapsed, in their opinion.”
Willson added she’s also heard concerns about “vaccine injuries,” but didn’t elaborate on what that means.
Other issues include agriculture and highways, she said.
She said the Sask. Party caucus has been instructed to “freeze me out and not talk to me.”
“To get rid of me, as you saw last week,” she said.
She said she will stay on as an independent MLA in the assembly for the next two years until the 2024 election.
Meantime, she said she’s been busier than ever.
“It’s been so, so busy that I had to hire additional staff, which I guess is a good thing,” she said. “As we evolve into this new world, we’re trying to navigate, many of us.”
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