New leader of Sask Liberals admits he has challenge in front of him

While the Saskatchewan Party and the Saskatchewan NDP have dominated Saskatchewan politics for over 20 years, the Saskatchewan Liberals are trying to remind people that they still have a presence as well.

The party elected Jeff Walters, an instructor of Sociology and Justice Studies at the University of Regina, as its new leader earlier this month.

Walters acknowledges the uphill climb to try and get the Liberals a seat or two in the assembly is a steep one especially when you consider the lack of popularity in Saskatchewan for Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals.

Walters says the party basically has to start from the ground floor and be better in letting people know they exist.

“That is on us. Our job is to talk with people and tell them what they stand for.” Walters said. “We have to rebuild, reorganize and rebrand ourselves to what we want to be.”

He says the party has the chance to build from both the left and right and give Saskatchewan a third alternative which is something they haven’t had for over 20 years.

“There is a strong left-wing party and a strong right-wing party in the province right now and that leaves a big chasm in the center which is where a vast majority of voters are.  If there was ever a time for a third party in Saskatchewan, now is the time and that is something I want to let Saskatchewan people know.

When it comes to the view many have of the federal Liberals, Walters acknowledges that is a challenge and that the criticism is deserved not just here, but across Western Canada.  He emphasizes they are separate entities and that is something they need to get across to voters.  He says the party stands for prairie Liberalism which is something this province was built on.  He adds the ideology they follow is whatever is best for Saskatchewan.  If the federal government comes out with a plan that is strong for Saskatchewan, they will agree with it, but that won’t be the case with everything.


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