“Step aside for the sake of your constituents”: Meili calls for Sask. Party MLAs to resign ahead of Aug. 6 loophole

The NDP is calling for federal Conservative candidates Corey Tochor and Warren Steinley to resign their jobs as Sask. Party MLAs before August 6 to ensure that by-elections are held in those constituencies. Because of a loophole in the Legislative Assembly Act, if the two MLAs wait to resign until the writ is dropped in September, Premier Moe would not have to call by-elections in the two seats, leaving the constituents of Regina Walsh Acres and Saskatoon Eastview without an MLA for nearly 14 months. 

“These two federal candidates have spent the summer knocking doors for Andrew Scheer while cashing cheques from the people of Saskatchewan,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “They should have done the right thing and stepped aside months ago, but they still have a chance — as long as they do it this week.

“My message to Corey Tochor and Warren Steinley: It’s wrong to slow-walk your resignation past August 6, and it’s wrong to deny the people who elected you a voice for well over a year. Please step aside, for the sake of your constituents,” Meili said.

The NDP has tabled legislation to close the loophole that would allow these seats to go unfilled for over a year. The NDP bill would require a by-election be called within six months of a seat becoming vacant when the period between general elections is more than 48 months. Such an amendment is required because the Sask. Party added an additional six months to their term for the second election cycle in a row. 

“Both Mr. Tochor and Mr. Steinley have been federal Conservative candidates since early 2018,” said NDP Ethics and Democracy Critic David Forbes. “That’s a lot of time they’ve spent auditioning for a new job, when they should have been doing the job the people of Saskatchewan entrusted to them.” 

“Now they’re running down the clock to deny those voters any representation at all for well over a year,” said Forbes. “It’s cynical, it’s anti-democratic, and it’s wrong — they should do the right thing and step down by the end of this week.”

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