The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
Joan Beatty is the new Creighton and Denare Beach MLA after a landslide victory Wednesday that helped the NDP narrowly hang onto provincial power. The charismatic New Democrat dominated the Cumberland constituency, securing 69 per cent of the popular vote Ñ more than triple the amount garnered by her main opponent. Saskatchewan Party candidate Winston McKay, the former mayor of Cumberland House, polled 21.7 per cent of the popular vote. With the constituency an NDP stronghold since 1975, voters clearly felt that they were traveling down the right road with the New Democrats behind the wheel. Beatty presented them with a platform that stressed the importance of education and retaining young people, infrastructure improvements and preservation of the environment and natural resources. The conservative McKay didn't stray far from the right while campaigning, focusing on economic change and his opposition to same-sex marriage and federal gun legislation. Beatty, a manager with SaskTel in La Ronge, replaces the retiring Keith Goulet, the popular MLA who served four terms beginning in 1986. While the contest between Beatty and McKay was never close as Wednesday's results became known, the same cannot be said for the provincial race. As expected, it was a tightly-fought match-up between the right and the left. In the end, Premier Lorne Calvert and his fellow New Democrats came out on top with 30 seats, just two more than the 28 won by the Saskatchewan Party. The NDP edged out their conservative rivals with 44.6 per cent of the popular vote, five percentage points higher than the Opposition. In the process, the two parties absorbed the four seats that had been held by independent MLAs. "The people of Saskatchewan, tonight, clearly have said they want change and they have entrusted the New Democratic Party to lead that change," Premier Calvert said in his victory speech in Regina. "We will build a better Saskatchewan for Saskatchewan families: that is our pledge." Two other Cumberland constituency candidates, Liberal Allan Adam and PC candidate Ari Avivi, polled 8.2 and 1.1 per cent of the popular vote respectively.