Beck blasts premier for comments on Prime Minister’s visit during stop in Prince Albert

Saskatchewan NDP leader Carla Beck was in Prince Albert on Monday meeting with local business owners, visiting Hope’s Home to discuss the City’s childcare needs, and speaking with the employees of the SLGA store to talk about the challenges they will be facing with their upcoming closure.

She also took time to respond to Premier Scott Moe’s statement about the Prime Minister’s visit to Saskatoon.

“This should have been a good news day; this should have been a signal to investors that want to look at Saskatchewan. This is a province of opportunity; this is a province that has that bright future. It was disappointing to see the Premier make this about himself, instead of telling that story,” said Beck during a short press conference in between visits to Hope’s Home and SLGA. “That should have been the story that is leading on the national news.”

On Monday morning, Moe called Justin Trudeau’s visit to tour a rare earth elements processing plant in Saskatoon “disappointing, but not surprising”.

According to his statement, Moe’s Sask. Party government was not made aware of the visit.

“Saskatchewan has been advocating for increased investment in this area, and we hope that the Prime Minister will have positive news today – and into the future – on our applications before Natural Resources Canada,” said Moe. “I welcome Prime Minister Trudeau to Saskatchewan, and hope that he recognizes Saskatchewan’s potential in not only making a stronger Canada but a stronger North America during his time in our province today.”

Beck said the Premier made the day about his “terrible relationship” with the Federal Government.

“Should the Prime Minister have invited the Premier? Of course,” said Beck. “But what we saw today, the Premier, instead of seeing this as an opportunity to showcase investment and showcase innovation here in Saskatchewan, took this opportunity to make this about himself.”

In response to the Sask. Party Government’s throne speech announcing the closure of provincially run liquor stores in March, Beck traveled from Regina to talk to the Prince Albert employees who are now looking at the face of unemployment.

“We know that in communities, too many communities in this province, full-time well-paying jobs are hard to come by. We know in this province that we’ve had the lowest full-time job growth in the country. Here we have more workers in this community that are going to be finding themselves looking for that employment,” said Beck. “I don’t think this is something that the provincial government has given though to and certainly hasn’t listened to.”

Before leaving to meet with Hope’s Home and SLGA employees, Beck was invited to be a guest speaker for the Prince Albert Rotary Club. She used that time to touch on topics like healthcare, the province’s natural resources, and the challenges faced by Saskatchewan farmers.

Bailey Sutherland, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald