Premier Moe says he won't endorse anyone in federal election

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he will not endorse a political party in the federal election despite holding a Conservative Party membership.

"I won't be endorsing parties in the federal election," he said Thursday. "I will be, however, commenting on policy from time to time as the platforms are unveiled and how that policy will affect us here in the province of Saskatchewan. And I'll be commenting on policy, not party."

Moe has been an outspoken critic of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's government since taking office. 

In his first speech as party leader, Moe said, "just watch me" while referencing his fight against a carbon tax, a line borrowed from Trudeau's father.

The province's fight with the federal government on the carbon tax has reached the Supreme Court of Canada. The day the federal election was called, Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan announced the province would join Alberta's constitutional challenge of Bill C-69.

"We will call them as we see them as we go through this federal campaign," Moe said.

"We in this great nation are at a crossroads. We are at a point where we need to ask ourselves, you know, are we Canadians first. Are we going to support one another, not just the diversity of our communities, but the diversity of how we generate wealth in those communities and how that wealth makes not only our community, our province stronger, but it makes our nation stronger," Moe said.

When asked if he heard any platform or policy announcements that caught his attention he pointed to a Liberal promise to expand its first-time home buyers program.

Moe was critical of the policy as he said it only applied to "three major cities." He said it is "problematic to start picking winners and losers."

When asked if he had noticed anything problematic from Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's camp, Moe said, "There are a few policies that are coming out of the Conservative camp that align with some of the economic interests of Saskatchewan, No. 1 among them would be repealing the federal carbon tax."

8 cabinet ministers hold Conservative Party memberships

According to 2018 MLA public disclosures, 22 Saskatchewan Party MLAs also hold Conservative Party of Canada memberships. Premier Moe and seven other members of cabinet hold CPC memberships, including Morgan, Minister of Trade and Export Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Government Relations Lori Carr and Minister of Corrections and Policing Christine Tell.

Regina Rochdale MLA Laura Ross is the riding association president for the Conservative Party in Regina-Lewvan.

The remaining 24 Saskatchewan Party MLAs did not hold a federal party membership in 2018. Warren Steinley and Corey Tochor resigned from their positions as MLAs to run for the Conservative Party in Regina-Lewvan and Saskatoon-University, respectively.

Meili endorses federal NDP

NDP Leader Ryan Meili said he too would focus on policies when deciding to speak up during the campaign. 

"If there are issues that affect Saskatchewan I'm happy to weigh in. It's important that we do that. I won't be spending a lot of time attacking one party or another."

As provincial members, Meili and his 12 NDP caucus colleagues hold federal party memberships with the party. 

While Moe said he will not go door knocking, Meili will be on the doorstep for NDP candidate Sheri Benson.

"I'll go out and knock some doors with Sheri Benson. She's my MP and we work closely together. I'll talk to folks in my constituency and let them know that they've got a great representative," Meili said.